Hong Kong Immigration Lawyer

Looking for a Hong Kong Immigration Lawyer?

Do you absolutely need a HK immigration lawyer to handle your Hong Kong visa application?

The quick answer is NO.

In HK, you don't need an immigration lawyer to act on your behalf to submit and deal with your Hong Kong visa immigration application.

But you always need an experienced immigration consultant to guide you through the entire application process.


Hong Kong Immigration Lawyer vs. Immigration Consultant - Which is the Right Choice?

An immigration lawyer certainly deals with the applications of foreigners who are to migrate (or relocate) to Hong Kong.

Both Hong Kong immigration lawyers and immigration consultants can involve in work related to:


  • Work visa
    Entrepreneur visa (or known as investment visa)
    Dependant visa
    Work visa extension/renewal
    Change of sponsorship of work visa
    Dependant visa extension/renewal
    Prolonged visitor visa (for de facto spouse)
    Hong Kong Permanent Residence

We (Prism Consultancy) are a Hong Kong immigration consultant who have extensive experiences when handling immigration cases for foreigners.

The advantages when using an immigration consultant include:


  • Immigration consultants charge only one fix fee, not like immigration lawyers who charge based on hours spent. So with an immigration consultant, you can always feel more freely to call when you have questions.
    Immigration consultants charge much lower fees than immigration lawyers - Lawyers' fees are high because you end up paying for their job title Lawyer for work that can be done much less expensive with an experienced immigration consultant.
    Immigration consultants possess more comprehensive knowledge in immigration applications. Immigration lawyers in HK rarely only specialize in immigration laws and regulations, and immigration cases.
    Immigration consultants are result-oriented and focus on the best customer service.

Work visa

A Hong Kong work visa (or referred to as employment visa) must be applied for and granted by the Hong Kong Immigration Department before a foreigner is allowed to enter and start his/her employment in Hong Kong.

The criteria for the HK Immigration Department to grant the foreigner a work visa may include all of the following items:


  • The applicant should have secured an employment/job offer before the visa application is submitted.
    The individual should possess unique qualifications and relevant working experience that are not readily available in Hong Kong.
    This individual should be placed in a management level job position, and the salary offered should meet with the current market rate.
    The sponsor is the sponsoring company who is to employ this applicant.
    The sponsoring company should be financial stable and healthy.
    The sponsoring company should have local staffs and office premise that has already been set up.

Refer to Work Visa applications for more details.


Entrepreneur Visa

An entrepreneur visa or investment visa application is a subcategory of a work visa application, designed for those business owners or entrepreneurs who intend to stay in Hong Kong to actively participate in daily business operations.

To be eligible for an entrepreneur visa, an individual should prove the following:


  • The applicant is a sole or majority shareholder of the Hong Kong company. To distinguish an investment visa application (i.e. entrepreneur visa application) from a work visa application, the applicant should be a majority shareholder of the company, and should contribute significantly to the business.
    The business in Hong Kong will enhance the local HK economy.

Refer to Entrepreneur Visa applications for more details.


Dependant Visa

A Dependant Visa is required, when a dependant spouse and unmarried dependant children under the age of 18 are to accompany a sponsor to relocate to Hong Kong. This sponsor applicant must hold a valid visa, (including a visa for employment, or investment).

Another example is a Hong Kong permanent resident can be the sponsor for the dependant visa application for his/her spouse, who is not a HK permanent resident.

Dependant visa holders are free to work, study or set up their own business in Hong Kong.

Refer to Dependant Visa applications for more details.


Work Visa Extension/Renewal

When an applicant is working for the same employer who is sponsoring the work visa, the work visa extension or renewal application is simple. Usually a three year visa will be granted with the first extension. The normal extension pattern is 2 years for the first application, 3 years for the second application (i.e. first extension), and 3 years for the third application (i.e. second extension).

When the sponsoring company is newly established in Hong Kong, applying for an extension of stay is more complicated. Extra documentation will be required by the HK Immigration Department. The application will be subject to a business review, with business development and turnover as primary area of concern. A one-year visa is granted on approval of application.

Refer to Visa Renewal applications for more details.


Change of Sponsorship of Work Visa

Regardless a Hong Kong work visa has expired or not, a change of sponsorship application is required if a work visa holder is changing an employer. An application for a change of sponsorship must be filed before the start of a new employment (with a new employer).

The application process similar to a new work visa application. When the new employment is in the same field/industry as the previous employment, the change of sponsorship application should usually be approved without problem.

Refer to Change of Employer Sponsorship applications for more details.


Dependant Visa Extension/Renewal

For a dependant visa renewal, if the applicant's family status remains unchanged, the application for an extension of stay should be easily granted. When the sponsor has a Hong Kong permanent residence status, a three-year dependant visa will be granted. Otherwise, the new visa will expire on the same date as the sponsor.

Refer to Visa Renewal applications for more details.


Prolonged Visitor Visa

Same sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples are not eligible to apply for Dependants Visas in Hong Kong, according the policies of the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

This means, a de facto spouse, i.e. one without a formal marriage certificate, is not eligible for a dependant visa. A same gender spouse with marriage certificate in overseas, is also not eligible for a dependant visa.

The couples can however apply for prolonged visitor visas. This allows for an extended stay but does not entail the same rights and benefits as a dependant visa.

A de facto spouse cannot work or study without the prior permission of Immigration Department and is not eligible to apply for a right of abode after seven consecutive years in Hong Kong. The prolonged visitor visa holder is also not eligible to get a resident Hong Kong Identity Card.

Refer to De Facto Visa applications for more details.


Hong Kong Permanent Residence

Hong Kong permanent residence is usually also referred to as the right of abode in HK.

Right of Abode in Hong Kong guarantees the right to land in Hong Kong free from any conditions of stay.

Foreigners are eligible to apply for right of abode in Hong Kong if:


  • The applicant holds a valid visa (excluding a visitor visa) for a continuous period of not less than seven years, up until and including, the right of abode application being considered by Hong Kong Immigration Department.
    The applicant has typically resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years immediately before the submission of the application of right of abode in Hong Kong. This means the applicant should not have been absent from Hong Kong for longer than a few months during this 7-year period.
    Hong Kong has been the applicant’s only place of permanent residence during this 7-year period.

Refer to Right of Abode for more details.



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Testimonials

Client References

Chris and Bonnie at Prism have been an absolute pleasure to work with. They clearly explained the application process, assisted in drafting necessary documents and were always available to address any questions or concerns. We couldn't have asked for better consultants.

testimonial 1
Cinar, Karazona

Director, Organic Modernism Limited


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