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Can I Go From A Hong Kong Investment Visa To An Employment Visa And Back To An Investment Visa Again?

January 4th, 2024

Posted in Employment Visas, Investment Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


To & Fro From A Hong Kong Investment Visa

Is It Possible?

Hong Kong Investment Visa

Entrepreneurship is a fluid beast!



I was on an investment visa for a year when I started my own business and then took on a full time role with another company. 

I was transferred to an employment visa

I am now considering leaving this role and going back to actively work in my business. 

Can I apply for an investment visa for a second time or does it simply get transferred to my own company as an employment visa?


This is a really great question and I’m so grateful to you for asking it.

I have seen this situation probably a dozen times in the last 20 years and in every single instance the Immigration Department have come to the party and have indeed allowed a previous investment visa holder who has then changed status to an employment visa and who then has a change of heart and decides that paid employment is not really for them and they wish to go back to their own business pursuits once more and the Immigration Department have approved these applications as I say. So there’s no reason to suggest that you won’t be successful in your application, too.

The way that you go about it is to effectively treat the application as a change of category application going back from employment visa sponsored by a third-party through to business investment on the strength of your own Enterprise in Hong Kong.

The approvability test is just the same as it always is for an investment visa, that is, in light of your present circumstances given that you once, in a sense, put your business on the shelf while you went off to work for another employer, your business now moving forward, if the Immigration Department allow you to do so, will mean that you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong.

I’ve dealt with the investment visa approvability test ad nauseam elsewhere on the blog, so I’ll let you go and research that and understand effectively what’s required from you to to be successful. But as the essential premise of your investment visa activities were originally approved, it’s certainly feasible to expect that you’ll get approved this time around. You’ll certainly need to have the requisite level of resources. You’re going to have to have a pathway to the creation of local employment opportunities once again, and you’re going to have business premises that are suitable for you and your proposed activities.

The Immigration Department will effectively put you to that test, and I think, as I say, it’s fair for you to be able to pass it. But you’re also going to have to, sort of plug the gap as to kind of what happened, whilst you were an employee in the business, assuming as I mentioned, it was probably on the shelf in the meantime. But talk to the Immigration Department about how you, sort of put the business into deep freeze and that you are now ready to sort of bring it out into the open and go for it one more time.

So, just as I say the key thing is to pass the approvability tests all over again. The fact that you had an investment visa once previously, augers well on the basis that you can explain the gap as to what happened to the business during the time that you were an employee and that on the basis the Immigration Department approve you to join in this business one more time and you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong.

Do it on the fifth floor of immigration tower via a change of category application and you should take between 4 and 6 weeks to finalize. If your current limits of stay has got less than six months on it, use not only the ID 999a application form, use also the ID 91, which will allow the immigration department once they approve, you to grant you an extension to the current limit of stay, by a further year. As I say, assuming that you’ve got less than six months remaining on your current limit of stay then include the ID 91.

Okay. I hope you found this useful.


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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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