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Can I Interview For New Job Opportunities In Hong Kong If I Hold A Temporary Training Visa Here?

April 21st, 2024

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


The Hong Kong training visa is designed to allow foreign nationals to come to Hong Kong for a limited time to undergo or deliver training. Will ImmD entertain an application from a training visa holder to take up employment with another business while that training is ongoing?

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Dear Visa Geeza,

Thanks in advance for your help.

I’m currently on a training visa, but interviewing with potential employers for a full-time position.

In case I decided to cut my training period short, would I be able to apply for a work visa within the validity of my trainee visa?

In that case – upon approval of the work visa – would the ID automatically “cancel” my trainee visa and issue me with a work visa sticker?



Training visas are granted to foreign nationals who wish to come to Hong Kong to either deliver or undergo training, usually for no longer than six months. Occasionally you can make it stretch to twelve months if you’ve got an exceptionally good training plan and a good reason for needing twelve months rather than the more typical six months. Interns themselves typically get about a three-month training visa. So, training visas are relatively easy to secure from the Immigration Department, all things considered. But then the wider question is begged as to if you can then adjust your immigration status whilst holding the training visa into a full employment visa.

Certainly if you want to try and achieve that outcome with the same sponsor of your training visa, then no, that’s not going to work. There is an expectation that at the end of the training period, the training visa holder will return back to the place where they came from in order to either use the skills that were imparted to them while they were in Hong Kong holding their training visa, or they’re going back to their home country to carry on what they were doing before they came to deliver training here; so when you make an application to adjust your status from training visa through to an employment visa sponsored by a new third party, the Immigration Department are open to the receipt of those applications. So there’s nothing that precludes you from filing the application. But you will still need to pass the approvability test for the employment visa as prescribed under the General Employment Policy; and you’ll need to satisfy the Immigration Department that you are a professional and in the context of the job offer extended to you, that you are the person to do that job and they can’t reasonably expect it to be up taken by a local candidate. So, there’s no advantage afforded to a training visa holder who’s going to make an application for full employment visa subsequently. So the real focus is going to be on passing the approvability test in of itself and in the context of the eventual full job offer that you receive. That’s the way the situation plays out.

I hope you find 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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