New Content Daily Sign Up Here

Your Questions Answered

Can The Company You Have Just Left Contact Hong Kong Immigration And Make Your Visa Expire Immediately?

April 1st, 2024

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


Contact Hong Kong Immigration and make your visa expire? This question comes up often enough for it to warrant another explanation of the arrangements which prevail (current ImmD practice)…

Contact Hong Kong Immigration And Make Your Visa Expire


Dear Visa Geeza,

 I’m under the impression that when you leave a company that has been sponsoring your employment visa or if you are fired, that as long as your visa hasn’t expired you are allowed to stay in Hong Kong and look for new employment.

Can the company you have just left contact immigration and make your visa expire immediately so you therefore lose the right to stay in Hong Kong and look for work? 


This scenario is very much an old chestnut; so, I’d like to take this opportunity to hopefully sort of bury it once and for all time. Effectively, when you secure an employment visa sponsored by a Hong Kong employer, you get two privileges: (1) you get the privilege to do the work – that’s nominated in the employment contract for the sponsor of record, and (2) you also get the privilege to reside – that flows naturally from the privilege to work.

When you stop working for your current employer, your privilege to work ceases, but your privilege to reside continues until your current limit of stay expires, or the Immigration Department remove it from you, whichever is the sooner it is; in fact, the Immigration departments standard practise to allow the current limit of stay to expire where there has been a situation such as yours, and therefore you will be allowed to remain in Hong Kong to carry on your lives until your current limit of stay expires, whereupon you’re expected to leave.

Additionally, it is considered a ‘permitted activity’ under your continuing privilege to reside to look for and indeed interview for work. However, it is not ‘permitted activity’ to take up that employment. Therefore, prior to joining in a new company (sponsor) in Hong Kong, you will have to make an application to change your sponsorship so that the Immigration department can apply the approvability test in the context of the new job offer that you’ve got in hand and will then, once applying that approvability test, determine whether you should be able to take up that employment and in the process re-invoking your privileges to work for that new employer. So that’s how all of that works.

In terms of an ex-employer contacting the Immigration Department and ask that your privilege to reside in Hong Kong be suddenly be immediately revoked, the Immigration Department tend not to get involved in issues associated with reasons as to why an employment might have come to an end.

In other words, an employer does have an obligation to inform the Immigration Department of material change in circumstances as regards their sponsorship charges – and so normally an employer will write to the Immigration Department to advise them of the official date of employment termination (and the Immigration Department just hold that on file and the termination date of your prior employment becomes a matter of your record), but the employer cannot sort of overreaching themselves and saying that you should not be allowed to remain in Hong Kong for reasons such as  you having not have done your job well or any of this kind. The Immigration Department won’t take on board any of that, as they just look at the circumstances dispassionately and will just reflect the fact of your cessation of employment with that sponsor, rather than taking any steps towards, in a sense, punishing you for what might have passed during your prior employment, and not making it possible for you to make an honest application to change your sponsorship and continue your lives in Hong Kong on the basis that you’ll be able to get that change of sponsorship application approved.

In a nutshell, the answer to your question is: an employer can’t effectively kick you out of Hong Kong just because they happen to be your employment visa sponsor of record.

I hope you find this useful.

VisaGeeza.Ai – Making Hong Kong Immigration A Lot Easier

Contact Hong Kong Immigration And Make Your Visa Expire

VisaGeeza.Ai – 13 Years In The Making

Check Out VisaGeeza.Ai

All Our Know-How : All Our Experience : Fully Interactive

100% FREE!

More Stuff You May Find Useful Or Interesting

Will My Hong Kong Employment Visa Be Compromised If I Leave My Job Due To Intolerable Working Conditions?

Can I Use The Impending Expiry Of My Hong Kong Work Visa As A Way To Force The Early Termination Of My Employment Contract?

Does The Employment Visa Change Of Sponsorship Process Expressly Disclose To My New Employer The Reason For Me Leaving My Previous Job?

I Hate My Boss And Want To Leave My Job – What About My Work Visa For Hong Kong?

My Employment Visa Expires Before My Change Of Sponsorship Application Will Be Finalised – HELP!




Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

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.

Handbook Contents
Professional Service Options...