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Hong Kong Investment Visa Extension – I Have Only Been Granted An Initial Six Months Limit Of Stay – Help!

April 23rd, 2024

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


Hong Kong investment visa extension after being granted only an initial 6 month limit of stay?

Hong Kong Investment Visa Extension


Dear Visa Geeza,

I’d like to thank you for building such useful resources online.

I followed your advice when preparing my business investment visa.

My visa got approved and with a six month review condition.

I have already rented a part time office. I’m not sure about the hiring employee part.

In my business plan, I said I would hire one employee in the first year. 

I feel it’s a rush to hire someone within six months.

However, you warned that immigration is more strict now at Hong Kong investment visa extension review.

Could you please give me some advice regarding hiring employees?

 1. Do I have to hire an employee within the six months of business visa approval?

2. Does it have to be a full-time job? Will part-time job be ok?

3. Do I have to hire a Hong Kong permanent resident? Can I hire someone on dependent visa?

4. What if I could not find a person qualified for the job within six months? Can I explain to immigration that I’m trying and hope for a pass?

Thank you again for helping me. 


I am very pleased to hear that you did manage to get your investment visa having used the resources of our website. That’s very good news indeed.

Turning to the fact that you only got a six-month limit of stay, effectively what the Immigration Department is saying to you when you get a six-month limit of stay on first approval is that they believe that you were marginal for your approval that prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt. So in this respect, you’ve got a green light to now to implement your business plan and appreciate that your business plan has anticipated that you’re going to achieve certain things in the first twelve months rather than the first six months. However, the fact that you’ve had this six-month limit of stay, is kind of a clear sort of signal to you that the Immigration Department have got expectations of certain kind of commercial activities on your part. Now I appreciate that commercially at the present it may not make much sense for you to be going after full time or part time or dedicated office premises and all the rest of it, but the best way to approach this would be to view the six months that you’ve got as your testing time where you can clearly move the business forward in those six months and you can take the steps that you need to take in implementing your business plan that are defensible at the time of your six month extension renewal exercise. So do bear in mind that the six months that you received is a kind of message to you, that there’s a certain expectation that you will crack on with your business and not seek to be reticent in implementing your plans and that the Immigration Department won’t have an expectation that you can show to them in those six months that you’ll create the new facts on the ground so that they can be persuaded that you are in fact making a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong, which is the aprovability test for investment visa in the first place.

So understanding that’s the kind of the backdrop to this, let me turn my attention now to your specifically questions. Firstly, do you have to hire an employee within six months of business visa approval? Again, my answer to that is no, but you need to be explaining to the Immigration Department why you haven’t recruited in the context of the overall performance of your plan heretofore.

Secondly, does it have to be a full time job or will a part time job be? Again, the Immigration Department are not prescriptive as such. They will look to see how you are moving your business forward. And if it just so happens that for the moment a part time staff is sufficient for your needs to allow you to achieve the early objectives in the first six months, then that is what that is, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Number three, do you have to hire a Hong Kong permanent resident or can you hire someone independent visa? Well, the definition of local recruitment for the purposes of immigration in Hong Kong is really being able to create a job for somebody who doesn’t need the permission of the Immigration Department to uptake that employment. So, in this respect, if you’ve got a dependent visa holder who is in a position to do work for you, then that’s fine.

And then finally, what if you can’t find a qualified person for the job within six months? Can you explain to immigration that you’re trying and hope for a pass? Well, again it’s a question of showing to the Immigration Department that you’re earnestly recruiting – submit copies of the advertisements that you’ve put out on social media, jobsDB and the like, and, if you have received CVs, make sure you create a compilation of all of those CVs and explain to the Immigration Department during your extension exercise that you are committed to recruiting such people; and, given the efforts that you’ve made thus far reflected in the CVs that you’ve received, that you will be submitting copies of as part of your extension exercise, you haven’t been able to find the talent that you’re looking for at this point in time so you continue your search. So effectively what you’ve got to do now is persuade the Immigration Department that you’re not sitting on your hands, you’re getting on with your business, you’re implementing your plan as best you possibly can. Show to the Immigration Department at the time that you come up for renewal all of these things and you may very well find yourself with a twelve-month limit of stay; at the end of that exercise if they feel that there’s still work to be done in that respect, they may just extend you for a further six months. But I wouldn’t be concerned that they’re not going to extend you and just anticipate that you’re going to have a job of work ahead of you dealing with the paperwork persuading the Immigration Department that you’re worthy of that approval in the first place.

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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