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How Can I Get The Approval Of The Immigration Department To Change My Hong Kong Employment Visa Sponsorship Without My Current Employer Learning About It?

April 5th, 2024

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


Changing jobs in Hong Kong requires the permission of the Director of Immigration…

Change My Hong Kong Employment Visa Sponsorship

Dear Stephen,

How can I get the approval of the Immigration Department to change my Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship without my current employer learning about it?

I have a stable job in Hong Kong and am finalizing an offer with a potential new employer here.

Since there is always a risk of immigration refusal, and I don’t want to lose my current job if the change of employer application does not work out.

How to do this without my current employer knowing?

Basically the question is how to get the new employment visa arrangements approved by the Hong Kong Immigration Department before letting my current employer know about it?

Thanks a lot! 


This is quite a common situation, as you can imagine; the Immigration Department devised a way of dealing with it that’s quite logical. Effectively, you go ahead with your application to change your sponsorship and submit all the normal documents to that end, and then during the currency of the application, the Immigration Department when they’re about to finalise, will typically invite you to submit a copy of a resignation letter that records the fact that you have a last date of employment with your current sponsor.

Then once you submit that to the Immigration Department, they will then issue a letter of approval for your new position. Now, of course, there always is an implied risk in this that you go through the process – the Immigration Department will then issue the request for the resignation letter and then they say no to your application.

Normally though, in all the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen the Immigration Department take that tack. Therefore, when you receive a request from the Immigration Department for the final date of employment with your existing employer, that’s a tacit signal that your application is about to be approved. So you then clearly, notify your existing employer, hand in your notice, do what you need to do; the documentation that’s generated in pursuit of you terminating your existing employment is then submitted to the Immigration Department to finalise your new change of sponsorship application and then they will positively approve you, in my experience, thereafter.

I hope you found that 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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