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How Considered Advance Planning Might Save a Doomed Right of Abode Application & Spare the Loss of Several Years Continuous Ordinary Residence in Hong Kong

November 11th, 2021

Posted in Long Stay & PR, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


First Published On December 9, 2013

It happens a lot more often that you might imagine – inadvertent loss of ‘ordinary residence‘ setting back your application for permanent residence here in Hong Kong.


My wife and I came to Hong Kong to work in 2006. However she went to business school in Europe in 2009, sponsored by her Hong Kong employer.

So from her immigration record, the ordinary residence discontinued for the period of November 2009 to September 2010.

But throughout the past 7 years I myself have remained in Hong Kong and all our savings as well as properties are here and I recently got my own permanent ID (but my wife got refused).

My questions are:

(1) should my wife apply in-person again for a formal determination?  

(2) if her application gets refused again and if she quits her job to take care of kids at home, can she still have a HKID and continue the 7 year accumulation?

Thank you.

My Follow Up Questions

In this time (November 2009 – September 2010) did your wife:

(A) hold a residence visa in Hong Kong?

(B) have documentation from her employer showing that the time in Europe was only temporary and that her Hong Kong employment contract subsisted – even though she was not getting paid – and that she was expected to return to her job here immediately upon graduation?

(C) did she in fact return to that job in Hong Kong immediately upon graduation?

Follow Up Answers

A.  No. She came back a few times but on tourist visas

B. Yes. There is a letter from her employer stating explicitly that during 2009-10 she attended a company sponsored BSchool program in Europe during which period she was still considered an employee of the company.

C. Yes.

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

How do lengthy employment secondments away from Hong Kong impact on continuity of ordinary residence for a right of abode application after 7 years?

Will a short period of time away from Hong Kong break my continuity of ordinary residence for my eventual right of abode application?

Can a newly qualified foreign national permanent resident of Hong Kong automatically secure the right of abode for his parents too?

How to apply for the right of abode in Hong Kong without any professional help – documents required

Am I compelled to apply for the right of abode after 7 years or can I maintain the status quoe of my current employment visa?




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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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