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Hong Kong Employment Visa | Any Fixed Residency Requirement For Retention | Minimum Number of Days In-Country?

November 22nd, 2023

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


Is There Any Fixed Residency Requirement For Retention Of A Hong Kong Employment-Visa?

Hong Kong Employment Visa

Understanding Half-Time Hong Kong Employment Visa and Its Impact on Permanent Residency


I am pursuing options to take up employment in Hong Kong and would like to know if there is any residence requirement for retention of a work visa.

For example, how long can one be absent from the country in any one year?  

This issue is important to me because I also wish to retain my employment/investment interest in the middle east and so am looking at a six month in Hong Kong – six month abroad arrangement.


Is There Such a Thing as a Half-Time Hong Kong Employment Visa?

When it comes to Hong Kong immigration, there’s no official category known as a “half-time visa.” The Immigration Department assumes that individuals granted an employment visa will be working full-time in Hong Kong. If your employment contract involves alternating between six months of work in Hong Kong and six months off, the Immigration Department will typically grant a visa for the specific duration you plan to be in Hong Kong, rather than a standard 12-month period of stay.

Employment Activities and Time Spent Away from Hong Kong

If you intend to come to Hong Kong for employment purposes and anticipate spending extended periods outside the city pursuing other interests, it’s generally acceptable. However, it’s essential to ensure that your initial permission to be in Hong Kong covers these activities.

In your visa application, you may not need to provide extensive details about your planned absences. However, after the fact, if you do spend significant time away from Hong Kong, the Immigration Department will assess whether your original permission to stay was genuinely necessary for the full time employment activities you were authorized to undertake.

The Role of Absences in Permanent Residency Applications

The critical issue underlying this discussion is how your absences from Hong Kong might affect a future application for permanent residency. To qualify for permanent residency in Hong Kong, you must demonstrate continuous and ordinary residence in the city for at least seven years. Any absences should be of a temporary nature, supported by your intentions at the time of departure.

Your overall lifestyle and patterns of residence during those seven years will be considered when assessing your eligibility for permanent residency. If it can be established that you were continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong throughout that period, even with significant time spent away, you may qualify for the right of abode.

Last Words …

There is no official “half-time Hong Kong employment visa,” but the Immigration Department can grant visas based on your intended duration of stay. Spending time away from Hong Kong for employmen or personal reasons is acceptable, as long as it doesn’t compromise your original permissions. When considering permanent residency subsequently, it’s crucial to maintain continuous and ordinary residence in Hong Kong, with temporary absences supported by your intentions at the time.

This approach will enhance your chances of qualifying for the right of abode after 7 years.

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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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