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Remaining On Hong Kong Visitor Visa Status After Employment Visa Expires

October 5th, 2023

Posted in Employment Visas, Feature Article, Musing, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Visitor Visas /


If you’re wondering if you can stay in Hong Kong as a visitor after your employment visa expires, I discuss the process of converting your status from an employment visa holder to Hong Kong visitor visa status and how to go about making this transition.

hong kong visitor visa after work visa expires

Converting Your Status to a Hong Kong Visitor Visa

When your employment visa limit of stay is due to expire and you don’t have a continuing reason to remain in Hong Kong as an employee, you will need to convert your status to  a visitor. This process is generally not problematic, and there are two ways to go about it:

Option 1: Apply for a Visitor Visa Extension at the Immigration Department

You can visit the Immigration Department’s visitor extension section and apply for a visitor visa extension. This process may take up to three-quarters of a day, and you could be granted a maximum of a two-week visitor visa extension upon request (depending on your nationality).

Option 2: Travel to Macau and Return to Hong Kong (aka the Shenzhen Shuttle)

On the final date of your current limit of stay as an employment visa holder, you can take the 11 o’clock evening ferry to Macau and return to Hong Kong on the next ferry, which will bring you back after 12 midnight on the following day. Upon your return, the Immigration Officer will grant you a visitor visa, as your employment visa will have expired the day before. The length of stay as a visitor will depend on your nationality.

Useful Resources To Transition To Hong Kong Visitor Visa Status

For more information on staying in Hong Kong as a visitor after your employment visa expires, check out the following resources:

Do You Know About The 3-Year Hong Kong Visitor Visa?

3-Year Hong Kong Visitor Visa Information – The Travel Pass

Hong Kong Travel Pass Used to Keep An Extended Family Together – Quite Lawfully!

Applying for a Hong Kong Travel Pass – Video Presentation

Documentation Checklist For A Hong Kong Travel Pass Application

 Is The Travel Pass as Good as a Hong Kong 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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