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The Foibles of Hong Kong Visa & Immigration Applications That Only Experience Can Fully Appreciate

April 3rd, 2023

Posted in 60 Second Snapshot, Employment Visas, Family Visas, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Special Programmes, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Visitor Visas /


Foibles of Hong Kong Visa & Immigration Applications

First Published April 29, 2013 – Updated April 3, 2023 (10 years on – somethings never change ….)

Hong Kong immigration & visa applications: both the Hong Kong Visa Handbook and the accompanying updates posted daily on the Hong Kong Visa Geeza Blog along with the DIY Visa Kits are all designed to help you make an application to the Immigration Department without any professional assistance and with the minimum of stress.

Recent Covid experience threw up all kinds of new challanges with Enhancement Measures and Temporary Measures and it has never been more apparent to me that ‘knowing what you’re doing’ when it comes to Hong Kong visa applications genuinely makes all the difference.

Whilst our content seeks to anticipate the myriad scenarios which can present themselves on your Hong Kong immigration journey, there will always be gaps in your knowledge and understanding of the process as an applicant using the system and it is to these particular foibles of the visa experience that I wish to speak today.

As you work your way through your application the dynamics of what’s going on may not make themselves immediately evident to you, for example, why a particular document has been requested or why the Immigration Department has asked for the same material from you twice.

Moreover, there is a fundamental logic which underpins every Hong Kong visa application dictating that the totality of your story and the documents you provide in support be consistent and don’t serve to undermine your argument in any obviously counter-productive way.

Finally, there’s the issue of emotion and the overwhelming significance of getting your application right.

When applying by yourself it is hard to distance yourself from the fear of visa refusal and this can impact negatively on how your argument is articulated and presented to the Immigration Department.

The bottom line is that your visa will be approved subject to policy considerations according to well established procedural guidelines.

So it is important to try to be professionally ‘removed’ from your application seeing it as an argument to be won on the merits of your case in light of the requirements  of the approvability test applicable to your circumstances.

Getting your Hong Kong visa application approved doesn’t have to be a major drama all told – it is mostly a case of common sense, appreciation of the policy in play and a methodical business-like approach to the exercise.

People get into trouble with their applications mostly due to the fact that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience only and I hope this video, along with all of our other Hong Kong visa and immigration content, helps you have a stress-free, smooth-sailing  visa approval.

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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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