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Hadley Says

What About Your Hong Kong Employment Visa If You’re Thinking of Changing Jobs?

April 8th, 2013

Posted in Employment Visas, Hadley Says…, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


Watch this video on YouTube.

It happens all the time.

You get an employment visa to work in Hong Kong for one employer – then your circumstances change and you want to take up a position with another.

The question is – what about your visa?

Is it OK just to swap jobs without doing anything down at Immigration Tower?

As a sponsored foreign national employment visa holder, it is unlawful to work for any employer other than your current sponsoring employer.

So, if you want to take up another employment, you need to undergo what is known as a ‘change of sponsorship’ application.

This, in many ways, is just like making an entirely new visa application.

The approvability test challenges are essentially the same.

The employer must be justified in seeking to employ a foreigner.

The jobs generally must be ‘like for like’.

The mere fact that you presently hold an employment visa does not in any discernible way advantage you in a change of sponsorship  application although, the longer you’ve lived in Hong Kong, the more likely the Immigration Department will buy into your argument – just so long as you can continue to demonstrate special skills knowledge and experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong.

Most often perfectly ‘do-able’ – just no shoe in!

More Stuff to Help You Along

10 Must Have resources for a successful Hong Kong working visa application

My employment visa will expire before my change of employer application will be finalized – help!

What do both Hong Kong employment and investment visa applications share in common?

Will I still qualify for the right of abode if I lived in Hong Kong but worked in Macau temporarily for some of the 7 years needed?

The perils of contriving a job offer just for the purposes of a Hong Kong employment visa application


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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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