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What Can I Do If My Employment Contract Ends On The Same Day As My Hong Kong Work Visa And I Need To Stay Here A While Longer To Sort Out My Affairs?

March 7th, 2024

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


Employment law and immigration law are often overlapping but must be dealt with separately…this post talks about what can be done if someone’s employment contract ends on the same day as their Hong Kong work visa, but they need to stay in Hong Kong for a while longer to sort out their affairs.

Employment Contract Ends on the Same Day as My Hong Kong Work Visa

What can I do If my employment contract ends on the same day as my Hong Kong work visa and I need to stay here a while longer to sort out my affairs?


I am in a fix with a difficult-to-deal-with local company.

My 2 year contract with them expires this October 20. My work visa expires on the same day.

Is my employer legally required to serve a one month notice?

If the HR Department mention nothing to me, is my last day at work October 20, and am I required to leave the country? I am Canadian.

Is my employer required to contact the Immigration Department and notify them of my employment ending? At what date?

If I leave Hong Kong on the 20th of October to Macau for the night and return on the 21st, can I come in on a 3 month visitor visa so I can pack up the house?

Or is it better to go to the Immigration Department on the 18th/19th and apply for an extension to pack up my things and leave Hong Kong?


Whilst I’m not an employment lawyer, I’m not really qualified to discuss matters of employment law, it does seem to me that if you have a fixed term employment contract which is going to expire in your case as of October the 20th, then you need to look to your contract to see if there is any arrangement that speaks to an extension of that employment contract and if there is a specific notice period that the employer will need to give you in order to advise you of the termination of your employment as at the date of your contract termination too.

So look to the contract to see what that’s all about. But, in any event, all of that notwithstanding the question of your ongoing employment visa is tied directly to your ongoing employment. Therefore, if your employer has not yet indicated the possibility of an extension to your employment contract it will be the case that come October 20, when your current employment visa expires, effectively you will no longer be lawfully employable in Hong Kong.

I understand your challenge insomuch as well if you’re no longer going to be working in Hong Kong after October the 20th, you can’t just, in a sense, stop working and then mystically, magically wonderfully, before midnight that day head off back to Canada.

You’re going to need to have some time in order to manage your affairs here in the wake of your intending departure. So there are two things that you can do. One which is recommended, one which I would suggest you avoid.

The first thing that you can do is to go down to the immigration department on the 21st and explain effectively what your situation is and ask them to give you an extension.

You may find that they will give you a temporary extension for perhaps a week, maybe two at the most in your circumstances. And that is barely recommended because of the way that the immigration officers in immigration tower usually consider these applications.

The second option that you have, which is the one that I recommend, is that on the 20 October, you take the 11:00 p.m. ferry to Macau, and then after you’ve arrived in Macau, immediately jump back on the 01:00 a.m. ferry on the 21 October back to Hong Kong, and then the immigration officer upon arrival will admit you as a Canadian national for 90 days as a visitor, and that three months will then give you all the time that you need to finalise your affairs and make your exit from Hong Kong to return home. So, that’s what I would suggest you do.

I hope you find this useful.

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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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