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Will Civil Or Non-Criminal Penalties Accruing To A Business Impact The Hong Kong PR Application Of One Of Its Directors?

June 5th, 2024

Posted in Long Stay & PR, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


How is an application for Hong Kong PR (permanent residency or the right of abode) impacted as a result of non-criminal litigation and Court sanctions?

Hong Kong PR


My partner and I run a company (LTD) in Hong Kong. We’ve been a bit behind on our bills and most likely the company will be taken to court to pay late fees and penalties.

My partner is due to receive his Right of Abode in July.

Would such court cases affect his Hong Kong PR status application?


Principally, the Immigration Department are looking to see that there is no security objection to a long stay foreign national resident of Hong Kong becoming a permanent resident and securing the Right of Abode in the process. Therefore, if there is a history of serious criminal activity, then you can expect the Immigration Department to look at that from the perspective of a security objection.

However, in the normal course of transacting and doing business in Hong Kong, if you find yourself on the wrong end of perhaps some government fines for non compliance with, say, company law or other licencing requirements, or you found yourself in a bit of hot water with possibly some other civil partner that you’re having some kind of civil dispute with, and that’s working its way through the judicial process.

None of those things would typically amount to a security objection, which would preclude your business partner from securing the rights of abode. So, unless what you are saying relates to something of quite significant weight, all things considered, because the details are not actually provided, my advice would be that it’s probably not going to have any impact on your partner’s permanent residency application whatsoever.

Okay. I hope you found that 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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