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Work in Hong Kong for 5 Years – Leave for 2 – Then Return – Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes?

June 17th, 2021

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


It happens a lot. You stay and work in Hong Kong for 3, 4, 5 years and get over the hump en route to the magic 7 years needed for a Permanent Identity Card. Then you find yourself having to spend time away from Hong Kong to further your career, education or due to special circumstances. The issue is, however, will all this time spent in Hong Kong be lost and will you have to reset the clock once more when you eventually return after your temporary sojourn abroad?


“I will be leaving Hong Kong to study in Australia for the next two years. I have lived in HK for the last 5 years and would like to return after I have completed my studies.

I am wondering if it is possible to maintain my residency in Hong Kong if I returned every 4 months.  I have a work visa here that is valid until next September but will be leaving for school in July. I am hoping to get my Permanent Residency here and would like to have the five years that I have lived here count towards that instead of having to start all over when I return.

Is this possible?  Thanks.”

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

Time spent outside of Hong Kong with work – will it impact on your right of abode after 7 years?

Hong Kong right of abode application – consider your strategy and plan early

Hong Kong right of abode applications – arguing away missing periods of residence

The 7 things your employer needs to know about the immigration process when applying for an employment visa for Hong Kong

Employment ended? What visa options do you have to stay in Hong Kong for another 2 years to get your permanent residency?





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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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