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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?

October 15th, 2023

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


Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes?

Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes?

Updated October 2023

Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes If I Leave To Work Elsewhere Then Return To Hong Kong?

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.

Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes?

To this end, 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 or will I lose my continuous residence for PR purposes in these circumstances?  


Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes? Here Is The  Ordinary Residence Test For Approval

You need to have been continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong for a period of not less than seven years where any absences from Hong Kong in that time – be they of long or short duration – are of a merely temporary nature as evidenced by what you leave behind in Hong Kong to return back to at the end of each temporary stay abroad. You need to have held back-to-back residence visas throughout the seven years claimed as ordinary residence in Hong Kong; must be no security objection to being granted the Right of Abode; must be no outstanding taxation liabilities in your hands in Hong Kong at the time that you’re applying for Right of Abode. And you need to have been in Hong Kong for a settled purpose. Your settled purpose is a function of the visa type that you hold.

“Will I Lose My Continuous Residence for PR Purposes” – Podcast Answer Below

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

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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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