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WRAP UP: How to Apply for the Right of Abode in Hong Kong – Public Talk by Stephen Barnes – July 25, 2013

July 26th, 2013

Posted in Long Stay & PR, Musing, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


It was a full house last night at Centre O when I gave a talk on how to apply for the right of abode in Hong Kong without the need to pay for any professional assistance.

Centre O owner and compatriate-in-arms Josephine Lau provided, as she always does, a convivial atmosphere  and we kicked off with everyone in their seats at exactly 7 pm.

Whilst my talk is only 15 slides long and is timed for 17 minutes, the questions very quickly came thick and fast,

No sooner had I gotten to the 2nd slide when most everyone was chipping in and the next 70 minutes turned into a really worthwhile guided group session (as my talks are designed to be) with quite a number of people staying behind afterwards to ask specific questions in respect of their own unique circumstances.

What I love about these sessions is the sheer variety of people I get to meet, each with their own situations and application foibles in play.

For example, in the session afterwards I was asked about a minor criminal conviction, ordinary residence starting dates, time without employment in the 7 years, the impact of sabbaticals and time away from Hong Kong as well as how to manage an application for the ROA when the 7 year anniversary coincides exactly with the expiry of the present employment visa.

As to this last point, one participant (he knows who he is!) and I had had an email exchange a few months previously and, after I told him how we had 2 prior instances of being able to secure an approval for RoA on the same day of the residence visa expiry, he said was keen to instruct us professionally subject to our Platinum Service, 200%Fee Refund Guarantee on the basis we could pull it off again in his instance.

Whilst we can essentially anticipate a positive outcome in any given application based on prior experience, we most certainly can not promise that an Immigration Officer is going to prioritise anyone’s case so I quickly dispelled him of that notion.

He then confessed that as far he was concerned, the promise of a double-his-money-back guarantee would have been be a great way for him to potentially fund his upcoming ski trip to Austria.

He must think I came down on the up boat!

You can download the presentation slides here.

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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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