If you have left the employ of your current employment visa sponsor, or even just thinking of doing so, you need to undergo what is known as a change of sponsorship application before you start working for anyone else in Hong Kong, including yourself!
To do this you have to consider it just like an entirely new visa application.
Just because you have a stamp in your passport that says ‘employment’ this is not a carte blanche approval to work for just anyone you like or can act on an entrepreneurial seizure without considering the ramifications of unauthorised immigration activity in Hong Kong.
If you are seeking to work for another employer you have to pass the employment visa approvability test.
If you are seeking to work for yourself – or in partnership with someone else – you have to pass the investment visa approvability test.
Complete details on how to do this are contained in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook and elsewhere on the Hong Kong Visa Geeza blog.
To start your application you have to submit your application bundle on the 5th floor residents section of Immigration Tower with the correct application forms and expect the process to take between 4 and 8 weeks to complete.
It could very possibly take much longer depending on the strength and quality of your application, the length of time you have been previously resident in Hong Kong and whether or not you have already breached your conditions of stay by taking up an unauthorised employment before realizing that it’s illegal to start your own business or work for any employer other than your current employment visa sponsor.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘flexible’ working visa in Hong Kong.
Every new employment or business activity proposed must be cleared first by the Director of Immigration and you could find yourself in some very hot water if you do not comply with Hong Kong’s immigration laws as ignorance is no defence!
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