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Hadley Says

How to Get a Hong Kong Working Visa Automatically – With No Questions Asked!

December 11th, 2012

Posted in Employment Visas, Hadley Says…, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


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Until only just a few short years ago, it was nigh on impossible for foreign nationals studying for an undergraduate or post graduate degree at a university in Hong Kong to secure an employment visa upon their graduation.

However, since the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates came into effect in 2008, any student visa holder successfully graduating from their course, can now essentially walk straight into an employment visa without even needing a sponsor or an offer of an employment.

This prevails if you make the application to the Hong Kong ID within 6 months of graduation, as they deem these applicants ‘fresh graduates’ and the conversion from student to employment visa is almost akin to a rubber stamping exercise.

However, 12 months later once the first employment visa comes up for extension, the holder of such an employment visa needs to have a confirmed employment to be able to remain in Hong Kong under that status.

The situation is different for ex students who graduated more than 6 months ago, as they are called returning graduates.

The visa conditions for such returning graduates are more onerous than they are for fresh graduates but their applications are ‘favourably considered’ so long as they have a suitable job offer paying market rates from a suitable sponsor.

But for fresh graduates, the employment visa is a shoe in and many foreign nationals choose specifically to study in Hong Kong first simply to get direct access to permissions to work – and strategically the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local graduates has provided a fantastic additional pathway to getting approval to work in the HKSAR.

More Stuff to Help You Along

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How to stop worrying about your Hong Kong visa application and start applying

How to cure your Hong Kong visa extension headache and make sure it gets approved the very first time

Why and how Hong Kong seeks to attract foreign national talent

The impact of brain drain on Hong Kong and resulting immigration policy development


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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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