Staying in Hong Kong

Apologies for adding to the queries re visa issues but... here's my situation:-

I've been working for some months in Hong Kong. My visa/work permit is about to expire, my boss has not taken any real action to get it renewed (he's a bit of a procratinator, shall we say?) and matters are coming to a head in the office anyways that makes it so that I don't want to work much longer for him.

If it comes down to it: can I stay in Hong Kong until one week or so before my present work visa expires, leave Hong Kong for a couple of weeks, come back on a tourist visa and look for work anew? My fear is of not being let back in -- which would be awful since, if nothing else, I have a lot of stuff here that I have to transport, etc.

Also, officially, if I quit my job, I should tell the immigration people, right? Or is it my employer who should and what if he never does?

Thanks in advance to any one who responds with concrete information and/or helpful advice!


Hi Anon

 Well, once a work visa expires, that's the end of it, if no renewal has been processed and you go into a period where you no longer have the right to be in Hong Kong, you have to initiate a new visa application unless the immigration department make an exception.  I had someone unwittingly 'overstay' when their work visa expired(we put the onus of responsibility for keeping work permits valid on them) and it led to a lengthy interview at the airport on her next departure but it was all resolved amicably in the end.

 If you leave before it expires, no problem and by the way it is the responsibility of the company to advise the immigration and also tax authorities when you cease employment, and especially if your intent is to leave Hong Kong (for tax settlement).  If you quit your job, your original employment visa is still valid, it is the company who has a responsibility to tell them as they sponsored you and have an obligation to repatriate you, if necessary (that's on the form they submit).  If you find alternative employment on your current work visa, it's a very simple process to move the sponsorship to your new employer.

 You should have no problem coming back in on a tourist visa if you leave prior to the expiration of your work visa - but you may be asked some additional questions when you try to re-enter so shortly after the expiration of a work visa.  They'll be interested as to your purpose of visiting - and make sure you have a return ticket as they can ask for that before granting you a tourist visa.

Hope this helps, good luck with everything.


Fiona, thanks so much for your input both today and earlier this week. Your replies are invaluable!

Mr Tall

You're welcome

Always a pleasure to be of assistance :)

Thank you!

Hi Fiona --

Thank you very much for your comments. They're much appreciated and very helpful.