Immigration Letter stating why I did not apply for a work visa before coming to HK

Hi Guys,

I am new to this forum, it is very helpful and interesting!  My HK Work Visa application was just submmitted this week to the immigration department.  I've been in HK since April and on a tourist visa from the USA.  I've done 1 visa run to macau and finally found a company that was willing to sponsor me for a job.  I am currently in HK because my boyfriend lives here and is also working here. So I ended up moving here to be with him.

The immigration dept. called me up today and asked me to write a letter stating why I did not apply for a work visa before coming to HK.  Would that be obvious?  I'm not exactly sure how to approach that.  If you have any tips or advice or experience with this, please let me know.  The HR of the company that is sponsoring me have not encountered this either, so I am not sure what to do.

Thanks any comments would be helpful.

re: Immigration letter

One of the Immigration Department's no-no's is if you started work first, and then got the visa later. So maybe they want to have documented proof this isn't true.

If that's the case for you (and it's just my guess), then here are some suggestions on how to allay their concerns:

  • My boyfriend of ?? years lives here, I lived in the USA, and we want to be together
  • I wanted to be sure I could adjust to Hongkong life before moving here permanently, so we agreed on an extended visit first
  • Since I arrived in April I have come to love living here, and want to live here permanently
  • I have now found a potential employer, but I understand I must not start working before receiving a valid work visa
  • So I have sent in my application for a work visa, and look forward to receiving the visa so that I can begin work, and remain in Hong Kong with my boyfriend

Readers, does that sound right? Any other suggestions?

Good luck with your application - and please write back to let us know what else you learn, and how it turns out.


Another reason...'s not just about starting work before getting a visa, it is also because it is prohibited (not sure of legal ramifications though) to come to HK to look for work 'on-spec', without some sort of valid permit (Permanent Residency, dependant visa etc).

However, I think the points MrB makes are useful and I used some similar wording when transferring my tourist stamp to a dependant visa - okay, not quite the same situation as yours but I still had to give them some justification.

Best of luck