Hong Kong Expats
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What to Do When You Lose Your Job in Hong Kong

Losing a job is never a pleasant experience to be in and when you are in Hong Kong with a work visa there are all the more concerns. Now, if you’re worried that you’ll be kicked out of Hong Kong right away then you need to relax, for the moment at least. There is a procedure in which everything pans out. Here’s how.

When your current employment visa was first issued or last extended, the Hong Kong Immigration Department was satisfied on the documents supplied to it that:

  • You possess special skills or knowledge in relation to the job that is not readily available in Hong Kong
  • Your employer is satisfied with your services as a foreign national
  • Your employer is the suitable sponsor who is responsible for your stay in Hong Kong

These were the outlines of the terms which you secured a stay in Hong Kong while your employment lasted. As a foreign national you do not enjoy any rights in Hong Kong unless you get the Right of Abode which is after you become permanent residents. Before that, the work visa grants you only two privileges:

  • The privilege to do a job
  • The privilege to reside

The privilege to reside comes automatically comes with the privilege to work. If you have the latter you automatically have the former. But once you lose the job then there comes a distinction in between. So here is what happens once your job with your current employer ends

  • You have the privilege to reside till the current stay limits, after which you must leave Hong Kong unless you found a suitable job and employer willing and capable to sponsor your new working visa.
  • The privilege to reside gets you the ability to look for an alternate employer or make preparations to start a business. However both these options must be reinstated by the Director of Immigration.
  • You also need to make an application to the Immigration Department to change the employer visa by either changing it or joining in the new business. So you will have to get a new sponsor who will pick up from where your last employer left off.

You also get an extension of 12 months in your stay. The family members holding a dependent visa go along with you. Your spouse’s work visa, if he/ she has one, remains unaffected.

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