Application Forms & Case Management for a Hong Kong Work Visa
When making an application for a Hong Kong work visa, Immigration Department form ID91 is used for applications made in Hong Kong for change of status, change of employer, change of category and all applications to extend a visitor or residence visa or otherwise as part of an application for unconditional stay. The application form itself is fairly straightforward with only five sections requiring specific commentary and these are page details confirmation, personal particulars, particulars of sponsor if applicable, arrangements for children who are included in the application, and the applicant’s declaration.
Page 1 of the ID91form is relatively straightforward in a Hong Kong work visa situation. However, your attention is drawn to the last section of the page where if you have downloaded or photocopied the form, you are required to sign and date the section to affirm that the contents are correct, complete and true.
The personal particulars section on page 2 of the ID91 form is also quite straightforward to complete, requiring all of the provisional information which you can find inside your passport. In this section “proposed the extension of stay until”, you should indicate the timeframe you are seeking in an extension to. If you do not have a specific future date in mind. for example your employment contract for your Hong Kong working visa is for indefinite term or you are applying for unconditional stay, you can simply write “at your discretion.”
If your application is supported by an accompanying communication which you have crafted using the Hong Kong Visa Handbook templates, you should write “please refer to the accompanying letter” in this section which ask for full reasons and documentary evidence.
The sponsor section should be completed correctly taking in to account of the type of visa in question; and once the section carries the heading “if applicable”, there is always a sponsor if the application relates student visa and Hong Kong working visa of any kind, a business investment visa or a dependent visa.
If you have children included in your passport and those children are to form parts of your application on form ID91, the details of those included offsprings should be added here. However, if your children are travelling on the strength of their own passport, a separate form ID91 should be completed in full for each child separately.
Arguably, the most important section on the ID91 form is the applicant’s declaration without which the application cannot proceed. In the case of children under 16 who each completed form ID91 in respect to their own passports, the parents or legal guardian may sign this declaration on their behalf with the accompanying moniker by father, by mother or by legal guardian, whatever the case may be.
Some additional points to note in relation to the Hong Kong work visa document list.
Please ensure that you have all of your graduation certificates, proof of academic qualifications, and testimonials and references on hand from your previous employment. Naturally enough it’s these documents that would substantiate what you claim on your CV and serve to support the special skills, knowledge and experience element of the approvability test for your Hong Kong working visa.
Moreover, private companies are often reluctant to disclose confidential financial information to their perspective employees. So, this can be contained in a sealed envelope to address to the Hong Kong Director of Immigration and included as part of the Hong Kong working visa application bundle or indeed mailed in separately once the file reference number has been allocated post application submission.
All told, in providing supporting information in relation to the bona fides of the sponsoring company, the trick is to be able to educate the Immigration Department as to the merits and activities of the sponsoring employer as much as it is providing in detail the special skills, knowledge and experience of the applicant and how they are going to be applied to the context of the job in hand.
This needs to be documented so the more information you can provide on the business itself, the better. This could extend to printing out a copy of the website so as to create a permanent documentary record and the equivalence of a company brochure. If the sponsoring entity is relatively new, be prepared to have the Immigration Department assess in a detailed way the merits of the sponsor as much as the merits of the applicant himself as a key aspect of the Hong Kong working visa application.
New company situations are looked at very closely in Hong Kong working visa applications and great care needs to be taken in successfully arguing two sides of the same coin. If the applicant is to replace a previous employee, care must be taken to ensure there is a like-for-like argument promulgated. This can be tricky. If an expat is replacing a local or replacement has a different educational background or has a substantially different pedigree, in these cases emphasis has to be placed on how the role has changed since the first appointment of the outgoing employee and how the new candidate fits the bill perfectly. In this situation, additional documentary evidence should be submitted to support these contentions. The key document which must be submitted along with each of those details on this list is the cover letter addressed to the Director of Immigration setting out how your case satisfies the Hong Kong working visa approvability test in its entirety.