Hong Kong and Macau - Visa issues for Americans on medium term stay?
Dec 30, 11, 11:38 pm
My girlfriend and I (both US citizens, US born) are looking to move to HK for a while. I'm a mobile worker and can work anywhere, and she's just out of college, a year before law school.
Does anyone have any familiarity with the Visa situation? In an ideal world, I'd be in a situation where I'd be allowed to rent a place, open up a bank account; and ideally; she'd like to work in HK. We have some business connections in Hong Kong if it's an issue of some sort of invitation or form being filled out; but I'm pretty new to this. I'm going to research visa types tomorrow as well as the various expat forums; but it'd be great to get the personal experiences from anyone who has some ideas...
Dec 31, 11, 9:00 am
There are a number of ex-pat forum with info, tips & advice for those planning to return or resettle in this former British colony now reverted back to China, including jobs, housing & other ideas not usually of concerns to the casual visitors for FT's - here's one link:
Noticed your 2nd. related posts - you will likely get more info with these (google it) forums. Good Luck or planning for such a move .... (not trying to discourage you, it's not easy as it sound, and without the proper visa stamp and/or residency status, i.e. HKID card, you have challenges ahead for the New Year.
Dec 31, 11, 1:42 pm
As Letitride3c wrote, it's not as easy as just saying "let's move to HK for a while" and then moving.
Seeing that it seems that you and your girlfriend don't have the right to live in Hong Kong right now, you two only have three options if you want to live there.
(1) You can visit as a tourist. The US has a 90 day limit that you can visit Hong Kong. However, you cannot work, if you try to extend your visitor visa multiple times, you may get stopped and refused entry.
(2) You get an employment visa. The company that hires you would need to prove to the government that they need to hire you because they cannot fill in the same position with local talent.
(3) You have $10 million HKD to invest in Hong Kong. The government will give you an investment visa which would allow you to stay.
As well, because you and your girlfriend are unmarried, both will need separate visas in order to "live" in Hong Kong. Hong Kong does not recognize any relationships other than marriage.
As for renting an apartment and opening a bank account, you pretty much need an HKID, which again requires proper permission to live in Hong Kong.
So as Letitride3c wrote, the best thing is to read up both what the Hong Kong Government has written on their Immigration Department website as well as what others have written on GeoExpat. However, from reading your post(s), it's not going to be an easy process for you to "move" to Hong Kong.