Our customer was a French national with a wife and 5 year-old daughter – all of them, French citizens.
He experienced initially showed up in Hong Kong in 2004 as being a student to do an MBA programme on the College of Hong Kong.
Upon graduation in 2006, he joined a European purchase bank in which he worked well continuously until 2010 when he was developed redundant within the financial challenges related to the GFC.
At the time he directed us, he had an work visa sponsored by his ex-using investment financial institution using a 2 calendar year duration of remain endorsed inside his passport, taking him up just lacking the whole 7 calendar year period of time for that purposes of an application for the Right of Abode.
During 2010, with the likelihood of him gaining further employment inside the investment banking game unlikely within the near term, our client made a decision to start up a French wine importing business – but failed to make an application for an adjustment within his Hong Kong Immigration Consultant to enable him in order to accomplish this. He really needed a smart investment visa but had never bothered to have one.
Because the duration of stay availed from the investment bank expired 6 weeks before he would have been continuously resident for your 7 years necessary for a Right of Abode application, he decided he would take him family away from Hong Kong at the time his employment visa expired and bring all of them in as visitors, gaining a 90 day duration of stay whenever they entered, waited about 6 weeks, then submitted a software for the ideal of Abode.
It was in 2011, 2 weeks before he asked for our help.
During the time of his application, he didn’t realise that you can’t apply for the Right of Abode in case you have visitors visa. You have to be ‘resident’ at that time you apply. Instead he and his family were ‘visiting’. The Hong Kong Immigration Department knocked back his application for permanent residency about this ground and so he found his method to us.
The key issues in this particular application were:
1 – the simple fact of his visitor visa status during the time he applied for the ideal of Abode.
2 – the 11 months he had been working his French wine import business, unapproved by the Hong Kong Immigration authorities.
3 – being a prior student from HKU he could take advantage being a ‘returning graduate’ and be afforded ‘positive consideration’ for virtually any application which he might make so that you can use up a whole new job in Hong Kong (in which he’d need an offer of employment from a suitably qualified sponsor).
Coincidentally, just after our client approached us for advice, an ex-colleague of his through the investment bank where he had worked for four years previously, asked him to come and consult with an energy project in the Philippines.
This ex-colleague had, three years prior, provided consulting services through his very own, newly established one-man company and had turned over HKD10 million in consulting fees within the first eighteen months. However, the project had visit a short-term halt, because these things often do, as certain government approvals processes played themselves out.
The project has been around a temporary hiatus but had, recently, been reactivated in light of the Philippines government providing whatever consents had been required for it to succeed to another phase.
Consequently, and somewhat out of the blue, our client received a deal of employment from his ex-colleague for him to help him in the next phase from the energy project.
This was good news in the one hand, but on the other, the employing business was still very much a ‘brass plaque’ consulting concern that had been effectively dormant for the past eighteen months.
On the plus side, it enjoyed a strong balance sheet as well as enjoyed a receipt through the Hong Kong Inland Revenue for more than HKD1 million it had paid in profits tax the season before. In addition, it enjoyed a formal notification from the sole client that the energy project was now recommencing and thus was manifestly ready to re-participate in providing services once more.
We advised our client that this could be a heaven sent opportunity for us to secure an employment visa for him (with dependent visas for his wife and daughter) counting on the relaxed application consideration criteria which the Hong Kong Visa Consultant manage to non local graduates of Hong Kong Universities.
We did, on the other hand, counsel that because the sponsoring employer was virtually still a shell of the operation, there will be some tussling with all the Immigration Department to persuade them of the bona fides as being a quality employment visa sponsor.
As expected, we locked horns using the Department about the caliber of the sponsor and had several exchanges along with them each time providing these with more details, proof of the best prospects for your business and also the critical role our client would be playing in its operations.
Finally, we suggested for the HKID which they approve our client’s employment visa subject to Business Review at the conclusion of 12 months, a not unusual proposition, but suitable in the circumstances. The Hong Kong Immigration Department agreed and our client along with his family’s applications were duly approved subjected to this problem.
As the strategy all along had been to supply our client with a residence visa for your purposes of his Right of Abode application, the fact of the Business Review was ultimately unimportant because it would only enter into yqjfbx if our client requested an extension to his new employment visa twelve months down the road.
In fact, 2 months following this, their Right of Abode applications were approved and so Business Review was never a concern. The really good news is that this client is now providing consulting services to the energy project AND running his French wine importing business quite lawfully as a permanent resident.