Our client was a French national with a wife and 5 year-old daughter – all of them, French citizens.
He had first showed up in Hong Kong in 2004 as a college student to do an MBA system at the College of Hong Kong.
Upon graduating in 2006, he became a member of a Western investment bank where he worked well constantly till 2010 when he was created redundant within the banking challenges related to the GFC.
At the time he instructed us, he had an work visa subsidized by his ex-employing investment financial institution having a 2 year period of stay endorsed within his passport, getting him up just lacking the entire 7 year time frame for that purpose of a software for the best of Abode.
In 2010, with the chances of him gaining further employment within the investment banking game unlikely in the near term, our client made a decision to start up a French wine importing business – but failed to submit an application for an adjustment in his Hong Kong Immigration Consultant to allow him in order to do this. He really needed an investment visa but had never bothered to obtain one.
Since the duration of stay availed from the investment bank expired 6 weeks before he might have been continuously resident for your 7 years necessary for the right of Abode application, he decided that he would take him family away from Hong Kong during the time his employment visa expired and bring every one of them way back in as visitors, gaining a 90 day time of stay whenever they entered, waited about 6 weeks, then submitted an application for the Right of Abode.
This was in 2011, 2 weeks before he requested our help.
At the time of his application, he didn’t realise which you can’t apply for the best of Abode if you have a visitor visa. You have to be ‘resident’ at the time you are applying. Instead he along with his family were ‘visiting’. The Hong Kong Immigration Department knocked back his application for permanent residency about this ground and so he found his approach to us.
The key issues in this particular application were:
1 – the actual fact of his visitor visa status during the time he applied for the best of Abode.
2 – the 11 months he have been working his French wine import business, unapproved through the Hong Kong Immigration authorities.
3 – being a prior student from HKU he could take advantage as a ‘returning graduate’ and become afforded ‘positive consideration’ for just about any application which he might make in order to use up a brand new job in Hong Kong (in which he’d need a deal of employment from the suitably qualified sponsor).
Coincidentally, just after our client approached us for advice, an ex-colleague of his from the investment bank where he had worked for 4 years previously, asked him ahead and consult with an energy project within the Philippines.
This ex-colleague had, three years prior, provided consulting services through his own, newly established one-man company and had turned over HKD10 million in consulting fees within the first 18 months. However, the project had come to a short-term halt, as these things often do, as certain government approvals processes played themselves out.
The project has been doing a temporary hiatus but had, only recently, been reactivated in light of the Philippines government providing whatever consents was necessary for it to progress to another phase.
Consequently, and somewhat from the blue, our client received a proposal of employment from his ex-colleague for him to aid him over the following phase of the energy project.
It was good news around the one hand, but on the other, the employing business was still significantly a ‘brass plaque’ consulting concern that have been effectively dormant for the past eighteen months.
On the plus side, it had a strong balance sheet as well as had a receipt from your Hong Kong Inland Revenue for more than HKD1 million it had paid in profits tax the entire year before. Additionally, it enjoyed a formal notification from the sole client that the energy project was now recommencing and so was manifestly ready to re-participate in providing services again.
We advised our client that this might be a heaven sent chance of us to secure an employment visa for him (with dependent visas for his wife and daughter) counting on the relaxed application consideration criteria in which the Immigration Consultant afford to non local graduates of Hong Kong Universities.
We did, alternatively, counsel that because the sponsoring employer was basically still a shell of the operation, there could be some tussling with all the Immigration Department to persuade them of their bona fides being a quality employment visa sponsor.
As expected, we locked horns with all the Department about the quality of the sponsor along with several exchanges together each time providing all of them with additional information, evidence of the best prospects for your business and the critical role our client was going to be playing in its operations.
Finally, we suggested towards the HKID they approve our client’s employment visa susceptible to Business Review after twelve months, a not unusual proposition, but suitable inside the circumstances. The Hong Kong Immigration Department agreed and our client and his awesome family’s applications were duly approved susceptible to this disorder.
Since the strategy all along had been to offer our client having a residence visa for your purposes of his Right of Abode application, the simple fact with this Business Review was ultimately unimportant since it would only come into yqjfbx if our client requested an extension to his new employment visa 12 months later on.
In fact, sixty days after that, their Right of Abode applications were approved and so Business Review was never an issue. The really fantastic news is that this client has become providing consulting services towards the energy project AND running his French wine importing business quite lawfully being a permanent resident.