What is the change? Visa applicants in Hong Kong are experiencing delays as the Immigration Department is experiencing a rush of summertime applications.

What does the change mean? Applicants should file time-sensitive applications as early as possible. Applicants should be sure they have all required documentation prepared at least one day before their applications are submitted. They should expect processing delays through at least September.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment entry visas, employment visa renewals, employment visa (change of sponsorship) applications under GEP/ASMTP categories, transfers of endorsement and dependent visa renewals.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants should expect processing delays. Employment entry visa applications, for example, are expected to take six to eight weeks to process, rather than the usual four to six weeks.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to make adjustments to their timelines and start dates.

Background: The summer rush is expected to last until September. Applicants should be sure to have all supporting documentation prepared at least one day before their applications are submitted. Applicants or their representatives should arrive at the Immigration Department no later than 8:30 a.m. in order to secure a submission. Applicants who are missing documentation or arrive late at the Immigration Department risk having their applications further delayed.

BAL Analysis: Applicants are encouraged to prepare time-sensitive applications and supporting documentation as early as possible. BAL will assist applicants through the visa process and will continue to monitor any further change in the processing times.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Hong Kong. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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