It went downhill around 2016 - 2017, at least that's my experience.
Interested as to why you feel it went down hill then. We arrived in 2017 and had a great couple of years up til the 2019 protests (although that didn't really affect us much). For us only the first months of the pandemic affected us, then we left.
I expect poster and myself will always be able to get a visa. I can't imagine ever being denied. If there is some political reason blocking my visa application I'd also expect my PR to be cancelled anyway.
My wife flies out this week.
Expectations have a habit of changing.
I’ve been in HK nearly 1/4 century- so it’ll be time for me to leave soon.
But in that time, I’ve seen many people come and go, and come back again and go again, and come back again…
Humans have a tendency to lack foresight and change intentions. 20 years ago, did you have any intention of living in the country you are now?
On top of this, PR application is dead easy and free. Work visa is much harder, need employer letter, pay $200 or so, do every 3 years. To get PR, just show your HKID, passport, and last 7 years of visa stickers in the passport (might need to show your old expired passport for that). Thats it, done. Get a new ID card with the word "permanent" on it. A nice souvenir before you bugger off and never come back again (but still collect $10k in handouts and $5k in consumption vouchers for the next few years if you've got a friend in HK who can buy an octopus for you and beep it on those machine thingys in the MTR ).
I am only saying that it is a very strange thing to deny yourself PR status which doesn't come at the cost of a loss of citizenship, it gives you more options in life potentially if for some reason some opportunity comes by in future.
If you are not actually here when they distribute free money you don't get anything. And the money is finished, thanks to Carrie Lam's management.
My sister has not missed one bit of money despite not being here. There's no harm in getting PR. I'm still struggling to understand what is the downside. There may not be huge forseeable upside for some but there's no downside. It's not like you have to renounce anything for it.