Application for Perm. Residency in HK affected by working in the mainland?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    18

    Application for Perm. Residency in HK affected by working in the mainland?

    Hi,

    I have a question about the Immigration Department's views of being "ordinarily resident in HK." I'm an American working for an HK company in HK, and I'm coming up on 7 years, so I was looking into applying for permanent residence. I was looking at the form "Declaration of having taken Hong Kong as Place of Permanent Residence" at:
    http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hksarvepid_1f.htm

    My worry is that I don't really fill some of those conditions (like my home being in HK) anymore. 3 years ago, I moved to Shenzhen with my wife and son (also Americans) so that I could be closer to my employer's mainland factories, where I have to go very often. I made that decision cuz I was getting very stressed by the commute which meant I never got to see my family (sometimes, my employer only told me the night before that I had to go to Guangzhou or Jiangmen the next morning at 8:30AM for a series of meetings and negotiations which would last at least 3 days, so I either left that night for three days or woke up to leave in the ridiculously early morning and came back late at night for 3 nights, on and on throughout the year), so at the time, I didn't really give much thought to the residency implications.

    I still have HK employment visa (and the family has dependent visas and HKID cards). I go back to HK to my employer's HK office fairly often (some weeks, every day, other weeks, not at all). Yeah, it's inconvenient going through immigration and getting my passport stamped, but it's a lot better than my situation beforehand. My family also comes to Hong Kong maybe 3 or 4 times a month. So we've never been absent from HK for more than 6 months at a time, but it's fairly obvious just by looking at our passports that they don't really live in HK, and nor do I (virtually all of my entry stamps are followed by exit stamps on the same day or the next day). I still rent a small apartment in HK (which the Inland Revenue Department thinks of as my main address), but in reality, my home is the house we bought in Shenzhen, and Inland Revenue also knows that these days the majority of my working days are spent in the mainland and not HK (reflected on my tax returns when I applied for income to be exempt from HK salaries tax cuz I already paid mainland tax on it).

    So is it possible that my application for Permanent Resident status (and later, my wife's application --- she's only been here 4 years, and her connection to HK is even more tenuous than mine cuz she doesn't work) would be jeopardized, or am I just worrying needlessly?


  2. #2
    fly
    fly is offline

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    473

    I can't really answer your question, but what is the worst that can happen if your application is turned down? Your employer's work visa (and your wife's dependent visa) will still remain valid, right?


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    18

    Yeah, but it's just the principle of the thing --- it would be nice to never have to deal with HK immigration again. (Of course, that still leaves me with the mainland public security bureau ... stuck with them for life.)

    Also, people at my office are starting to wonder if our company's gonna survive another year. I'm cautiously optimistic but I want to take a look at my options.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    174
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyQ
    Hi,

    I have a question about the Immigration Department's views of being "ordinarily resident in HK." I'm an American working for an HK company in HK, and I'm coming up on 7 years, so I was looking into applying for permanent residence. I was looking at the form "Declaration of having taken Hong Kong as Place of Permanent Residence" at:
    http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hksarvepid_1f.htm

    My worry is that I don't really fill some of those conditions (like my home being in HK) anymore. 3 years ago, I moved to Shenzhen with my wife and son (also Americans) so that I could be closer to my employer's mainland factories, where I have to go very often. I made that decision cuz I was getting very stressed by the commute which meant I never got to see my family (sometimes, my employer only told me the night before that I had to go to Guangzhou or Jiangmen the next morning at 8:30AM for a series of meetings and negotiations which would last at least 3 days, so I either left that night for three days or woke up to leave in the ridiculously early morning and came back late at night for 3 nights, on and on throughout the year), so at the time, I didn't really give much thought to the residency implications.

    I still have HK employment visa (and the family has dependent visas and HKID cards). I go back to HK to my employer's HK office fairly often (some weeks, every day, other weeks, not at all). Yeah, it's inconvenient going through immigration and getting my passport stamped, but it's a lot better than my situation beforehand. My family also comes to Hong Kong maybe 3 or 4 times a month. So we've never been absent from HK for more than 6 months at a time, but it's fairly obvious just by looking at our passports that they don't really live in HK, and nor do I (virtually all of my entry stamps are followed by exit stamps on the same day or the next day). I still rent a small apartment in HK (which the Inland Revenue Department thinks of as my main address), but in reality, my home is the house we bought in Shenzhen, and Inland Revenue also knows that these days the majority of my working days are spent in the mainland and not HK (reflected on my tax returns when I applied for income to be exempt from HK salaries tax cuz I already paid mainland tax on it).

    So is it possible that my application for Permanent Resident status (and later, my wife's application --- she's only been here 4 years, and her connection to HK is even more tenuous than mine cuz she doesn't work) would be jeopardized, or am I just worrying needlessly?

    You need to find out how many days you did spend in HK every year for the last 7 years (9 months out of 12 IIRC). There is a minimum number of days per years you need. If you have the number of days you should be OK. Having a residence here and paying your taxes here are what you need to get your permanent residency here. Travelling a lot is not an issue. Foreign flying attendant do have to be away from HK a lot and they can still get a permanent ID card AFAIK.

    Good Luck.