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Moving to Hong Kong and start working as a `consultant on freelance basis` before My work visa got approve?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Moving to Hong Kong and start working as a `consultant on freelance basis` before My work visa got approve?

    Hi guys!

    I got a job from a Hong Kong company who is hiring an expat regularly (this is what they said). And they already start my work visa process for like a week ago.

    So the company want me to be there on the middle of next month (around 5th week for the work visa progress) and start working before in terms of `consultant on freelance basis` until my work visa is approved.I just a little worries that, is this might be the problem that i start working even in term of `freelance` before i got an actual `work visa`?

    Or this is a normal basis for the expat who is relocating to Hong Kong?

    Thanks!

    Last edited by manjarb; 15-11-2017 at 01:07 PM. Reason: update details

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Wanchai
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    It's illegal but it's a risk based decision for you to take.

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hong Kong
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    It's common, as companies want staff to start urgently usually after they've made a decision.

    It's also illegal, if you get caught, it's trouble.

    The freelance agreement that your company is referring to is to give the illusion that it's ok--but still illegal.

    If some employees are jealous or you rub them the wrong way--easy for someone to report you.

    Do you want to take the risk? Better to do some meetings at Starbucks and work remotely first to limit time in the office until your visa is approved.

    Also is it a big company with experience getting visas? What happens if your application is declined?

    manjarb likes this.

  4. #4

    As this is not legal, most reputable employers would not ask you to do this. It's not like work visa processing time normally takes all that long in Hong Kong. I wouldn't personally do it, as it can result in you being asked to leave or not being granted your visa if you are found out, but as Trebor said, it's your decision.

    Depending on the nature of your role (salary, skill set etc) you might find the visa has come through by then. Mine only took 3 weeks and most are through within 6.

    Don't forget that you will need to leave Hong Kong (even if just to Macau) to activate a work visa.

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  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    804

    I know my husband’s former colleague did this as an ‘independent contractor’ till his visa came through, he was sure it would be approved so no risk there. Plus he worked from home, traveled mostly and made sure he conducted no business ‘in or through’ Hong Kong. So it depends if it’s feasible for you in your line of work to construct a similar set up, else don’t do it!

    Last edited by Mrs. Jones; 15-11-2017 at 01:59 PM. Reason: typo
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  6. #6

    Its illegal, however, to your advantage you will get the feel of the company. Also, you have to exit to Macao and enter Hkg with your visa sticker. They will not allow change from tourist to working visa status. Another problem is if the Hk Immig finds out that you are here during the visa processing. Thats a sure goodbye to your visa for at least 7 years.

    manjarb likes this.

  7. #7

    That's illegal....

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  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    162

    Are they paying for your relocation and do you have a repatriation/relocation clause in your contract? You can freelance from your home country. I personally would not move until I had a copy of the approval letter.

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  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    A visitor can engage in the following business related activities:
    a) concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
    b) examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;
    c) participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths),
    d) settling compensation or other civil proceedings;
    e) participating in product orientation; and
    f) attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.

    So my interpretation is that you can do a business deal and meet with people but not much else beyond that.

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  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by tf19:
    A visitor can engage in the following business related activities:
    a) concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
    b) examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;
    c) participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths),
    d) settling compensation or other civil proceedings;
    e) participating in product orientation; and
    f) attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.

    So my interpretation is that you can do a business deal and meet with people but not much else beyond that.
    Precisely what the former colleague did I believe while he was still on a visitor’s visa here. So yes, there are a few loopholes.
    manjarb likes this.

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