Like Tree14Likes

Moving to Hong Kong in Jan 2014

Closed Thread
Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
  1. #31

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,821

    Indeed - I can quote a counter example of a (white British) woman here with her bf who left HK for the first time after about 4 months for a weekend in Macau, and was taken aside by Immigration when she reentered and given the "small room interrogation" as they went through her wallet looking for evidence (such as local bank cards) that she was indeed living here. Not finding any they made it very clear that they suspected she was and that she was being "watched".

    Some people get away with living here as illegal immigrants for years, and some get caught within a few months. Being an illegal immigrant is a risk anywhere - up to you whetehr you wish to take that risk, but it would be wise to have a Plan B to cover either being refused re-entry or being told "you have a 14 day visa to sort out your affairs, after that don't come back for at least 6 months" (I know at least one (white, British) person that has happened to).


  2. #32

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruntfuttock:
    Indeed - I can quote a counter example of a (white British) woman here with her bf who left HK for the first time after about 4 months for a weekend in Macau, and was taken aside by Immigration when she reentered and given the "small room interrogation" as they went through her wallet looking for evidence (such as local bank cards) that she was indeed living here. Not finding any they made it very clear that they suspected she was and that she was being "watched".

    Some people get away with living here as illegal immigrants for years, and some get caught within a few months. Being an illegal immigrant is a risk anywhere - up to you whetehr you wish to take that risk, but it would be wise to have a Plan B to cover either being refused re-entry or being told "you have a 14 day visa to sort out your affairs, after that don't come back for at least 6 months" (I know at least one (white, British) person that has happened to).
    good point. We did consciously avoid Macau because we thought it would look more like a visa run. Each time we left it was for 5 -14 days and we flew.

    <edit>I think we did one 3 day trip too.

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6,581

    Errm... I'm kind of glad you're getting a taste of your own country's medicine. Had the opposite experience of wanting to join my boyfriend in the UK and it was HELL, even though I had a lot of things going for me.
    What makes you assume your girlfriend will get a place for a PhD? Even if she does, university isn't exactly free. Doing a PhD is a very hard, long commitment, and it's important to work with the right people. Has she even contacted or arranged an adviser? It's not so straight forward here in HK.
    If you do have a company arranging visas, then I would highly recommend you just get the marriage certificate and be done with it. And if you're not committed enough to your girlfriend to make the commitment of getting this piece of paper that makes life easier, then I think you (or more so the girlfriend) should seriously consider if it's worth it to her to make the commitment to come here with you. She will not be able to get out of the relationship if she is here as a PhD student -- she simply won't have the money to live on her own and will be financially dependent on you. She will have to potentially work with a research group/adviser that has a different way than British professors, which some Westerns find very difficult to work with. So if she ever wanted to quit her PhD or quit the relationship, she's going to have a very, very difficult time.
    It sounds like you need some backup plans!


  4. #34

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by boroboy:
    good point. We did consciously avoid Macau because we thought it would look more like a visa run. Each time we left it was for 5 -14 days and we flew.

    <edit>I think we did one 3 day trip too.
    Thats what enter grunt means. While a lot of what he posts is drivel. Immigration stuff is his expertise.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using GeoClicks mobile app

  5. #35

    All very helpful guidance Elegiaque....and I can truly understand your sentiment with regards UK immigration, my limited experience with them hasn't always been positive. I'm not of the belief that one marries for a visa though...we may marry in time but it'll be for the right reasons. Sometimes timing just isn't right. Lots to think about and plan between now and the move and all the immigration advice is much appreciated. I've lived in Brazil, Angola and Qatar to name but a few so there's no danger of me envisaging any relocation to be simple. ps - still holding out for anyone to give me advice on the best amateur rugby clubs for expats.

    Fiona in HKG likes this.

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Wrong side of the door to hell
    Posts
    6,079
    Quote Originally Posted by Maslowmarc:
    . ps - still holding out for anyone to give me advice on the best amateur rugby clubs for expats.
    there is the Happy Valley Club - http://www.valleyrfc.com/ Quite social I believe.

    Or if you have a bit of spare dosh and you like a better class of rugby lout there is https://www.hkfc.com.hk/sports/rugby-section

  7. #37

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6,581
    Quote Originally Posted by Maslowmarc:
    All very helpful guidance Elegiaque....and I can truly understand your sentiment with regards UK immigration, my limited experience with them hasn't always been positive. I'm not of the belief that one marries for a visa though...we may marry in time but it'll be for the right reasons. Sometimes timing just isn't right. Lots to think about and plan between now and the move and all the immigration advice is much appreciated. I've lived in Brazil, Angola and Qatar to name but a few so there's no danger of me envisaging any relocation to be simple.
    Well, in my mind it isn't actually marriage, it is simply a bureaucratic formality that provides a stepping stone to stay together to then see where the future lies. It isn't public, it isn't something your family needs to know about, and it's not a public statement saying you're committed to each other for life. You can decide later if that's the right thing for your relationship and have a true wedding/marriage. I know the HK community is far more welcoming for expats than London, but even so, it made a world of difference for me to have that formality taken care of so I was immediately able to continue/start my life in HK.
    If your gf is 24, then that's still a very independent age. And she is going for a very risky option in which she would have few options out (unless she's independently wealthy?). If she has an opportunity to do a PhD in the UK, then that would have more value than a PhD from HK. Three years for a PhD is a long time, and she would find it very difficult to live on her own here on a student stipend, even with good work on the side. So she's putting herself in this dependent position for the next 3 years of her life with someone who is not willing to marry her (or she's not willing to marry) for the purpose of a visa.
    One of the kind things my partner did for me is guarantee me the financial assistance for me to go back (from London) should things not work out. I can imagine something similar might be a good backup in this case, too... One of the other kind things he did for me was agree to take care of this formality so that we could continue our relationship and have the chance to see later if we wanted to be committed for life.
    In any case, I'm speaking from a lot of experience having been down some very similar roads. And I'm not sure I would go down them again if given another chance -- so I hope your girlfriend is seriously considering the position she's putting herself in.
    Maybe have a look at this thread: http://hongkong.geoexpat.com/forum/52/thread812.html
    kimwy66 and z754103 like this.

  8. #38

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DB
    Posts
    3,699

    I once was faced with the marry or leave option for my partner and I (as a PR). Not a route I would have considered. If a couple isn't ready to take that step (and all that comes with it), forcing the situation for a visa is a pretty dramatic step, in my mind. The dissolution of "simply a bureaucratic formality" can be very costly.

    There is of course the prenup but they aren't always as binding as we may think.

    To wit Hong Kong:

    HONG KONG
    It is unclear to what extent prenuptial agreements are effective under Hong Kong law. Section 7 of Hong Kong’s Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (“MPPO”) sets forth the relevant factors to be considered by a court in resolving the financial issues between divorcing spouses, These factors do not include an agreement between the parties. Certainly prenuptial agreements in Hong Kong are not required to be enforced but if both parties were represented by counsel when they were signed, and if the documents were signed long before the actual wedding date, they may then be of significant evidentiary significance.

    Other places look more accepting but could still be challenged.

    From : http://www.international-divorce.com..._the_world.htm


  9. #39

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,454

    Elegiaque- if they marry and it doesn't work out, the gf is no better off than if she had a study visa.

    Her dependent visa would expire unless the op would continue to sponsor her, so she would still be reliant on him and she'd still have to give up her studies and get a job if she wished to stay or move back to the uk.

    plus the hassle and possible expense of a divorce- which takes a long time to sort out.


  10. #40

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6,581
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona in HKG:
    I once was faced with the marry or leave option for my partner and I (as a PR). Not a route I would have considered. If a couple isn't ready to take that step (and all that comes with it), forcing the situation for a visa is a pretty dramatic step, in my mind. The dissolution of "simply a bureaucratic formality" can be very costly.
    Well, ending a long relationship because of an inability to be in the same country together would have been for me even more drastic. But I know that's quite personal. I guess it depends on the maturity of the people and the trust they have in each other not to pull out a legal, financial battle in the future for getting the "bureaucratic formality" taken care of for a formal divorce (if that is necessary). It does have it's risks too and they could be quite costly depending on the individuals. Prenups are indeed unreliable legally, I found out.
    In any case, I think it's highly inadvisable for a 24 year old to give up her life in the UK, go to a far-off, foreign country to pursue a PhD (different academic environment, with potentially very little support) while being completely financially dependent on a boyfriend. Hong Kong is not at all friendly when it comes to financial independence.
    Even if he offers her financial assistance, what happens if she likes her life in HK or is settled here but finds it's time to move on from the boyfriend? She can't unless she can get a job making a comfortable salary that will support her for a visa. So again, the situation would stay sticky for a long time...
    Really, I'm speaking from a lot of experience.