Coronavirus – Impact on Hong Kong Immigration

To tie in with the HKSAR government’s announcement, except for staff of departments providing emergency services and essential public services, all other employees of the Government are not required to return to the office but work from home after the Lunar New Year holidays. There will be an adjustment made to Immigration Department’s public service from January 29 to February 9.

Who will be affected?

Immigration Department will not accept new applications, change of sponsor, non-urgent application of extension of stay, Hong Kong Identification Cards appointments and collection of approved visa during the said period. Please note the period could be extended pending Government assessment.

For visa’s which are expiring during this period, the Immigration Department is still accepting applications.

Background

Due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, this is one of 7 measurements of containment that the HKSAR Government has implemented along with closure of 2 China Cross border checkpoints, reduce flights from China, closure of cross border rail connections and suspension of Cross border ferries.

Impact

New applications change of sponsor, non-urgent application of extension of stay, will be delayed as applications are not accepted. The knock-on affect would also be a backlog of existing applications and a large number of new applications once the Immigration Department reopens needs processing and thus delaying assignment start dates. Applications where the visa have been approved, and we are unable to collect, thereby impacting the assignment start dates.

Santa Fe Analysis

We will continue to monitor the situation. We will prepare all applications as per normal. Once Immigration resume normal service we will make the submission immediately. We however expect the visa application process could be extended to 5-6 weeks due to backlog of applications.

For any urgent applications Santa Fe will assist in requesting the application to the processed quicker however this request may be rejected by the Immigration Department.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Jason Li
Relocation and Immigration Manager – Hong Kong & Taiwan
Santa Fe Relocation
Hong Kong
D: +852 2833 2526
E: Jason.Li@santaferelo.com

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
London, UK
D: +44 7990 021125
E: Robert.Day@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

About our Immigration Services

Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

 

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