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The Hong Kong Visa Topic


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Hi everyone,

 

So I collected all the documents required from my visa agent before I make the trip to Hong Kong.

 

I have everything that you have all said are required except for the invitation letter from my company. I have the invitation letter issued by the bureau of commerce and my agent says that this is sufficient.

 

Is there some kind of difference when applying with a company that isnt a school? Why would he say that this is not needed.

 

I asked him previously and he has said that he has never had any problems with getting Z visas before so I assume he knows what he is talking about.

 

Should I get this off him as well? Maybe bring my work contract or something?

 

Thanks!

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It just seems like less hassle/worry/stress/anxiety. Personally I hate going to government buildings with anything passport related as it's usually a pain at home never mind in China, where they can be a little less logical at times.

We have an Italian and a British passport. Currently working on a tourist visa and our employer has got us the Employment License and Invitation Letter for a work visa.

For the agency I only need these documents as well as my passport, photo, and arrival sticker. What more will I need to go through the embassy itself? I can't see a link to what documents I need for them.

If you've got the patience for it maybe saving a few pounds and using the embassy is the smart idea, but at the risk of a Chinese government official having a bad day and having to fork out for another night's accomodation/food/travel around the city. All for little extra, or so it seems to me.

Just got back from HK and we used Forever Bright agency. It was painless, real easy and most importantly successful.

We only needed the Employment License, Invitation Letter and the little square slip that you get upon entry to HK.

Just need to bring it to the local police station within the next 30 days to activate.

The trip's purpose turned ironic however, as I now desperately want to move to HK! Coming back to China is tough after that trip :lol:

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Hi everyone,

So I collected all the documents required from my visa agent before I make the trip to Hong Kong.

I have everything that you have all said are required except for the invitation letter from my company. I have the invitation letter issued by the bureau of commerce and my agent says that this is sufficient.

Is there some kind of difference when applying with a company that isnt a school? Why would he say that this is not needed.

I asked him previously and he has said that he has never had any problems with getting Z visas before so I assume he knows what he is talking about.

Should I get this off him as well? Maybe bring my work contract or something?

Thanks!

Jack, the easiest thing to do would be to send photos or scans of your documents to the agency via email and they'll tell you if they are sufficient or not.
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  • 2 weeks later...
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October 30, 2014

 

Nationality:

USA

 

Visa applied for:

1-year R visa

 

Visa received:

5-year R1 visa

 

Consulate or Agency:

Applied myself at the Office of the Commissioner in Hong Kong

 

Documents Provided:

1. Passport

2. Copy of passport information page

3. Passport Photos

4. Application Form

5. A letter/document approving my request from Ministry of Science and Technology  

6. A letter explaining my request for this Visa type and my plans for the coming years to live part time in China and part time in Singapore. 

7. Several Customer References from the consulting work I've done overseas from well known businesses 

8. Education Documents and CV Packet (including some written publications)

9. Health Insurance and Medical Check-up Documents

 

Reason for application:

Consultation Work and Temporary Residence in China

 

Previous Visa History:

1-Year S2 (2013) Visa issued in Singapore Visa Center (still active at the time of this issue) and F (2012) Visa issued at the Los Angeles Consulate 

 

Notes:

- I don't read or write Chinese very well so none of my documents were written in Chinese except for one reference letter of some large project I had helped out on designing for one of the larger Chinese State Owned Enterprise joint venture at in overseas location.

- The consulate took about a week to process the Visa (faster than I expected it to be done). According to them this is the first one they had ever issued but were very friendly about it. They kept my phone number while I stayed in HK to keep me updated on the progress as they were not sure long the visa processing would take. Luckily I have some friends in HK I can stay with (but I did have a second passport in case this became a prolonged event).

- I am not directly employed or applying to be by any one business in China.

- I am not a Hong Kong Identity Card holder. 

 

 

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Hess: Ooo an R-type visa. Very interesting!

 

But for now, I logged in to say I'm about to head to Hong Kong from Shanghai to apply for a Z visa. The information on this thread has been really useful for me, so I'll be sure to post my own experience in a few days once (hopefully!) I have a Z visa.

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November 4, 2014

 

Nationality:

British

 

Visa applied for:

Z visa (work)

 

Visa received:

Z visa

 

Consulate or Agency:

Applied myself at the Office of the Commissioner in Hong Kong

 

Documents Provided:

1. Passport

2. Copy of passport information page and copy of previous visa page

3. Passport Photo (1)

4. Application Form

5. Alien Employment Licence (I was given the original back, they took the copy)

6. Letter from Duly Authorized Unit in Shanghai, stating to apply for the visa in Hong Kong (they kept the original, I was given the copy back)

7. Degree certificate (copy) and copy of CV

8. Copy of employing company's business licence

9. The little 2x2 entry permit to Hong Kong. Don't lose it and do provide a copy as well, it's mandatory for all applications it seems!

 

I also submitted my offer letter from my employer in Shanghai (but this was not required, the lady handed it back) and a reference letter from my previous UK employer (I had it anyway so thought I might as well include it, but was surprised they kept this and not the offer letter from my Shanghai company).

 

Reason for application:

Working in China (for an IT company)

 

Previous Visa History:

45-day (I think) L visa for a business trip in 2011, 90-day, double entry L visa issued in London in August 2014.

 

Notes:

I came to Shanghai on a tourist visa (L) to study Mandarin and also look for work. I found a job and accepted the offer just after the October holiday. My company then applied for the correct documents from the government (in my case an Alien Employment Licence and a Letter from Duly Authorised Unit). I had already said I wanted to apply in Hong Kong, so my letter from the Duly Authorised Unit specifically states I will apply in Hong Kong SAR.

 

My Letter from Duly Authorised Unit (Shanghai, Pudong) had that as the first thing at the top. It states "You must apply in __<blank>__ (your own country) OR at the commissioner's office in __Hong Kong__ SAR." So they're obviously used to people going to Hong Kong, it's an explicit option on the letter!

 

The process:

 

I turned up to the visa centre on a Tuesday at 14:15 after taking the overnight train Shanghai --> Shenzhen. It was pretty easy to find the centre, although I couldn't quite work out where was best to cross the road, so I went the long way round the first time on walkways. Anyway, once you find the China Resource building, head down to ground level and you'll find the visa application area on West side of the building. It's pretty obvious, particularly at the time I was arriving. I think I counted 80-90(ish) people in the queue in front of me. We were all queuing to get through the security check to enter the building. Don't bring any food or drink with you, you'll have to leave it. They seemed pretty strict on this (although I didn't have any myself).

 

Once inside the building I went up to the 3rd floor with everyone else, and joined the queue for the 'initial inspection'. Someone quickly skimmed my application, noticed I'd missed off my home address, but was happy with everything else so I was given a ticket. I got my ticket at 14:40 so it didn't take too long to get into the building.

 

I completed the missing field on my application form (bring your own pen!) and then sat down to wait. I thought it would be a long wait, but it really wasn't. My number was called at 15:05 and I was out the door by 15:08 - it was really quick. I guess they were happy with everything I had provided, there were no questions so after a quick check I got my receipt and was told to come back the following day at 3pm. So, in total, less than an hour. Not bad at all I thought!

 

I went back the next day at about 4.30 to collect my passport, went straight to the Bank of China desk to pay (I paid 660 HKD, 360HKD application fee (UK reciprocal fee) and 300 HKD for the next day service). As others have noticed there is NO same-day service. Went to the next desk along with my receipt, got my passport back and that was that. Picking up my passport took about 5 minutes total.

 

All in all, a very simple experience. Also, it's a really fancy application centre! Plenty of space, nice and cool and not a bad place to hang around for a while. There are toilets there too, which even have a speaker in so you can keep track of the numbers being called.

 

Some advice:

 

 - There was a big queue for the photo machine, and also I think for the copying machine at some points. I would recommend to go fully prepared. If you come out of the metro exit A1 and immediately do a 180 degree U-turn, to your left you'll see a copy shop. They photocopied my Hong Kong arrival permit piece of paper for 1 HKD. Simple!

 

- There are photo booths in most of the MTR stations, just have a look for them. I paid 50 HKD for my photos. I chose the default size of photo, which when I got them looked massive - but the Application Centre seemed happy with them, so I don't think it matters too much.

 

- There are some building works going on around the application centre - but don't worry, it's still easy to find, and there are plenty of people around to ask if you get really stuck!

 

- Take as much extra documentation as you think may be useful - you never know what might be required and you'll feel a lot better for having a folder full of everything in duplicate :) The applicants there who looked stressed and were having some problems seemed to be the people who were least prepared and were applying for tourist visas (with no invitation letters, no travel bookings, no photocpies etc...), so do your homework and hopefully it'll be a smooth process.

 

Finally, thanks to everyone else who shared their experiences before me, a couple of things I would never have known and it was nice to feel fully prepared.

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  • 1 month later...
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December 1, 2014

 

Nationality:

German

 

Visa applied for:

Z visa (work)

 

Visa received:

Z visa

 

Consulate or Agency:

The Comissioner's Office in Hong Kong (China Resources Building)

 

Documents Provided:

1. Passport

(2. Maybe a copy of the info page, but I don't remember)

3. Application Form

4. Passport Photo (1), regular passport sized

5. Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit, stating to apply for visa in HongKong (original)  

6. Working Permit (original)       

7. The 2x2 entry permit to Hong Kong

8. Copy of entry permit to Hong Kong

 

Other Documents I had with me but weren't required:

-Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine (Health Check) original and copy

-The actual health check record original and copy

-Insurance for China original and copy

-Certificate of my degree original and copy

 

Reason for application:

Working in China (teacher)

 

Previous Visa History:

90-day F visa for initial application process for the position in Beijing (October - December)

 

Days required:

4 (Mo til Thurs)

 

Cost:

200HKD

 

The process:

 

Took MTR to WanChai, exit A5 ( they have signs at the MTR exits telling you what's nearby, just look for the one with China Resources Building on it).

Take the footbridge crossing the streets til the Immigration Tower building, exit bridge to the right before the Tower, keep walking right, cross the turns in the road (basically just keep walking right), there is some construction going on, walk for another 30 seconds and then you'll see it on your left. Long line of people in front of a glass entrance.

 

Went there Monday morning, around 8.30, queue was already pretty long. If you do bring food and drinks (even candy), you have to leave it in boxes provided outside of the building, it can be picked up after you exit the building, but there were about 50 water bottles, so make sure you know your stuff.

There are officials walking along the queue handing out forms if you dont have one yet.

On the third floor are a copy and photo machine, most people needed to copy their entry slip so be prepared (1HKD per copy, I think you can ask at the counters for breaking up notes if you dont have coins). (The aforementioned copy shop next to the MTR station seems to be closed unfortunatly).

Another copy machine is at the end of the room past the counters.

If your form is filled out completly and you have the copy of the entry slip, you can go get a number.

When my number was called, I went to the counter, lady skimmed my documents, all was well, didnt ask me anything, just handed me the reciept for pick up in 4 days. (I don't know, if there is an express service anymore, I think for Europeans it is always 4 days, a girl from Ukraine got her visa the next day and others had still varying days, so it depends on where you are from and what you want).

Went back on Thursday morning, to the Bank of China counters (1 and 2), paid and got my passport with visa back.

 

That was that, simple. Come prepared (honestly, even if it's just filling out the forms, some people had half of theirs blank,..) and dont stress out, most of us will be fine and its no use getting upset beforehand anyway.

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  • 3 months later...

A few days ago, we were trying to obtain a Z-visa letter drawn up for applying to HK instead of the home country. We received a rejection letter saying that a new policy has been put into place that all newly issued letters, not ones already issued (as of 3 days ago of this post) will have to return to their home country to apply. Has anyone else experience anything similar? Checking to see if this is a Beijing policy or a country wide policy...

Always a pleasure, never a chore! Thanks for everything guys and girls.

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Update: After a phone call to Sunrise in Hong Kong, this is a recently implemented policy regarding Z visas. As told on the phone, Americans need to go to America, Canadians need to go to Canada, and Germans need to go to Germany now. Because the rule is new, the agent was unsure if they can bend the rule or if the visa office will accept invitation letters for Z visas with directions stating to return to your home country or not. If I hear anything else, of course I I will share!

 

Edit: here to hear :P

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any news about getting Z visa in Hong Kong? Did more people get rejected? Any patterns?

 

I just called Forever Bright a few minutes ago and asked about getting Z visa for a person with Czech person, and they said that as long as the letter is addressed to Hong Kong embassy, it should be fine. Having a bit hard time to believe it.

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@hydrandt

 

Because this is a new-ish policy there are outstanding letters that already say H.K. on them.  If they say so, then you will be fine to apply in H.K.  It is when obtaining the Z-Visa invitation letter where the problem lies.  At least here in Beijing, they will no longer write one up that will allow application for a Z-Visa in H.K. And according to Sunrise, they said it was a China-wide policy. Hopefully, this is one that can be bend depending on who writes the letter and who you know :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Like Chi-nian, I am wondering if there are any updates!

 

My application is currently in process and I should get it back by the end of the week. At which time, I thought I'd just scurry to Hong Kong, but then I decided to check the wisdom of the forums and thankful that I did.

 

Is there any chance that when I get my paperwork back, it will say HK instead of the US?

 

Also, is there any alternatives to actually physically returning to the states? For example, would it be possible to mail everything back, while I physically stay in China, have a company handle the application (which I do anyway) and then have it mailed back to me in China? Or do I specifically somehow have to enter on the new visa? 

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

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I don't see how mailing stuff home can work. When issuing the work visa they'll cancel your existing visa, which means you'll get your passport back with only the working visa, but with no entry date to indicate when your 30 days for getting the residence permit starts. Maybe if you had two passports*, or if you could go abroad to send your passport home, it might work.

 

Keep current passport A. Send Passport B home to get visa in. Pop out of China on passport A, pop back in on passport B. 

 

Unless (and now maybe even if) your employer has requested for Hong Kong to be specified, I wouldn't expect it. 

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What are you going to leave *with*, though. Even if they don't notice in the US that you don't have an exit stamp corresponding to your 'trip home to get the visa', when they issue the work visa your old visa will get cancelled. So what do you exit the country with?

 

Maybe someone else will have an idea. The only suggestion I have is seeing if it's possible to go direct from a tourist visa to a residence permit, as students often do. That might make Hong Kong an option. 

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