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www.hongkongvisahandbook.com - the Complete D-I-Y, 100% Free guide to getting a Hong Kong Unconditional Stay visa as found in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. On the Hong Kong Visa Handbook website you will discover every possible resource required to effectively finish a Hong Kong visa application at the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
Unconditional stay has an important role to play for those long-term foreign national residents of Hong Kong who have for their own reasons not taken Hong Kong as their only place of permanent residence and cannot, in all good faith, make declarations to that effect as part of the process of acquiring Hong Kong permanent residency.
So, as we have seen, unconditional stay is an administrative convenience. It isn’t the same as the Right of Abode. It is a very useful immigration status; and in order to qualify you need to have 7 years continuous ordinary residence and you need to be holding a qualifying visa throughout all this time and this necessarily excludes people who are holding foreign domestic helper visas and those who have been admitted under the Supplementary Labor Scheme. Because the challenge here is continuous ordinary residence, if you do have any period of time away from Hong Kong in that 7 years and it has been over 6 months, you need to be able to argue it away and the test in these circumstances is “what was your intention at the time that you departed when the period of absence from Hong Kong commenced?”
And also unconditional stay status does remove all of your conditions in terms of permitted activity and the amount of time you are allowed to remain in Hong Kong effectively taking you out of the clutches of the Immigration Department. There is one condition attached to this status and that is that you need to be physically present in Hong Kong on at least one occasion in any 12-month given period. If you are unable to satisfy this single condition, you will lose your unconditional stay and you then have to reapply to the Immigration Department for a visa in order to remain in Hong Kong to carry out whatever activities that previously kept you here.