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If I Hold an Employment Visa in Macau and Hong Kong Simultaneously But Live in Hong Kong Should My Wife Get a Dependant Visa for Macau too?

December 21st, 2018

Posted in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Long Stay & PR, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


 

Life can get a bit complicated if you work in 2 places at the same time…

QUESTION

I work for a Hong Kong company in Macau and my wife is my dependent in Hong Kong where we live.

My colleague was the same but has now been employed by a Macau company.

Does this change his wife’s dependency status in Hong Kong?

And should she become a dependent in Macau?

He is, as myself, a Hong Kong resident.

Thanks!

ANSWER

The real crux of the issue here is if your friend is going to secure an employment Visa in Macau and is going to be physically a resident in Macau and clearly in that case, he wants his spouse also to be a resident with him in Macau.

If during this exercise the employment arrangements in Hong Kong for your friend terminate and at the time that his next employment visa extension for Hong Kong, when that comes due, he doesn’t have a Hong Kong employment, then he will not be able to secure an extension to his employment visa in Hong Kong, even if he has an employment Visa in Macau.

Consequently, his wife who has a dependent visa sponsored by him, on the basis of his employment in Hong Kong will not be able to get an extension to her dependent visa. So that will effectively leave her in a kind of immigration limbo between Hong Kong and Macau without any specific residency permissions, unless she goes ahead and makes an application to get a dependent visa on the strength of her husband’s employment in Macau. That’s a Macau dependent visa not a Hong Kong dependent visa.

So, in reality then, if they’re going to be living in Macau, then she needs a dependent visa to support her husband there, which will be granted on the strength of the fact that he’s got an employment visa in Macau. If he doesn’t have an employment visa in Hong Kong, as I say, she won’t be able to get a dependent visa for Hong Kong any longer, because the conditions that are in play for successful application won’t exist. Therefore, she’ll need to get a dependent visa from Macau.

You can’t live in Hong Kong and have a dependent visa in Macau and you can’t live in Macau and have a dependent visa in Hong Kong. They are two separate jurisdictions.

It isn’t immediately clear, however, from your question, when you say that he’s a resident of Hong Kong, whether he’s a permanent resident or is in fact an employment visa holding temporary resident. The initial advice that I’ve given you is on the assumption that he’s a temporary employment visa holding resident. If, on the other hand, he is a permanent resident, then he will be able to sponsor a dependent visa for his wife, notwithstanding the fact that he continues to work in Macau or will be working in Macau for the foreseeable future. So, that kind of you know takes care of all of the issues in relation to dependent visa status and the circumstances and facts that you essayed them.

One important thing to remember in all of this, however, is for any applicant that is planning to go on to secure a permanent residency in Hong Kong on the strength of having been continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong for a period of not less than seven years, needs to appreciate that both Hong Kong and Macau are separate immigration jurisdictions. And if you are living in Macau while still holding a residence visa in Hong Kong and the amount of time that you are spending in Macau overshadows the time that you spend in Hong Kong and you are unable to show to the Immigration Department that you’ve been settled in Hong Kong throughout all of this time, even though you’ve been holding a residence visa for Hong Kong, but you’ve been physically living in Macau, time spent in Macau unless you’re very careful about how you construct your affairs, may serve to break your continuity of ordinary residence for a right of abode application subsequently.

So, as I said in the title for this post, life can get a little bit complex where you’re effectively living in one place, but potentially working in two countries or if you are indeed working in Hong Kong presently and in the throes of relocating to work in Macau, it can get a bit messy, bit complicated, but that notwithstanding.

I hope you found this useful!

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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