Hong Kong is an international financial center with foreign talents coming in as expatriates. Under COVID-19, every government including Hong Kong set up restrictive quarantine requirements for travelers and residents. These travel restrictions have made it challenging to manage visa renewals and permits for its expats.
In response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases around the world, the Hong Kong government not only requests passengers to present a medical certificate indicating a negative COVID-19, they must also stay in quarantine for 21 days. Under the current visa application procedure, the applicant who wants to apply for an extension of stay, must stay in Hong Kong during the application. However, under the restrictive quarantine requirements, expat who left Hong Kong found it difficult to return and file an extension of stay when their visa expired.
Government regulations at the time required those filing for an extension to reside in Hong Kong at the time of application. However, filing for an extension of stay has become increasingly difficult for some applicants given that their business schedule will not allow them to stay in quarantine for more than 21 days.
Zebra’s consultants had toke one step further representing the clients to communicate with Hong Kong Immigration Department for their visa application. As a result, their expatriate team members were granted a special visa extension approval, despite their expired visas. They also completed this process while the expatriates were outside of Hong Kong, and it also paved the way for online applications moving forward.
Zebra’s professional services allowed its clients to maintain their working status in Hong Kong under strict conditions by the government. Because of this, normal business operations proceeded as usual, and expatriates, who initially left the country, have returned once the government had lifted restrictions.