Visa issue related to building safety

Top News | Sum Lok-kei 9 May 2017

About 34,000 working visas were issued in 2015, with about one third granted to athletes and performers, according to Immigration Department figures.

But the department did not have statistics on the success rates of work permit applications.

The department wrote on its website that it usually take four weeks to process a working visa application once the necessary documents have been provided.

But a local event organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the process was overly complicated.

"A lot of government departments are involved," he said, adding that previous applications had taken longer than four weeks to complete. He also said it was unlikely that permits would be granted for Hidden Agenda as it was located in an industrial building.

It is understood that the venue had tried to apply for a "places for entertainment license" but was told that the land leases of industrial buildings made it incompatible.

This was not the first time the Immigration Department detained overseas talent.

Japanese karate coach Sakumoto Tsuguo was arrested by the department over work permit issues in February while coaching the Hong Kong team.

Tsuguo was later released on bail and no charges have been announced yet.

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