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Need a bit of help from other mum's making big decision please x

  1. #1
    Em B is offline Registered User
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    Need a bit of help from other mum's making big decision please x

    Hi All,

    I'm a mum of two little ones. Two boys of 22 mths and 7 mths. My boyfriend has been offered a job in Hong Kong and am obviously looking into it.

    I'm no stranger to living abroad, I lived in Sydney, Australia for 10 years but without kids. I've read all about Hong Kong and am looking in the Discovery Bay area. I can look at pictures all day but it doesn't give me an idea of what real life is like.

    As you other mum's know, it can be tough being mum and a good support group helps loads. I was hoping someone could give me an idea of what the mum and toddler groups, if any, are like? And if there is a good social life for kids and mum's alike?

    Any info or help will be appreciated as it's a frightening decision to make with little ones.

    Thank you, Em B x

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    you will not be eligible for a visa that allows you to live here (and work if you wish) unless you are married. THAT might be a decision you want to talk about with your boyfriend first.

    if you settle in DB, that is the closest you will get to a "western" lifestyle of any place in hk. every "village" has a playground. many western foods are available at the supermarkets. baby playgroups, small/intimate pre-schools are abundant, you can get a membership to one of the clubs and have access to the swimming pools, cheaper classes, bowling alley, tennis courts, playrooms etc.

  3. #3
    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    I think HK is one of the easiest places in the world to be an expat, since there are so many other people just like you. Making friends happens fairly quickly, and with kids it's fairly easy to get involved via this site, some FB groups, etc.

    The bigger issue is what Carang mentioned. You won't be granted a dependent visa unless you are married.

  4. #4
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Alternatively, what some people do is to come over here and look for a job which will sponsor you while you are here. Problem is that usually you would have to be working full time in order for a company to want to sponsor you. Some other people who I have known come here on their regular 90 day visa and for example go to Macau near the end of the 90 days. When you re-enter, you get another 90 days. This might work for 6-9 months, but is probably not a good long term solution if you want to stay here legally.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    Alternatively, what some people do is to come over here and look for a job which will sponsor you while you are here. Problem is that usually you would have to be working full time in order for a company to want to sponsor you. Some other people who I have known come here on their regular 90 day visa and for example go to Macau near the end of the 90 days. When you re-enter, you get another 90 days. This might work for 6-9 months, but is probably not a good long term solution if you want to stay here legally.
    Getting sponsored for work in Hong Kong is not easy. It's wholly dependent on your qualifications, work experience and field. The government puts quotas on employers because there is a policy of "hire local" in Hong Kong. So, in order for an employer to hire you they have to be able to demonstrate that you offer a skill that cannot be found easily within the local market. On top of that they only have a quota of so many non-local people they can hire in a year. It's a real gamble to come to HK and then look for employment. Sometimes it pays off. Sometimes it really doesn't. Multi-nationals that hire usually hire their people abroad and bring them here and they operate under a slightly different system.

    I do know people who did the "exit every 90 days" thing but it is truly not a very efficient long-term plan to stay in HK and it is possible that you could get stopped by immigration if you do that long-term (although the people I know were never stopped).

    And yes, without a marriage certificate you won't be granted a dependency visa through your boyfriend's work. Not sure how it works with the children--probably depends on if they carry your boyfriend's name or not.

    Otherwise, if you can get the practical things sorted out HK is a pretty expat-friendly city. I would say DB is really not a typical living environment for HK. Even though I'm an expat I wouldn't feel comfortable living there kind of "separated from the reality of HK"--because DB is really like a whole new world. But, I do know people who enjoy that lifestyle and if you're one of those people and you can afford to live there then that is definitely an option.

    All the best with your choice.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    jvn
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    Agree with the others, your major issue will be getting a visa if you're not married. As for life here, I think if you're inclined to like it it's a great place to be, there are lots of groups and classes where you can meet other mums and children and even just in the playground people are pretty friendly.
    elle likes this.

  7. #7
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    I just came from Sydney a year ago & have found that it is easy to find mother & toddler groups as long as you put yourself out there.

    Your mothers group is likely to revolve around those who have kids the same age as yours. My days are planned around birthday parties & playgroups for my daughter to attend.

    A good starting point is to meet mums who live in your area. This forum has heaps of meet & greets. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Em B is offline Registered User
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    Thanks ever so much for your response everyone. Didn't realise not being married would be a problem. We've been together 17 years, just never tied the knot. We will do now because of the children but wasn't thiking about it too much. Will have a chat with boyfriend and get him to find out through his work what the situation is. The person offering the promotion and position in Hong Kong to my boyfriend lives in Hong Kong so you'd think he'd be aware of this problem!

    Yeah I understand there is a huge expat community, like when we lived in Oz. We found it very easy to make friends pretty quick over there cause your all in the same boat. So I would imagine with children it would be even easier. Discovery Bay does look very 'westernised'. Is it very expensive then compared to other places? I thought HK cost of living was very expensive regardless to where you live? Mind you I live in South East UK so is bloody expensive!

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