We always dreamed about migrating to a different country but never thought the day would come so soon! I always said by 30 I need a change in my life and really at 30, I have now migrated to Hong Kong! We migrated due to my husband's promotional role in Hong Kong.
We were elated when we found out about the news! He has been working so hard for this and he totally deserve this. After almost 2 years of constant lockdowns in Malaysia, I think it's time we flew out of our nest and experience something different since we've been coped up at home for quite a bit hehe.
Afterall, we're still young, we have so much of the world to explore and so when opportunity came knocking, we grabbed it. The news was exciting but the actual migration process was daunting. Hong Kong government is super strict and their aim is for zero Covid case. Hence, why we need to quarantine for 21 days in the hotel + 7 days at home. (Update: 7 days is only self- monitor so we don't need to quarantine) On top of that, we have to take 10 PCR tests in total until we come out of quarantine =.=
All in all, it took us less than 60 days to get our visa, pack everything at home in Malaysia, get our quarantine hotel booking, have our farewells and basically fly!
One thing we are very grateful for is the hub's company assisting us in each and every way, from the visa application, to the movers, to the flight tickets, booking of quarantine hotel etc Although the quarantine requirement is so strict in HK, however, their quarantine hotel bookings were fully booked! This is due to Christmas/NY period and people want to be reunited with their families. And because of that, the hotels prices hiked 10-15% within this period =.= They have a list of designated hotels for quarantine and when we emailed each and everyone of them, all of them were fully booked on our dates. On top of that, Cathay Pacific only flies once a week from KLIA and that's the only direct flight. We did not dare to take any transit flights because then we might need to take another PCR test in that country. Luckily, with the help of his company, we managed to get our hotel booking.
There were many obstacles in between. But we managed to beat all odds and finally reached HK safely. I'm going to breakdown our migration process as below:
1. Documentation process
A third party helped us with the visa application thank God. On top of that, the Malaysian government has abolished My Travel Pass to fly overseas. So basically, we didn't need to apply permission from the Malaysian government.
My passport was about to expire so I quickly made an appointment at the Immigration Office to get my passport renewed.
Luckily, it only took 45 minutes at most to get it renewed because there we not many people. I did mine at UTC Shah Alam.
2. The movers
We'll see our stuffs in Hong Kong!
3. Quarantine Hotel
The quarantine hotel was the headache. We joined some Facebook HK Quarantine groups and heard so many horror stories where the rooms were dirty, small, moldy, food were lousy, people had to spend extra ordering deliveries etc. So the hotel we choose is very crucial to our mental health in 21 days. However, most were fully booked and we couldn't be picky even if we wanted to. But luckily the company assisted us locally to call the hotel, speak to the manager in local language and managed to find a room for 21 days for us on our specific fly date! And it's quite a reputable hotel so we were more than happy plus the budget was increased due to the price hike and we were very grateful.
We were quite surprised that there's only one flight per week by Cathay Pacific and only Cathay provides direct flight from Malaysia. On top of that they charge for extra baggage check in. Whaat?! And their flight tickets weren't exactly cheap to start of with. Also, a third party travel agent helped us to book the flight. I hope when Covid is over, the prices will go down when I come back to Malaysia lol
There's so much money involved in migrating. We were very lucky everything is covered by the company. However, I think to migrate yourself is very costly & time consuming. Especially during Covid. Because I think we could easily buy flight tickets below RM1k but due to lack of flights coz of Covid, it increased. And the quarantine hotel itself costs a bomb. We had to also open a foreign bank account and to close some bank accounts in Malaysia. There are just so much paperwork and planning involved before the migration.
6. PCR tests
Again, if not because of Covid, no.6 wouldn't even be heard of haha. Although we are both fully vaccinated, the HK government insists on a PCR test with a certain ISO certification to be done before boarding the flight. And to even find the correct place which does PCR testing with the specific ISO certification is another headache. I found it in BP Lab at Bukit Jelutong. And the test must only be done within 72 hours, not 73 or 74 hours. Only 72 hours haha so make sure you time it right. We took the urgent results test which we received within 12 hours.
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