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Eugene Chow
Suite 1010, 10/F, Sun Hung Kai Centre
30 Harbour Road
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
+852 2838 1878
+852 2838 4362

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Corporate Immigration

Eugene Chow has a diversified immigration practice focused on the visa and residency needs of corporate clients as well as entrepreneurs and investors. Eugene is a skilled immigration law specialist who is highly effective in his advocacy on behalf of his clients and has a track record for being creative in his approach. He also has a niche practice in citizenship matters, representing individuals wishing to relinquish US citizenship and those who wish to acquire an alternative citizenship.

What attracted you to a career as a corporate immigration lawyer?

As a US immigrant myself, I’ve always had a passion for helping to make a difference in people’s lives through the opportunity of immigration. I got into corporate immigration law when I joined a boutique law firm in San Francisco, where I discovered my interest in helping corporations secure legal status for their employees. Then, in 1987, a decade before the scheduled handover of Hong Kong in 1997, I moved back to Hong Kong to help corporations tackle the “brain drain” crisis during that time by devising a win-win employee retention programme that enabled key employees to acquire foreign legal status while on an employment assignment abroad.

As principal of the firm, what was the most challenging aspect of opening a new office?

The most challenging aspect in leaving a large international law firm to open my own office was to establish credibility with corporate clients and to assure them that their needs could be fully satisfied by a small firm.

What advice would you give to younger practitioners who hope to one day be in your position?

To put themselves in the situation of their clients and to represent them zealously and tirelessly.

What has been the most memorable matter that you have worked on?

Representing some of the most high-profile corporate leaders and celebrities overcome complex immigration legal issues.

As a boutique firm, what are the main qualities you possess that sets you apart from other outfits in the Hong Kong market?

Individualised and personalised professional services of the highest calibre spanning the immigration and citizenship laws of numerous jurisdictions.

What will be your main priorities over the coming year regarding the firm’s development?

To continue to develop and expand my practice and to provide customised advice to my clients, especially to US citizens who have settled abroad or are moving abroad permanently who need assistance with the expatriation process. This includes evaluating and advising on the legal consequences of relinquishing US citizenship when exiting/ terminating tax and immigration residency, as an exit tax may be imposed on unrealised capital gains in some instances.

Where do you see the future of corporate immigration law going?

The world is becoming more globalised and people are becoming citizens of the world, bringing to light the fact that there is no “one size fits all” immigration and citizenship solution. People, especially corporate executives, no longer move to one country and stay there for the rest of their lives, so more and more clients require multi-jurisdictional counsel. As a legal practitioner, I see corporate immigration law becoming more of an interdisciplinary practice, and the value of maintaining a network of lawyers, bankers, accountants, and other advisers to customise a solution for our clients in this complex world.


Who's Who Legal Corporate Immigration

Eugene Chow is the principal of Chow King & Associates, a Hong Kong-based firm specialising in US, Hong Kong and international immigration and citizenship matters. Mr Chow’s boutique firm represents business investors and corporate multinational clients with employment visas and permanent residence, and also has a niche practice representing American citizens who wish to relinquish their US citizenship, as well as individuals in the acquisition of a second citizenship in various jurisdictions to facilitate visa-free travel, for tax-planning purposes or as a hedge against negative economic or political developments in their countries of origin.

Mr Chow obtained his JD from Boston College Law School. A member of the Pennsylvania and California Bars, he has been a California Board-certified specialist in immigration and nationality law since 1989. "Certified specialist" is a designation conferred on lawyers with substantial experience in a specialty field, whose ability and experience in that field have been favourably evaluated by judges and other attorneys, and who have completed approved legal education programmes and passed a legal specialty examination.

Formerly on the board of two non-profit organisations which assist immigrants and refugees, Mr Chow is a frequent speaker at immigration conferences internationally and a regular contributing author to many legal publications including the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions of AILA’s Immigration Options for Investors and Entrepreneurs; the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide by the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (LexisNexis, first to third editions); The Corporate Immigration Review (Law Business Research, second to fifth editions); and Immigration Law: Jurisdictional Comparisons (European Lawyer Reference series, Thomson Reuters; now Business Immigration: A Global Guide from Practical Law, second edition).

 WWL says: Eugene Chow is a "really super-knowledgeable" attorney who stands apart from the pack in our Hong Kong listings.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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