ULLA Koljonen was full of hope when she and her young daughter arrived in Hong Kong this March to set up a garment export business. She had done her research, contacted the Hong Kong Immigration Department on an earlier visit, and was assured that the process of registering her company and applying for a residency visa would be straightforward and swift. Now, six months and $250,000 later, Ms Koljonen has a registered company - but she cannot start work because she is still waiting for her residency visa. She faces the prospect of having to return virtually destitute to her home country, Finland. ''I have spent all my money. I have only $2,000 to $3,000 left,'' she said. Ms Koljonen is angry because she feels she was misled by the Immigration Department, who told her she could go ahead with registering her company and that her residency visa would be processed quickly. ''I wouldn't have done this if they had told me there were limits,'' she said. ''When I was told I'd get the visa, I started to make a home. I was so sure everything would go all right that I even brought my daughter here. ''But they've kept me running for half a year and now all my money is gone.'' The normal time to process an application for residency - both successful and rejected - is four to six weeks, according to the Immigration Department's public relations head Tammy Keung Kam-sau. Ms Koljonen cannot understand why her application is taking so long, despite having supplied 200 pages of documents. ''I have a clean background,'' she said. And the only answer she has been able to get from the department so far is that her only options are to ''get employed, get married or go away''. ''I don't know if [the official] was joking, but for Finnish women, getting married is not the way to solve problems,'' she said. Ms Koljonen said the department should provide written information for residency applicants. Ms Keung refused to comment on any individual application, but said the department would consider Ms Koljonen's case.