Getting a Hong Kong Work Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Hong Kong has long been recognised for its high cost of living and long working hours. It’s truly the city that never sleeps. As difficult as this may sound, the fast-paced city is a popular location for expats looking for opportunity.

According to the global Expat Explorer Survey by HSBC, the average salary of expats in Hong Kong is HK$1.4 million (US$178,706), which is over HK$560,000 (US$72,000) more than the average expat globally. This makes Hong Kong a highly attractive destination for expats looking to expand their career.

If you’re looking to work in Hong Kong, here’s a simple guide that’ll walk you through the application process to getting a Hong Kong work visa. The guide covers everything from eligibility, to processing time,and to visa extension, as well as answering frequently asked questions on the Hong Kong immigration visa policy. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know to get a Hong Kong work visa.

 

What You Need to Know Before Applying the Hong Kong Work Visa

Hong Kong Work Visa Everything You Need to Know 01

The Hong Kong work visa can be applied under the General Employment Policy (GEP). Under the GEP, foreigners possessing special skills, knowledge or experience of value that is not readily available in Hong Kong may apply for a Hong Kong working visa. The GEP Hong Kong work visa does not currently have a limit and is not tied to any specific sector or industry. This arrangement however, does not apply to Chinese residents in Mainland China, instead they may work in Hong Kong under the ASMTP (Admission Scheme for mainland Talents and Professionals).

 

Am I eligible to apply for the Hong Kong Work Visa?

Being a multinational and diverse city, Hong Kong encourages the immigration of talent. Key requirements of the GEP Hong Kong work visa includes:

  • Currently has a secured job or confirmed employment offer in Hong Kong.
  • A genuine job vacancy which is relevant to the applicant’s experience and expertise.
  • The remuneration package is broadly aligned with the current market rate for professionals in Hong Kong.
  • Documentary evidence to show that the applicant has a good education and/or experience in the relevant field.
  • The applicant is clear of criminal record and raises no security or criminal concerns.

 

Does the Hong Kong Work Visa extend to my family?

The GEP allows for the entry of dependants. Applicants may apply to bring their spouse or other party who is legally and officially recognised by the local authorities at the place of civil union. Unmarried dependent children under 18 years old is also included in this arrangement. The dependant’s application for admission may be favourably considered according to the following immigration requirements:

  • The dependant and the sponsor has reasonable proof of a genuine relationship.
  • There is no known record against the dependant.
  • The sponsor is able to properly support the dependant’s living and provide them with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.

 

How long does the Hong Kong visa application process take?

Upon receiving all necessary documentation, the Immigration Department will take around four weeks time to process the visa/entry permit application. Applicants need to make sure they include all required information and documents, as the Immigration Department will not begin processing until everything has been received.

 

 

Hong Kong Work Visa Application Process

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The Hong Kong visa application process requires submission by both applicant and their local employer. Applicants should read the ‘Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong' [ID(E) 991] carefully before completing the form. All forms can be obtained from the following offices:

  • Immigration Department Headquarters;
  • Immigration Branch Offices;
  • Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions; and
  • HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong.

 

What are the necessary documents that needs to be submitted?

Hong Kong Work Visa Application
Forms and documents required of the work visa applicant:

  • Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong.
  • A recent photograph of the applicant.
  • Photocopy of applicant’s valid travel document containing personal details including date of issue, expiry date and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). Applicants will also need to photocopy their valid travel document page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR if they are currently staying in Hong Kong.
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s Hong Kong ID if applicable.
  • A photocopy proof of academic qualifications and relevant work experience.

[Additional documents apply for applicants from various locations.]

 

Hong Kong Work Visa Application
Forms and documents required of the employing company:

  • Application for Entry for Employing Professionals in Hong Kong.
  • A photocopy of the employment contract or appointment letter to applicant containing information about the role, salary, employment period and any fringe benefits.
  • A photocopy of the Business Registration Certificate.
  • A photocopy proof of financial standing (e.g. latest audited financial report, trading profit and loss account, or profit tax return).
  • Details of company background (if any).
  • For newly set-up companies (less than 12 month) to provide a detailed business plan.

[Some documents may be omitted if the company has successfully obtained an employment or training visa/entry permit in the past 18 months.]

 

Visa Application to Dependants
Forms and documents required of each accompanying dependant of the applicant with Hong Kong work visa:

  • Part B of the original applicant’s form, Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong, completed by the dependant.
  • A recent photograph of the dependant.
  • Photocopy of dependant’s valid travel document containing personal details including date of issue, expiry date and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). Applicants will also need to photocopy their valid travel document page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR if they are currently staying in Hong Kong.
  • Photocopy evidence for the relationship between the applicant and dependant.

[Additional documents apply for applicants from various locations.]

 

 

After Applying for the Hong Kong Work Visa

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Applications for the Hong Kong Work Visa can be submitted either locally or at an overseas Chinese diplomatic and consular mission. Payment for the Hong Kong visa should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit. If paid by cheque, it should be made payable to “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

 

How may I extend my stay in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong Work Visa Extension
Forms and documents required of the work visa applicant:

  • Application for Extension of Stay
  • Photocopy and original copy of the applicant’s valid travel document.
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s HKID
  • If there has been a change of employment, the applicant is required to provide the supporting documents of the employing company (same set of documents  as initial application).

[Additional documents apply for applicants applying for assessment under the top-tier employment stream.]

 

What will I need to re-enter into Hong Kong?

Irrespective of their nationality and type of travel document held, non-permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR as long as they return within their permitted limited.

 

 

Where Can I Get More Information on the GEP and Hong Kong Visa?

The GEP provides a 24-hour telephone enquiry service for anyone who has already submitted their application. Links also provides Hong Kong immigration visa application services, from initial consultation, to preparation, review, liaising, and delivery of the visa to client.

Get a free quote today on our website (https://www.linksinternational.com/visa-applications) or get in touch with one of our representatives to learn more.

 

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Links International is an award-winning industry leader in innovative human resources outsourcing in Asia. Links was established in 1999 and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Zhuhai, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia.

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