Employment visas are only issued to those who have secured a job with a company in Hong Kong. If you are looking for a job, you should enter the city on a visitor’s visa (covered under the “Reconnaissance” section).
However, before you travel to Hong Kong on a visitor’s visa you should try and acquaint yourself with the job market in Hong Kong. You can browse the numerous internet-based recruitment websites that list jobs in Hong Kong. Often jobs in Hong Kong, especially those in the financial sector, offer full relocation packages to overseas job seekers. Under these circumstances the company that is looking to hire you will probably take up the sponsorship of the appropriate visa for you.
Hong Kong also offers certain unique visas which differ from the traditional visas and facilitates a job seeker’s passage into the SAR. One such visa category is the Working Holiday scheme which is offered to individuals of certain nationalities in an effort to bolster cultural and educational exchange between Hong Kong and these countries.
|Visa type Required||Working Holiday Scheme|
|Eligibility||Citizens of Australia, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea aged between 18 and 30 are allowed to participate in this scheme whereby they can come to Hong Kong on holiday and take up short term employment or enrol in a short term course.
The number of persons allowed under this scheme differs from country to country and the quotas for each country are available here.
|Validity||The Working Holiday Visa is issued for a period of 12 months once and is subject to the normal immigration rules.|
|Required documents /Specific conditons
||In order to apply for the Working Holiday visa, the applicant needs to complete a visa application form ID(E)940 which can be obtained from the Information Officer of the HKSAR Immigration Department as well as Chinese diplomatic and consular missions (CDCMs) in the applicant’s host country. Completed visa applications need to be submitted with all the required supporting documents. All applicants are advised to read the guidance notes ID(E) 940A before submitting their applications.
||Application for extension of stay under this scheme will not normally be considered though employment under this scheme is often used to forge relationships and secure future employment prospects. However there are also restrictions on the length of employment under this scheme. Participants from the Republic of Korea cannot work for the same employer for more than six months while applicants of other countries cannot work for the same employer for more than three months. Applicants from all countries excepting Ireland can enrol for a short study or training course during their visit.|
|Dependents||The applicant cannot apply for any dependents to join him/her under the scheme.|
Visa for Entrepreneurs under the General Employment Policy
Hong Kong is not only an attractive destination for job seekers, it also offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and investorsl. Hong Kong is the gateway to China and is one of the most efficient places in the world for incorporating an company as it offers a free market and business environment. Additionally, Hong Kong imposes few restrictions on investment and enjoys the reputation of an extremely investor-friendly business city as it has few controls on the movement of foreign exchange transactions and corporate ownership. For this very purpose Hong Kong has a separate visa category for entrepreneurs which is known as the Hong Kong Visa for Investment (to establish or join a business).
|Visa Type Required||Visa for Entry for Investment to Establish or Join a Business|
||The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) offers a visa for investment under the General Employment Policy (GEP) if an entrepreneur wishes to establish or join a business in the SAR. This visa is essentially a type of work permit granted to a person as an employee of his/her own Hong Kong based company.
This visa is open to all nationalities excepting Chinese residents of the Mainland and nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.
This visa needs to be secured in advance and is usually affixed on a blank page of the applicant’s passport. This visa is then provided to the immigration officials at the time of entry into Hong Kong.
The issuance of this visa is subject to certain conditions listed below:
|Validity||If you have been granted a visa under the investment scheme you can apply for extension of stay which, if all the conditions are met, follows the 2-2-3 pattern as in the case of an ordinary employment visa.
People who are admitted under this scheme and who have been living in Hong Kong for more than seven years can then apply for right of abode in accordance with the law.
|Number of Entries||Applicants admitted under this scheme who are non-permanent residents of the HKSAR do not require a re-entry visa/visa to enter Hong Kong if they enter within the validity period of their visa and their circumstances remain unaltered. However, if they return after an absence of 12 months they may have to petition the immigration department again.|
|Required documents/ specific conditions
||To apply for visa for entry for investment, the applicant must nominate a local sponsor. A local sponsor can either be a company or an individual. If the sponsor is an individual, he/she should be a bona fide Hong Kong resident who is aged 18 or older and acquainted with the applicant.
Sponsor’s documentsIf the sponsor of the applicant is a company the sponsor has to submit the completed application form (ID 999B) and also submit the the company’s Business Registration Certificate.
If the sponsor is an individual, he/she must submit the completed application form ID999B and also submit a copy of his/her Hong Kong ID card and personal particulars page of his/her passport.
|Additional Specific Conditions||Persons who have been admitted under the investment category of visas are allowed to change their employment as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements of their visa status.|
|Right of Dependents||Applicants under this category can bring their spouse and their unmarried children below the age of 18 to the HKSAR. However they are governed by the same conditions that determine the applicants status.|