When you are intended to join the workforce in Hong Kong as a foreign investor or an employee, you must apply for the Working Visa as required under the General Employment Policy (GEP). In Hong Kong, you can only apply for a work visa when you have finalized your work arrangements in terms of securing a job offer. Working Visa is the umbrella visa which houses visas such as Employment Visa and Investment Visa. Apart from the life and work privileges which the Working Visa avails, you are also allowed to bring your family along with you . The Working Visa also enables and apply for Permanent Residence Visa at the appropriate time. This article will provide you with information to guide you through the process of acquiring your Hong Kong Working Visa.

Working Visa

As alluded to earlier, a Working Visa encompasses all visa types that allow you to invest and thereby be an employer or allows you to bring your unique talent or skill set as an employee in Hong Kong. The Working Visa falls under the category of long-term visas and it is usually easy to process. However, you must prove that your qualification is unique from that of a local who could have been assigned to the same job. Below is the guide through the eligibility and requirements information:

Hong Kong Working Visa Eligibility Guide

For a foreigner to be considered worthy of a Working Visa, the applicant must meet the following:

  • You must not be a source of a security concern neither should you have a criminal record.
  • You must be qualified academically for the position you are applying for. In the absence of an academic qualification, technical or professional experience in that area is acceptable.
  • Apart from having excellent academic qualifications, you must demonstrate experience and expertise in that area.
  • There must be the availability of a genuine work offer in the Hong Kong market to which you are applying and that the compensation package is not below the average Hong Kong market rate.
  • You must have valid proof that you have been awarded the employment offer and that it matches your academic qualification.
  • Your employment position must be at the management level.
  • Have valid certified supporting documents.
Hong Kong Working Visa

Within your first 30 days (about 4 weeks) of stay in Hong Kong, if you are going to stay longer than that, it is advisable to apply for a Hong Kong Identity card that will enable you to navigate the biometric gates of Hong Kong airports and library.

You may change work assignments once you are already in Hong Kong, however, that will require a fresh visa application process under your new employer. Your former employer must inform the Immigration Department of your termination of the contract at his/her company or organization.

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Supporting Documents for the Working Visa Application

  • Submission of your Working Visa application form ID 990A that is downloaded from the official government Immigration website or gotten from the Immigration Department and duly filled.
  • A photocopy of your passport page that contains your personal information, and the page showing the latest arrival date or extension of stay if you are already in Hong Kong.
  • A photocopy of the Hong Kong Identify card where applicable.
  • Your home country residential proof for Taiwanese citizens, Overseas Chinese in possession of the People’s Republic of China passport, or a Macao Special Administrative Region citizen.
  • Photocopies of your academic documents or proof of professional expertise.
  • An employment application form ID990B for professionals is downloaded from the government’s official Immigration’s website or gotten from the Immigration Department and duly filled by your employer.
  • A photocopy of your letter of employment showing the employment package such as duration, salary, and position in the company.
  • If the potential employer has not completed any training or employment visa application within the last 18 months, he/she adds the following supporting documents:
  • A photocopy of a valid company registration document, company background details, and company financial status.
  • The company’s Business Plan if his/her company was established in not more than 12 months.

The Working Visa Application for Investors

As an investor, you will be given a Working Visa upon successful application for Hong Kong foreign company incorporation. The Working Visa category here is an Investment Visa. An investor who has been cleared to work in Hong Kong need to submit Training Visa or Employment Visa application forms for inviting foreigners in his/her company as employees or as trainees.

As an investor, your company should have local employees and be financially stable.

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Types of Working Visas in Hong Kong

There are several Hong Kong working visas categories that one can apply to work in Hong Kong. Besides, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has an attractive scheme in place that allows employers to hire special talented professionals under the Employment for Professionals Scheme. It has two categories namely the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme and the Technology Talent Admission Scheme, which are renewable every year.

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

This is a Hong Kong Working Visa option is for professionals who want to enter Hong Kong if they fall under certain professions such as legal, financial, and innovative fields.

Technology Talent Admission Scheme

Technology Talent Admission Scheme is a Hong Kong working visa for those coming to work in Hong Kong in technological sectors such as financial technology and Artificial Intelligence.

Training

If you are looking to acquire some knowledge or skill while working for one year, this is the visa to apply for.

Investment Visa/Self-Employed Visa

This Hong Kong Working Visa is classified under the Admission Scheme for entrepreneurs.

You may be considered for an investment visa if you meet the following:

  • You are not considered a security threat nor have a criminal record.
  • You possess a first-degree qualification or its equivalent in terms of technical qualification, skills, and professional experience.
  • You possess valid supporting documents.
  • You have the potential for economic contribution to HKSAR and a potential to thrive businesswise in terms of sound business turn-over, investment total, job creation, and technological innovation; or if your work is a startup business that is backed by the government of Hong Kong.

Employment Visa

This applies if you are coming as an employee of a Hong Kong company.

Holiday Working Visa

This Hong Kong Working Visa is intended to promote educational and cultural exchange between other countries and Hong Kong for those between 18 years and 30 years. It allows the visitor to enroll for short-term courses and get short-term employment during the holiday in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Working Visa Duration

If it is your first time to own a Hong Kong Working Visa, you are to renew it every two years.

Summary

A unique feature of the Hong Kong Working Visa is that it is linked to your employing company and your employer, such that if you intend to change jobs, you will have to start the Working Visa application process afresh and your former employer will have to submit your termination details to the Immigration Department. This happens so that your talent skill is reevaluated.

The good news about working visas in Hong Kong is that should you be denied a visa you can appeal and reapply, or you can make use of the other available visas as a start point to keep your Hong Kong dream alive.

Hong Kong Working Visa Guide FAQs

Do I need a Hong Kong Working Visa as an investor?2020-12-22T03:20:36+00:00

Yes, you need a Working Visa as an investor. However, you will be given a Working Visa upon successful application for Hong Kong foreign company incorporation as an investor. It is tied to being cleared to invest/own a company in Hong Kong. You will have to submit a Training Visa or Employment Visa application forms for inviting foreigners in your company as employees or as trainees

What happens if you do not renew your Hong Kong Working Visa in time?2020-12-22T03:20:16+00:00

It is a criminal offense to be without proper documents in Hong Kong as a foreigner. You will be prosecuted and charged accordingly. The charge may be in form of a fine, jail, or deportation.

At what point should I apply for my Working Visa?2021-06-10T13:22:46+00:00

You should apply for a Working Visa at the point when you have acquired the job offer or when you have been cleared as an investor. This is because you will need the job to offer proof in the application process.

The Working Visa may be applied for before arrival if you are not one of the visa-free entrants or while within Hong Kong as a visa-free entrant. The latter is so because you may have gotten the job offer while visiting Hong Kong.

What is the difference between Employment Visa and Working Visa?2021-06-10T13:22:53+00:00

A Working Visa is the umbrella visa under which Employment Visa exists. An employment visa is given to those arriving in Hong Kong with a unique skill set, as an employee in a certain company.

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