Hong Kong has an amazing, modern and vibrant culture. It’s very easy for expats to settle into life in Hong Kong and, luckily, the process is fairly simple.
Before we go into the details of how to get a visa, it’s worth noting that British passport holders can stay in Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a work permit. It’s only when you have secured employment that you will need to begin the process of applying for a visa.
Hong Kong work visa
The only way to get a work visa for Hong Kong is if you have an offer of employment and the company sponsors your. All applicants have to follow the guidelines set under the General Employment Policy (GEP). To be eligible, you must:
- have special skills or knowledge in a field that a Hong Kong national does not possess
- hold qualifications (favorably a degree) in your field, relevant qualifications and experience that can be supported by documents/certifications
- have an offer of a job in their field that a local person cannot perform
- have no criminal record nor be seen as a security threat
- hold a valid passport
The employer will also have to provide documentation including the job application, a photocopy of the company’s registration, financial information and a copy of the contract which confirms that the conditions (medical benefits, salary etc.) are equal or superior to the market level.
All documentation, including the 990A application form, must be in either English or Chinese.
Professionals who receive a job offer to work in Hong Kong can take their spouse and/or children under 18 years old as long as they are able to financially support their family whilst there. This is known as a dependent visa 997 application and it has to be completed and sent along with proof of the relationship (marriage and/or birth certificates) and a copy of a valid passport.
Identity cards in Hong Kong
Once you have arrived in Hong Kong, you have 30 days to apply for an identity card. It’s a credit card-sized, durable card that is embedded with a chip that processes data. If you are moving with your family, they too will be required to apply for an identity card if over the age of the 11. You can find out more about Hong Kong identity cards here.
The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme
This is the only way around moving to Hong Kong without a job offer. In order to develop Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness, the government put in place a scheme that allows highly skilled or talented professionals to enter Hong Kong with the intention to settle but without an offer of employment.
It is a points-based scheme consisting of general points (such as age, qualifications) and experience and achievement-based points, national and international awards or significant contribution in their field. You must be highly qualified and experienced in a specific industry. The Talent List of Hong Kong includes professions in asset management, data scientists, cybersecurity experts, Fintech specialists, and law.
To apply for the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, applicants must:
- be over the age of 18
- be able to prove that they can financially support themselves during their stay
- have a clean criminal record
- hold the correct qualifications and certifications in the relevant field
- be proficient in written and spoken English or Chinese
- hold a valid passport
The application required is the 981 form. For those wishing to take their family with them, they will have to meet the same requites as for the employer visa and complete the 997 application.
If you wish to perform a self-assessment for the General Points test, you can visit the HK government/immigration website.
Hong Kong has great opportunities for professionals looking to expand their career. It is widely agreed that, while the process is straight-forward, finding a job may not be so easy, which is where Hamilton Recruitment can help you.