What is A Working Visa for Hong Kong?
The Employment Visa in Hong Kong is a special Working Visa, or Work Permit for Hong Kong that allows foreign nationals and professionals to have the rights to land and stay, as well as legally work in Hong Kong for the duration of the Employment Visa, which is granted by the Immigration Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Under the current immigration policy, an unlimited number of Working Visas are issued to foreign professionals by the Immigration Department of HKSAR each year, as long as the working visa applicants meet all the requirements listed below.
Eligibility for A Work Permit in Hong Kong
To be eligible for a working visa for Hong Kong, all such employment visa applications must meet the below requirements:
For the Applicant:
The work visa applicant should not have any past records of serious offences/crimes or security objections.
The work visa applicant must have proof that he/she is educationally qualified for his/her profession with certain skills, knowledge and/or experience that are not easily found in the Hong Kong job market.
The employment visa applicant must also have a valid employment agreement/contract clearly stating information about job title, job description, remuneration and contract period.
For the Employing Company:
The employing company (who wishes to hire a foreign employee) must prove their legibility.
The employing company must have financial stability to hire a foreign professional.
The employing company also has to prove that the position/ role they are hiring cannot be filled by local candidates.
The eligibility criteria for a working visa application in Hong Kong may be subjected to change from time-to-time.
Additional criteria may be required by the Immigration Department of Hong Kong, on a case-by-case basis.
How To Apply – Employment Visa Application (Processes & Procedure)
There are different forms and documents required to be submitted to the Immigration Department of HKSAR when applying for a work permit in Hong Kong:
Both the Employing Company (Sponsor) and the Working Visa Applicant each have their own list of items to be submitted.
Once all documentation has been submitted to the Immigration Department of HKSAR (the “Department”), within a few working days, the Department will issue a reference number for your Employment Visa application.
After the assigned Immigration Officer has reviewed all submitted information, he/she may ask for further information to support the Employment Visa application. An official letter will be faxed/emailed/posted by mail, to the application’s corresponding person. Such letters will have the due date/deadline printed when the additional information is to be handed in.
After the additional requested information is submitted, the Immigration Officer may generate more questions/queries, and may ask for even more information related to either the Sponsor and/or the Working Visa Applicant, until the Immigration Officer is satisfied with what he/she has received and reviewed.
For Working Visas in Hong Kong, the standard processing time by an Immigration Officer usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, however in some cases it can take up to 6 months.
An official letter will be faxed/emailed/posted by mail, to the application’s correspondence person when the Immigration Department of HKSAR has made a decision on your Working Visa application for Hong Kong.
An Approved Hong Kong Working Visa
Whether the submitted employment visa application will be approved, it is determined by the applicant’s qualifications and/or work experiences, also his/her employing company. All submitted applications will be evaluated in detail by the Immigration Department of HKSAR.
The validity period of an approved working visa is usually for one year, and a working visa renewal in Hong Kong may be arranged accordingly.
Once the working visa application for Hong Kong has been approved, we, as the applicant's authorised immigration consultant, will arrange to collect the approved working visa from the Immigration Department on behalf of the applicant.
The Director of Immigration reserves all rights to approve or to reject any application for a work permit in Hong Kong. In the case when an application is unsuccessful, an appeal can be filed as a next step with the appropriate authorities.
Note to both Employing Companies (Sponsors) and Employees, a new Working Visa for Hong Kong is required if there is a change of employment.
For foreigners who are currently working and living in Hong Kong, if you are changing to a new job with a new employer, there will be a "change of sponsor" to your Employment Visa. In this case, you will be required to obtain a new Working Visa for Hong Kong.
Who Can Apply for an Employment Visa for Hong Kong?
Foreign professionals who are being offered to work in Hong Kong:
An Approved Hong Kong Employment Visa
Long Term Employments:
Short Term Employments:
A managerial or supervisory position with a fixed monthly salary.
As a contractor for a specific project.
As a speaker, or participant at an industry event.
A guest lecturer/ profession to give seminars/ classes.
Performers to perform in Hong Kong for specific shows.
Contact our working visa agency to find out if you (as a potential working visa applicant) or your potential employees are eligible to apply.
Who Cannot Apply for an Employment Visa for Hong Kong?
Unfortunately, not all types of employment can allow foreign professionals to apply for the Working Visa for Hong Kong, such as:
Foreign professionals who had been offered a permanent role, however it is on a pure commission-based salary.
As an employment visa agency in Hong Kong, we offer professional services relating to Work Visa or Permits for Mainland Chinese. Please refer to the dedicated page for Mainland Talents & Professionals Visa.
Our Working Visa Agency Services – What We Can Do for You
Boötes Consulting Services Limited is an Employment Visa Agency in Hong Kong with over 10 years of experience in the immigration field. We offer our expertise and consultation services for all new Working Visa applications for Hong Kong, as well as for Working Visa renewals for Hong Kong, extensions and change of sponsor.
After we receive a case, a dedicated consultant will be appointed who is responsible for the whole employment visa application process. Our consultants are professional and are committed to handling and coordinating all logistics for our clients’ cases for a complete peace of mind. It is most important that our consultants deal with every single case in a timely and efficient manner to avoid any delays in your working visa application for Hong Kong.
Our working visa agency’s dedicated consultants are in charge of directly contacting the sponsoring employers and working visa applicants involved, to ensure all required information and documentations are gathered by certain due dates. In special cases, it is also our duty to directly contact Officers from the Immigration Department in order to make sure all working visa applications are processed as smoothly as possible.
Services on applications for working visa renewal for Hong Kong, as well as employment visa renewal for Hong Kong (extensions) are also available.
Immediate family members of the Working Visa holders can relocate to Hong Kong with a valid Hong Kong Dependent Visa.
* Disclaimer: We are a private Employment Visa Agency in Hong Kong that provides individuals and businesses support with their Hong Kong relocation and immigration. Our immigration consultancy firm wishes to make it clear that this website is not a government website and we are not linked or affiliated with the Immigration Department of HKSAR. If you do not wish to obtain any immigration advice or representation from us, you can submit your own working visa application for Hong Kong directly with the relevant government authority without paying any additional fees.
From Working Visa to Hong Kong Permanent Residency
Prior to when an employment visa expires, if the visa holder continues to work in Hong Kong in the same role, they are required to apply for a Employment Visa Renewal for Hong Kong. You can contact us for information regarding all Working Visa Renewals in Hong Kong, and our professional consultants can assist you.
Case Studies – Our Employment Visa Agency’s Hong Kong Success Stories
Case Study 1 – New Employment Visa:
Nature of Business: Sportswear – Workout shoes
Post Title: Marketing Director
Application Duration: 8 weeks
Difficulties: Our client, the Sponsoring Company, is a newly formed company still at its setting up stage, unable to meet the criteria of being an established company in Hong Kong. As an experienced Employment Visa Agency in Hong Kong, we worked together with our client, trying to understand their business in order to come up with a solution on how we can achieve getting an Employment Visa in Hong Kong for their new Marketing Director, so that they can grow their business.
Case Study 2 – New Employment Visa
Nature of Business: Boat dealership, Yacht charter, and Yacht management
Post Title: Superyacht Fleets Captain
Application Duration: 6 weeks
Difficulties: The working visa applicant does not have a university degree, however he holds special licences which are needed for his role, and local candidates in Hong Kong do not possess it. As an experienced Employment Visa Agency in Hong Kong, we were able to guide our client on how to provide answers to the Immigration Officer’s enquiries, and what supporting documents to provide, etc. Though the working visa applicant might not be a university graduate, the Immigration Department of Hong Kong has made the exception and granted our client’s employee a Work Permit for Hong Kong.
Case Study 3 – Extension of Employment Visa
Post Title: Barrister
Application Duration: 3 weeks
Difficulties: Our client is a Barrister from England who is not employed by an employer in Hong Kong. During the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, our client was not able to travel to submit an Employment Visa Renewal in Hong Kong, and he has an urgent court case to attend to in a few months’ time from when he first contacted our Working Visa Agency. The court case will run for a minimum of 6 months, and with our assistance in making sure he is submitting all the correct documentations for his Employment Visa application, our client obtained his short-term Work Permit for Hong Kong quickly from the Immigration Department of HKSAR, in time for his planned flight to Hong Kong.
Our Working Visa Agency Service Fees
* Fees do not include:
Overseas courier costs.
Costs for translation with certification.
Company incorporation (for Business Investment Visas).
Additional HKD $4,380 for each dependent visa application.
10% off for every 10 working visa applications
For corporate rates, please contact our employment visa agency in Hong Kong for a quotation.
About Getting A Hong Kong Work Permit - FAQs:
1. I am from India, and I wish to live and work in Hong Kong. How can I apply for the Hong Kong Employment Visa?
2. Can I still apply for a Work Permit for Hong Kong, if I have not yet lined up a job?
To be able to legally work in Hong Kong, you must obtain a Hong Kong Employment Visa. However, to qualify, you need to have a Hong Kong Employer who will be your Sponsor for your application.
The Employment Visa is a two-party process, during the application process, the Immigration Department of HKSAR will assess not only the working visa applicant’s qualification and employment background, the Department will also thoroughly review the Sponsoring Company whether they are a suitable employing company (i.e. their financial standing, operation structure, etc).
Lastly, the Department will assess the job position, if the skills, knowledge, and experience required for the job are readily available in Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, the prerequisite for the Employment Visa for Hong Kong under the General Employment Policy scheme, is that the applicant must already have an executed employment contract/agreement with an employer in Hong Kong.
However, there is an option for those who wish to only look for jobs/work while being in Hong Kong. There is currently a point-based and quota-based entrant scheme in place, called the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), where the applicant will be evaluated based on 6 factors (Age, academic/professional qualification, work/industrial experience, the talent list, language proficiency, and family background) and/or their achievements within their industries. For more information about QMAS, please visit the dedicated page on our website.
3. I currently hold a valid Work Permit in Hong Kong, can I take up a part-time job?
4. Does my Working Visa for Hong Kong have an expiry date? How long can I stay in Hong Kong after I have obtained it?
Work Permit/Employment Visa holders cannot take up jobs outside of their main employment in Hong Kong. However, they may ask the Immigration Department of HKSAR to grant them permission to do so by applying for a Sideline Employment Visa. You can contact our Working Visa Agency for more information, and our professional consultants can provide more information regarding the Sideline Employment Visa, as well as its application.
The Working Visa for Hong Kong usually has a validity of 1 to 2 years, the duration granted is dependent on the industry, the role, and the employing company. If the Hong Kong Employment Visa holder is still being employed at the same company in the same job, the employing company as well as the employee will need to apply for a Working Visa renewal for Hong Kong 4 weeks prior to the expiry date. For more information regarding Employment Visa Renewals for Hong Kong, please contact our experienced Working Visa Agency consultants.
5. Am I required to terminate my current employment while I am waiting for my new Employment Visa application to be approved by the Immigration Department of HKSAR?
6. I am an owner of my company in Hong Kong, can my own company be the sponsor for my Employment Visa application?
If you are still employed with your current sponsoring company, no, you do not need to terminate your employment until your new work permit for Hong Kong is approved.
When the Immigration Department of HKSAR is about to finalise your new working visa application in Hong Kong for a change of sponsorship, you will be asked by the Department to provide the information on when your end date will be with your current employment (proof of resignation) and this is when you hand in your resignation letter to your employer knowing that your new employment visa in Hong Kong is to be approved.
As you are the owner of your Hong Kong company, the Immigration Department of HKSAR will treat you as an entrepreneur, and therefore you should be applying for the Business Investment Visa instead. For more information about such visas, please visit the dedicated page on our website.
7. As a Hong Kong Employer, can I still hire a foreigner/non-local employee who does not hold a university degree?
8. As a Hong Kong Employer, we are struggling to hire skilled workers locally to take up certain skilled roles. Since the positions are not managerial or supervisory, and do not require candidates to have certain education qualifications, how do we apply for Employment Visas?
This will depend on your industry, the job nature and the employment visa applicant’s work history within the industry. There are special cases where academic qualifications are not required (but in certain industries only). However, the working visa applicant must prove that they hold special licences, and that they have extensive industry skills, knowledge and work experience that no candidates in Hong Kong have.
Such foreign workers (Imported Worker) can also apply for their Work Permits in Hong Kong under the General Employment Policy scheme. However, the Employing Companies (Sponsors) must first get permission/approval from the Labour Department of HKSAR via the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) application which normally takes approx. 6 – 10 weeks processing time. Contact our employment visa agency in Hong Kong for more details if you have any queries, or wish to find out whether your Company is eligible to apply under the Supplementary Labour Scheme for imported workers.
Our Other Services
Hong Kong Dependent Visa
For family members wishing to join their spouses/parents who are working/studying in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Investment Visa
For overseas entrepreneurs relocating to Hong Kong either through investing or by establishing their own business in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Training Visa
For non-Hong Kong students and employees coming to Hong Kong for training or internship
For foreigners who wish to visit Hong Kong for leisure or business purposes. And for foreigners who require to transit through from Hong Kong
Mainland Talents & Professionals
For professionals who are residents of Mainland China taking up employment in Hong Kong
We can provide a volume of discounts to clients with multiple applications