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Hong Kong Visa


How can I get a work visa in Hong Kong?

You need to find an employer who is prepared to offer you a job that is of a senior/managerial or requires specialist skills you may have that the employer is unable to find from the resident Hong Kong labour force. They can then act as your sponsor in making any application for an employment visa.

Can I apply for a work visa on my own?

Yes, you can. There is no need to hire professional help, you can represent yourself. There are very few option to submit on-line and it certainly doesn’t apply to employment related applications. The alternative is to apply by post or through the sponsor to:

Receipt and Despatch Unit
Hong Kong Immigration Department
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Can I hire someone to assist me in processing my papers?

Yes, we at EHK and other firms can represent a visa application. However, in reality it’s the sponsoring company that is being represented in an employment situation.

What documents do I need to submit?

You need to submit:

The other documents required will come from the sponsoring company.

Hong Kong does not recognize same sex relationships, but do consider long-term visitor visa applications for those in a relationship akin to marriage for 12 months or longer.

How long do I have to wait for my papers to be processed?

Most employment visa applications are processed in 4-6 weeks on the basis that all the information required is submitted at the beginning of the process. Subsequent submissions for any supplementary information will prolong the process.

Where can I check on the status of my application?

Once the application has been acknowledged a letter with a reference number will be sent to the applicant or representative with contact information.

Can I come to the Hong Kong on a tourist visa to find work?

Yes, but finding work is not the best thing to tell immigration if asked at the port of arrival. With a tourist visa, your intention should simply be for a visit. Do note that some passports may attract more attention than others on arrival.

What will happen if I agree to work for an employer without a valid working visa processed?

It is illegal to start work without a proper work visa. Both you and the employer will be liable for prosecution.

Aside from obtaining a work visa, how else can I reside in Hong Kong?

Assuming you want to work, you can:

For more information and advice, contact us at

How can my partner / spouse or children who work and live in Hong Kong sponsor my residency?

Spouse and children under 18 can enter as dependents on the basis you support and accommodate them.HK permanent residents can sponsor dependent relatives over the age of 65.

Reminder: Hong Kong does not recognize same sex relationships, but do consider long-term visitor visa applications for those in a relationship akin to marriage for 12 months or longer.


Can I apply for permanent residency and acquire citizenship when I get my work visa?

No, permanent residency takes seven years continuous residency in HK, citizenship can be applied for after that.

Where can I find more information on residency and citizenship in Hong Kong?

There’s plenty of websites and you can go the Hong Kong Immigration site at

How long is the validity of the work visa before it expires?

With same employer, visas are initially issued on a one year then two and three year basis.

What will my proof of visa be?

A label in your passport will be your proof of visa.

How long can I stay outside the country before my work visa expires?

In theory as long as the validity, the problem will occur with the extension.

Is there a grace period to renew employment visa?

You can apply up to one month before the visa expires.

After my work visa expires in the country, how can I re-enter Hong Kong and accept a new job?

If you re-enter as a visitor, DO NOT WORK until you have the new approval. You must leave HK and re-enter to activate the new visa. Most people go to Macau to do that.

How do I make sure I don’t get banned from re-entry?


What are the government fees I have to pay for while I’m on my work visa?

Currently, Employment/dependent visa costs $160HKD as do most.

Will an expat’s child born in Hong Kong acquire citizenship?

No, they will get permanent residency “right of abode” if the parent(s) are permanent residents of Hong Kong.

I am a Hong Kong Citizen currently living overseas with a foreign nationality. What are the requirements for my partner to be able to reside with me in Hong Kong?

A partner as in “Spouse”, you are required to provide a proof of marriage and your ability to support and accommodate your spouse in HK.


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EHK aims to help clients make informed decisions when relocating to establish a business, start work and live in Hong Kong. Services include business advice, visas and immigration, company incorporation, recruitment and marketing, as well as accounting, tax and other legal services, either directly or through strategic partners. Consultation is free and fees are fixed and agreed in advance.

E:      W: nor the author guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page. It is recommend that particularly prior to your travels you check with the relevant government authority. Please contact us with any updates you may have. Last updated 04 April 2012.

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