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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Hong Kong, as established by immigration laws.  Some nationalities can enter Hong Kong without a visa but you cannot process a work visa application whilst in Hong Kong.

Permanent employees will find that it is possible to get a work permit easily using the sponsorship of the employer, which is required in Hong Kong.

To sponsor an employee, local registration and licensing is required, which can be a lengthy process depending on the type of business structure.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

Your Options

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

  • Shield GEO applies for the General Employment Program (GEP) – Professional Work Visa directly with the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This process takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • Once visa issued the employee must enter Hong Kong within 90 days. Shield GEO will collect the visa directly from the Hong Kong Immigration Department and courier it to the the GEO employee.
  • The employee will present the visa to the immigration officer when they arrive in Hong Kong.
  • After arrival a HKID (Hong Kong ID) application must be filed within 30 days of the employee’s arrival. This must be done in person at the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Documentation required for the GEP – Professional visa:

  • passport copy
  • passport photos
  • employment contract
  • degree/diploma documents
  • marriage / birth certificates for spouse & dependents

All documents must be in English or Chinese, or accompanied by certified translations into English or Chinese

Use your own company

An employment visa will be required in order to work in Hong Kong and failure to do so is an offense under the Hong Kong Immigration Ordinance.

The HKID assess each application on its own merit and will be favourably considered if:

  • The business sponsoring the visa is of benefit to the economy, industry and trade of Hong Kong
  • The employee in question has skills, knowledge and experience not readily available in the country
  • The position cannot be easily filled by someone locally in Hong Kong

 

The sponsoring employer will need to apply for the General Employment Program (GEP) – Professional Work Visa directly with the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This process takes approximately 4-6 weeks.

Once visa issued the employee must enter Hong Kong within 90 days. The company will need to collect the visa directly from the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

The employee will present the visa to the immigration officer when they arrive in Hong Kong.

After arrival a HKID (Hong Kong ID) application must be filed within 30 days of the employee’s arrival. This must be done in person at the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Documentation required for the GEP – Professional visa:

  • passport copy
  • passport photos
  • employment contract
  • degree/diploma documents
  • marriage / birth certificates for spouse & dependents

All documents must be in English or Chinese, or accompanied by certified translations into English or Chinese.

Extensions of the employment visa are available.

The employment visa is employer specific – the employee in question is only authorized to work for the sponsoring employer in Hong Kong.

If the employee is required to work for another organisation, the employee must obtain side-line approval from the HKID.

Upon termination, the sponsoring employer in Hong Kong must inform HKID.

Types of visas in Hong Kong

Category Description of Visa
General Employment Policy (GEP) - Professionals

GEP- Professionals visa is for an appropriately qualified foreigner with a relevant job offer in Hong Kong that cannot be filled by a local worker. This means the job must be relevant to their qualifications and/or experience, that they are paid at market rate or better and that they have sufficient experience and qualifications to perform the role.

There are no quota or industry sector restrictions on the GEP – Professionals program. Visa holders are able to bring their spouse and dependent children under the age of 18. Holders of a dependant visa can work and study in Hong Kong.
The visa takes 4 weeks to process.

Hong Kong

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