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Getting visa & work permit in Hong Kong.

If you are a professional who wants to work in Hong Kong, or a Hong Kong business wanting to hire foreign employees, our immigration team can help you get the work visa quickly and easily.

Work visa in Hong Kong

What is a work visa?

A work visa is a visa issued to foreigners who wish to work legally in Hong Kong. This type of visa does not apply to Chinese residents of the Mainland of China – they may apply to come to work under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionalism.

Work visa in numbers.

1 year

Length of stay

2-3 months

Application duration

20,000 HKD

Minimum monthly salary
Eligibility criteria

Who is eligible for a work visa.

Professionals who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for a work visa in Hong Kong:

  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Have a good education background, usually a first-level university degree in the relevant field of work
  • There is a genuine job vacancy
  • Have a confirmed employment offer
  • Are offered a remuneration package comparable with the prevailing market level for professionals in Hong Kong

In general, the Immigration Department will look at the following conditions when approving work visa applications:

  • The applicant can prove that he has outstanding experience and qualifications for the position and that the vacancy cannot be filled readily by Hong Kong people
  • Supporting documents and explanation from the sponsoring company why they cannot fill the post locally
  • The company can demonstrate its commitment to do business in Hong Kong
Application documents

What you will need to apply.

A proper employment visa application should contain the following documents provided by the employee:

  • Completed Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong
  • A passport copy
  • A copy of the Hong Kong identity card (if any)
  • A copy of a document proving the overseas residence
  • A copy of the academic qualifications and CV
  • References or employment letters from all past employments

Moreover, you will also need to accompany your application with the following corporate documents (provided by the employer):

  • Completed Application for Employing Professionals in Hong Kong
  • Documents with details of company background such as business activities, mode of operation, background/connection of company, product ranges, sources and markets, membership of chamber of commerce (if any) and more
  • For newly setup companies: detailed business plan (e.g. information on the source of funds, estimated capital injection, nature/mode of business activities, expected turnover, sales volume, gross and net profit in the coming years, and proposed creation of local jobs and more)
  • A copy of proof of financial standing (e.g. latest audited financial report, trading profit and loss account, or profit tax return and if its a newly established company, usually a bank account statement under the company with at least six months operational expenses in deposits.)
  • A copy of the employer’s Business Registration Certificate
  • A copy of the employment contract
Application process and timeline

How to apply for a Hong Kong work visa.

We submit your application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department (signed application forms together with all supporting documents from the sponsoring company and the applicant).

It usually takes six weeks to receive an initial response from the Immigration Department upon submission of the application. Depending on the quality and complexity of your application, the immigration department may approve it within 6-8 weeks (2-3 months). If the application is successful, the Immigration Department will issue a Visa/Entry Permit label.

Successful applicants will typically be granted an initial stay of 12 months on employment condition, or as per the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter), upon entry. They may apply for an extension of stay in Hong Kong within four weeks before their limit of stay expires.

Taking care of the whole application process from start to finish.

Pre-application advice

Advice on acquiring a work visa in Hong Kong and requirements for a successful application.

Application tracking

Filing and tracking the status of applications.

Document issuance

Arranging for issuance of work visa upon in-principle approval.


Handling renewal of work visas before they expire.

Common questions.

What happens to the work visa when I change a job?
Those professionals granted work visa under the General Employment Policy (GEP) with employment condition shall only take such employment as approved by the Director of Immigration. They should seek prior approval from the Director of Immigration for any change in employment. Such applications may be favourably considered if the applicants continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria under the GEP. For those top-tier professionals who are permitted to remain on time limitation only without other conditions of stay, they only need to notify the Immigration Department in writing of the change of their employment within the currency of their permitted limit of stay.
What is the ground for extending the work visa?
Persons admitted as professionals under the GEP will normally be granted an initial stay of 24 months on employment condition, or in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter), upon entry. They may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before their limit of stay expires. Such applications will be considered only when the applicants continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the GEP. Extension of stay, if approved, will normally follow the 3-3 years pattern, also on employment condition, or be in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter).
Can all nationalities apply?
Except for nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.
Do I need a degree to work as a foreigner in Hong Kong?
The applicant must have good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted.
Does the Hong Kong work visa extend to my family?
The applicant may apply dependent visa for his/her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 18.
What will I need to re-enter Hong Kong?
Irrespective of their nationality and type of travel document held, non-permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR as long as they return within their permitted limited.
Ready to get started?

Our dedicated immigration team can process your visa application quickly and reliably.

Non-binding & confidential
Not sure where to begin?

Schedule a free 30-minute discovery call
to discuss starting & managing your company
in Hong Kong.

Winnie Li, Director