Visas for Hong Kong
Understanding the fundamentals
Visit visas for Hong Kong
Citizens from more than 170 countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for a limited amount of time. Visa-free visits are usually permitted for a period ranging from 7 to 180 days, depending on the applicant’s nationality.
Those in need of a visit visa for Hong Kong will discover the length of the visa granted also depends on their nationality. They can apply for one at their local Chinese embassy in advance of their trip.
Work visas for Hong Kong
- General Employment Policy Visa
Highly-qualified and experienced expats wanting to work in Hong Kong will likely apply for a General Employment Policy (GEP) visa. No quota restrictions are in place for general employment permits, and they are not sector specific.
These work permits are relatively easy to come by if expats can prove that they have a high level of education or possess a highly specialised skill set that will be of value to society and isn't readily available locally.
However, expats will need to have a confirmed offer of employment and an employer sponsor before applying for this type of work permit.
GEP visas are usually granted for a period of 24 months, or for the length of an employment contract, and can be renewed thereafter, as long as the expat continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
- Working Holiday Scheme Visa
Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) visas allow expats aged between 18 and 30 to work in Hong Kong. WHS visas are only available for a few nationalities and are valid for up to 12 months (six months for Austrian nationals). There are annual quotas of WHS visas for each of the eligible countries.
Participants of the WHS are allowed to take up temporary employment, but may be obligated to change employers after three, six or 12 months depending on their nationality. Most nationalities are also permitted to study while in Hong Kong, though again, the number and length of courses that may be taken varies according to country of origin.
To be granted a WHS visa, expats are required to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while in Hong Kong and show proof of valid medical insurance. They must also hold a return air ticket or show that they have the financial means to purchase one.
Dependant visas for Hong Kong
Expats in Hong Kong can apply to bring their dependants to Hong Kong, including their spouse as well as children under the age of 18. Once an expat becomes a permanent resident of Hong Kong, they can also apply for a dependant visa for their parents, provided they are over the age of 60.
Expats will have to provide proof of their relationship to their dependants and must be able to show that they can financially support and accommodate them while living in Hong Kong.