February 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Hong Kong. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

hong kong employment visa



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business and “fact-finding” meetings, discussions and seminars;
• Making sales calls to potential clients, provided that the visiting employee represents a commercial entity outside of Hong Kong;
• Concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
• Participating in product orientation;
• Examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods;
• Participating in exhibitions or trade fairs;
• Settling compensation or other civil proceedings.

Type of Business Visas – Certain nationals may enter Hong Kong without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals). All other nationals will require a business visa Visitor Visa (business)

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Hong Kong;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Hong Kong;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Hong Kong;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Hong Kong for up to six months during your visa validity period. Visas can be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid visa or authority to enter Hong Kong.


Basic Requirements – The principle visa category for temporary employment in Hong Kong is the Employment Visa. This is a category for employers to sponsor approved skilled workers to work in Hong Kong on a temporary basis. Note that different processes apply for citizens of the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, or Macau.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining an Employment Visa is as follows:

1. Employment Visa application – filed with the Hong Kong Immigration Department;
2. Self-Adhesive Voice Foil Issuance – foil is sent to the foreign national to affix in his/her passport;
3. Visa Activation on Arrival – foreign national must enter Hong Kong within 90 days of visa issuance. Visa label must be affixed to passport and foreign national will receive landing slip upon their entry into the country;
4. Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID) application – filed within 30 days of arrival in Hong Kong.

Estimated Processing Time – Six to eight weeks prior to entry to Hong Kong. HKID card will take approximately an additional two weeks post-arrival. 

Validity periods – Visas are generally valid for up to twelve months.

Family Members – Dependents of Employment Visa holders are granted permission to work and study in Hong Kong.

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