hongkongais se baladant dans les rues de Hong Kong

How to work in Hong Kong, obtain a visa and become a resident?

The almost island welcomes every year nationals from more than 170 countries from all over the world. They can visit Hong Kong without a visa for periods ranging from 7 to 180 days.

Please note, however, that if you wish to move to Hong Kong to live, work or study, you will need to obtain a visa before arriving in the country. For most expatriates, it is through the work visa that they obtain residency. In the vast majority of cases, your employer will take care of your relocation and visa requirements for residence in Hong Kong.

Whichever visa you need, it is advisable to check with the Chinese Embassy for the latest information and requirements and the documents you will need before applying. Foreign nationals are required to obtain a residence permit in Hong Kong in certain circumstances. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has an Immigration Ordinance and also uses provisions of the Basic Law to regulate how foreigners can obtain permanent residence in Hong Kong or other types of visas.

Formality: Types of visas in Hong Kong in 2022

In general, anyone travelling to Hong Kong for work (new job), or training (study) purposes must obtain an entry visa before arrival. Employers in Hong Kong risk heavy financial penalties if they do not provide their employees with the appropriate work permits. The types of visas for expatriates in Hong Kong are as follows:

-Employment visa

-Study visa

-Training visa

-Entrepreneurial investment visa

-Dependent visa

Immigration: Permanent residence in HK

According to the law, several categories of people are allowed to become permanent residents in Hong Kong:

-Chinese nationals born in Hong Kong or those who have lived legally in the city for 7 years;

-Chinese nationals born outside Hong Kong but who have a parent who was a resident at the time of birth;

-Foreigners who have lived in Hong Kong for 7 years and for whom the city is the place of permanent residence may apply for HK permanent residence status;

-Foreigners under 21 years of age who have a Hong Kong resident parent (however, after the age of 21, they must apply for a permit themselves);

-Persons who are not allowed to reside elsewhere than in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, a foreigner who is not a Chinese national and who applies for permanent residence in Hong Kong may have to comply with various other requirements, such as providing proof that he or she has paid taxes in Hong Kong during the time spent in the city. The Immigration Department is the authority responsible for all applications for permanent residence.

Permanent residence in Hong Kong under the general employment policy

For many foreign nationals, relocation to Hong Kong takes place for employment reasons. In this case, the main rules that apply are those included in the General Employment Policy. Please bear in mind that these are different from the admission regimes applicable to talented professionals or entrepreneurs.

Becoming a permanent resident of Hong Kong is possible for an employee who has worked legally in the Special Administrative Region, and who has renewed his or her work permit, for the minimum number of years. Under the General Employment Policy, foreign employees will be accepted for certain categories of positions in companies where their skills or experience have not been found among Hong Kong employees. There is no quota in this case, however, the General Employment Policy does not apply to residents of mainland China or nationals of Afghanistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, Vietnam, Cuba or Laos.


A foreign national can apply for an entry permit and thus eventually become a permanent resident of HK, when he or she has:

-an employment contract: he or she has a confirmed job in Hong Kong, in a position corresponding to his or her professional experience or qualifications (and the position cannot be filled by the local workforce);

-a clean criminal record: there is no security objection to hiring the applicant if he or she does not have a criminal record with a serious crime;

-Good references: the person has a good level of education and relevant degrees of technical qualifications;

-adequate benefits: the position includes remuneration in accordance with the rules applicable to the profession in the Special Administrative Region.

Foreign nationals admitted to Hong Kong may bring their spouse, same-sex civil partner or unmarried dependent children under the age of 18.

Required documents for Hong Kong visa

As part of your visa application, you must include a statement from your prospective employer describing the job vacancy. When assessing your application, the immigration department is likely to find in your favor if you meet the following requirements:

-You have a higher education degree and the necessary work experience for the job.

-Your salary and other working conditions are comparable to local standards.

-You will contribute to the local economy in general.

-The company can prove that it has not found a local to fill this particular position.

The last criterion is usually the most difficult to prove, especially if you are recruited directly by a Hong Kong company. Nevertheless, for most applications, the immigration authorities will accept the evidence they receive.