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Hong Kong Work Visa | What Does It Mean | Suitable Credible Sponsor?

September 8th, 2023

Posted in Employment Visas, Investment Visas, Musing, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


A Suitable Credible Sponsor For Your Hong Kong Work Visa Application?

Over the last 20 years or so I have coined a number of phrases in Hong Kong immigration parlance …

Suitable credible sponsor for a work visa? In this short piece, I discuss how the Hong Kong Immigration Department assess the bona fides of a Hong Kong company seeking to sponsor the employment visa permissions of a foreign national employee.

Condition Precedent

To ensure the approval of your Hong Kong employment visa application, it is crucial to have a suitable and credible sponsor. The Immigration Department carefully examines the suitability and credibility of the employer during the application process. Here is everything you need to know about how a Hong Kong company can be deemed suitable and credible:

Definition of a Suitable Credible Sponsor

* A suitable sponsor refers to an employer who meets the requirements set by the Immigration Department for sponsoring an employment visa.
* A credible sponsor is an employer who has a good track record and is considered trustworthy by the Immigration Department.

Factors Considered by the Immigration Department

1. Financial Stability: The Immigration Department assesses the financial stability of the employer to ensure they can fulfil their obligations towards the sponsored employee.
2. Business Track Record: The employer’s track record, including their business history, reputation, and compliance with laws and regulations, is evaluated.
3. Employer of Hong Kong Locals: The employer is presently employing Hong Kong locals in its business.
4. Industry Knowledge: The employer’s knowledge and experience in the relevant industry are considered to determine their suitability as a sponsor.
5. Properly Set Up Office: The employer has suitable business premises out of which it is presently operating.

Documentation Required

6. Financial Documents: The employer must provide financial statements, bank statements, and other relevant financial documents to demonstrate their financial stability.
7. Business Registration: The employer’s business registration documents, including the Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration Certificate, are required.
8. Employment Contracts: The employment contract between the employer and the sponsored employee should be comprehensive and comply with Hong Kong labour laws.
9. Business Plan: If the employer is a new business, a detailed business plan outlining the nature of the business, market analysis, financial projections, and staffing plan is necessary.

Importance of a Well-Established Employer

* A well-established employer with a proven track record is more likely to be considered suitable and credible by the Immigration Department.
** Established employers are expected to have the necessary resources, financial stability, and industry knowledge to support the sponsored employee.
*** New businesses may face additional scrutiny and need to provide a compelling business plan to establish their suitability and credibility.

Learn More …

To learn more about the suitability and credibility of an employer for a Hong Kong employment visa application, you can refer to the following sources:

Hong Kong Visa Centre – Establishing the Bona Fides of a Hong Kong Employer – This resource source explains what the Immigration Department looks for when establishing the bona fides of a Hong Kong employer as a suitable and credible sponsor in the context of an IANG application (the requirements are the same whether GEP or IANG).

Hong Kong Visa Centre – Establishing Financial Bona Fides for New Businesses – If the proposed employer is a new business, this source provides insights into how new businesses can establish their financial bona fides to be deemed suitable and credible sponsors.

It is essential to provide comprehensive and detailed information in your employment visa application to demonstrate the suitability and credibility of your proposed employer. By following the guidelines and providing the necessary documentation, you can increase the chances of a successful application.

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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