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How Much & What Type of Work Experience Post-Graduation is Actually Needed to Get a Hong Kong Work Visa?

January 7th, 2020

Posted in Employment Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


First Published February 13, 2015

At least 2 years post-graduation working experience in a managerial or supervisory capacity is required to be deemed a Professional in order to qualify for a Hong Kong work visa under the General Employment Policy….


Dear Visa Geeza,

Thank you for maintaining such an informative site! It has been a great help to me understanding where I stand. However, I am hoping you might be able to clarify something a little more about what it means to qualify as a professional under the General Employment Policy.

Namely, I want to get a better idea of how much the “relevant skills, knowledge, or experience” applies to the 2 years of post graduate experience, specifically.

Let me give you a bit of background for my current situation,

I graduated in the summer of 2012 from a well-known British university with a professional undergraduate degree.

I worked full-time afterwords for a year (summer 2012 – summer 2013), after which I was offered a job with a multi-national company in Hong Kong / China in July 2013, in a position that is exactly in-line with my undergraduate qualifications / major.

Initially, my company tried to apply for my work visa in Hong Kong. At that time both my employer and I were unaware of the two year post-graduation experience requirement, and I submitted to them both that I had graduated only one year ago, and that I only had one year of post graduate experience.

As should have been expected, I was denied an employment visa. After being denied, and appealing one time to be denied a second time. After then researching more, I discovered the two-year clause. At that time there was, obviously, nothing I could do about that. My company promptly helped me obtain a work visa in mainland china, and I began to work there in January of 2014.

It has now been a year working for my company in mainland China, and both they and I would like me to be relocated to the Hong Kong office, now that I theoretically have 2 years of post-graduate experience.

There is one catch however: that year of experience before my current employer, though what I would consider “professional” – solid post graduate education was required, and were also of “supervisory nature”, it however was not totally in-line with my major.

My real questions are as follows:

  1. How would the immigration officer consider my previous post-graduate experience, and how in-line does it need to be with my major and my current employer’s requirement? Especially considering that this is an intra-company transferee, and so my last year experience is especially relevant.
  2. It has been a year since my reconsideration was denied, and I also lost my passport since, meaning I have a different passport number now. what does this mean for the status of my previous file? Would it possibly considered as a new application or a reconsideration (as I know for the latter, it would take a more vigorous argument)?

If you could possibly be extra detailed on how post-graduate experience is evaluated in light of Employment as a Professional, I would be deeply appreciative!

Also, if I have specific skills that my employer values highly, can this take any weight off of my previous not-so-relevant experience?

Have I got a chance here?

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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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