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Hadley Says

I Will Only Be Working in Hong Kong For 6 Weeks – Should I Bother Getting an Employment Visa?

January 28th, 2013

Posted in Employment Visas, Hadley Says…, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


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Hong Kong immigration law is very clear about the need for foreign nationals to secure permission to work in Hong Kong.

If you intend to come here to take up employment, paid or unpaid, for long or short duration, for a local or an overseas employer, you need to secure the consent of the Director of Immigration.

This means that you have to make an application for an employment visa, before you arrive in Hong Kong to commence the employment.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department are very familiar with the need for foreigners requiring such short term temporary employment visa consents and will work earnestly with you to try to finalise such applications as quickly as possible, even anticipating round-pegs-in-square-holes quirks over such issues as a valid sponsor and the employing entity.

So, whilst most foreign nationals secure a 90 day or even a 180 day visitor visa upon arrival in Hong Kong, undertaking  any work  on such a visitor visa will be a breach of your conditions of stay and will make you, and other  person party to such an employment, vulnerable to prosecution for a breach of conditions of stay.

There’s no need to be concerned about getting the employment  visa so don’t be hesitant (or lazy) in applying.

Start the process at least  4 weeks before you’re due to arrive, fully disclose your intentions and objectives and let the HKID take a view and ensure that you’re compliant with Hong Kong law whilst you’re on the job here.

More Stuff You May Find Useful

Can I come to install equipment in Hong Kong without an employment visa?

How can an overseas company temporarily sponsor an employment visa for Hong Kong?

The perils of contriving a job offer just for the purposes of a Hong Kong employment visa application

How flexible is the Admission of Mainland Talents & Professionals Scheme in enabling Chinese  nationals to come and live and work in Hong Kong?

Is it ever OK to work in Hong Kong on an Visitor visa?


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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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