New Content Daily Sign Up Here

Your Questions Answered

Is It Ever OK To Work Full Time In Hong Kong Without An Employment Visa – For The Hong Kong Subsidiary Of An Overseas Company?

April 4th, 2024

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


Work full time in Hong Kong without an employment visa ? This is a bit of a hoary old chestnut this question but a really important one nonetheless so I am grateful to the questioner for posing it.

Work Full Time in Hong Kong Without An Employment Visa


Hi there,

My Hong Kong employment visa application has just been refused. My company who are sponsoring me applied on my behalf.

Apparently it was the first visa for them to have been rejected. We are going through the appropriate channels to re-apply.

I was interviewed in Hong Kong for the position I am now holding, whilst in the USA. I am being paid in the USA, although my wages are being internally invoiced to Hong Kong (the company in the USA being the pay-master).

My question being: can I enter Hong Kong with a visitor visa, as a USA national, and be paid in the same manner though the USA?

Whilst of course waiting for the re-application of the visa to be completed.

Thanks for your advice. 


In the final analysis, it doesn’t really matter what the origin of your employment contract is or where you end up getting paid or whatever the financing mechanism is between the various entities in the group as to how you get paid. The issue really relates to you being physically in Hong Kong carrying out employment activities, because it is unlawful to work in Hong Kong without the permission of the Immigration Department, whether paid or unpaid irrespective, as I say, of the source of the payment or where the contract is cited.

So if you are going to wait in Hong Kong until such a time as your reconsideration application has been finalised, then in order to ensure that you don’t break the law, its important that you don’t carry out any employment duties. And the Immigration Department are totally wise to what your intentions are given that they are presently considering an application for you to take up employment; so, ostensibly at face value, is extremely easy for them to understand, what you might be doing here whilst you wait for your employment visa application to be finalised. So, I think it’s really important that you don’t confuse the origin of employment and where you get paid with the fact that taking up employment activities, irrespective of whether you get paid or not, is a breach of your conditions of stay as a visitor.

VisaGeeza.Ai – Making Hong Kong Immigration A Lot Easier

Work Full Time in Hong Kong Without An Employment Visa

VisaGeeza.Ai – 13 Years In The Making

Check Out VisaGeeza.Ai

All Our Know-How : All Our Experience : Fully Interactive

100% FREE!

More Stuff To Help You Along




Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

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.

Handbook Contents
Professional Service Options...