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HkHong Kong Visas
& Permits.








Country Capital



Hong Kong dollar (HK$) (HKD)

It’s notoriously difficult for companies to obtain work visas in Hong Kong, as the country typically fills vacancies with local professionals. However, knowing the right qualifications and doing the proper research will help you demonstrate that your team members are well-qualified for the job.

Types of work visas in Hong Kong

Most people moving to Hong Kong for a job apply for a work visa under the General Employment Policy (GEP). These types of visas are usually issued only for a specific period. To be eligible, candidates must have a confirmed job offer with an employer who is sponsoring them.

As of December 28, 2022, Hong Kong expanded opportunities for international professionals to work or start a business in Hong Kong through the Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS). This scheme is available to nationals from all countries except Afghanistan, Cuba, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Applicants are not required to have a job offer or business plan and may apply under one of the following categories:

  • Their annual income is HKD 2.5 million or more.
  • They hold a degree from one of the top 100 universities in the world and have 3 years of work experience over the previous 5 years.
  • They hold a degree from one of the top 100 universities in the world and do not have 3 years of work experience. This category is subject to an annual quota of 10,000 applicants and does not apply to international workers who completed their undergraduate program in Hong Kong.

Applicants may submit dependent visas for eligible family members.

Some other common Hong Kong work permits include the following:

  • General Employment Policy (GEP): This is the most common work visa. It is for professionals who possess special skills, knowledge, or experience of value that is not readily available in Hong Kong. This visa is quota-free and does not apply to Chinese residents of the Mainland and nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
  • Admission scheme for mainland talents and professionals: This work visa is for Chinese residents of the Mainland China who possess special skills, knowledge, or experience of value that is not readily available in Hong Kong.
  • Technology talent admission scheme: This work visa is for professionals who specialize in certain technology sectors, including artificial intelligence and financial technologies. Eligible companies will first need to apply for a quota.
  • Training: The training option is a work visa for individuals who are looking to learn a skill or gain specific knowledge and want to live in Hong Kong for up to a year.
  • Quality migrant admission scheme: Expats from certain professions can relocate to Hong Kong using this visa. The program has slots for IT, financial, legal, and creative individuals who do not have an existing job offer. This scheme is also based on the General Points Test (GPT) for highly skilled or talented persons. Assessment factors include age, academic/professional qualifications, work experience, talent list, language proficiency, family background – not just a profession.
  • Immigration arrangements for non-local graduates: This visa is for people with a degree from Hong Kong. Within 6 months of graduation, they can apply to stay in the city for up to a year to look for local employment.

Requirements to obtain Hong Kong work visas

If your team members are applying for a Hong Kong work permit under the GEP, they need to include a statement from you describing the position. The Immigration Department will assess the application for:

  • A graduate degree
  • Necessary professional experience
  • Salary and working conditions comparable to local standards
  • Contribution to the local economy
  • Lack of a local to fill the particular position

Sometimes it’s difficult for companies to prove that they couldn’t find a local to fill a position, especially if they’re recruiting individuals from around the world. That said, the immigration authorities typically accept the proof they receive.

If your team members have family they would like to bring to Hong Kong, they’ll need to meet additional requirements. For example, professionals must prove that they have reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the dependent and the sponsor and dependent children under the age of 18. They need to show that they can financially support a family and provide the right accommodations. If a spouse wants to work in Hong Kong as well, they can do so through an extra work permit.

Application process

First, individuals need to fill out the right application form for their requested visa and attach all the required documents. If the documents are in any other language besides English or Chinese, the professionals must provide a translation. They will also need a valid travel document from their home country.

Applications can be mailed or handed in personally. They can go either directly to the Hong Kong Immigration Department or the nearest Chinese mission. If your international team member lives in Mainland China, they can submit their visa application in Beijing at the Hong Kong government’s office. Another option is to file the application through a local sponsor, such as a prospective employer.

As of December 2022, Hong Kong’s Immigration Department expanded its online application filing option to all visa types. Applications can still be mailed in or delivered in person if preferred.

Other important considerations

While the typical employment visa is valid only in the short term, individuals can get an extension once it expires. They should apply at least 4 weeks before the expiration date. Most employment visas will follow a 2-3-3 year extension pattern. The only exception is a fixed employment contract that runs out before the visa expires, in which the extension will be shortened accordingly.

It’s also important to note that the technology talent admission scheme visa is not applicable for nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying your team is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.

For this particular location, G-P may offer support processing certain work visas and permits. Contact us today to assess your specific needs.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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