How to Obtain a Hong Kong Work Visa and Authorization

How to Obtain a Hong Kong Work Visa and Authorization

A report, titled Hong Kong Mobile Apps Industry Survey, asked 124 mobile app developers located in Hong Kong about their business and employees. A majority of those surveyed identified a serious talent shortage. 33% of the respondents rated the talent shortage in their company as a serious concern, while 44% rated it as fair. Those responses combined mean that 77% of Hong Kong app struggle to find high-quality talent. For this reason, many Hong Kong companies are looking to bring in foreign talent to help fill this gap, and bring new cultures, perspectives, creativity, and knowledge to their company. However, before a person can begin working in this economic hub, they must obtain a Hong Kong work visa and authorization. A foreign worker needs complete and file two different documents in order to begin working in Hong Kong — a business visa and a work permit.


How to Get a Hong Kong Work Visa

The process for obtaining a business visa, called a Z visa, is fairly straightforward. In order to apply, a person must provide an application form and the following documents to the local Chinese consulate:

  • Passport
  • Photograph
  • Photocopy of any previous visas for China

In addition, they must present one of the following accepted documents with an invitation letter by a duly-authorized entity. These documents include the foreigner’s employment permit, a separate permit for foreign expats working in China, and a registration certificate for foreign countries. Furthermore, the Z visa is a single-entry visa, meaning it only allows them to enter the country once but does not permit them to travel. After a foreign worker enters the country, he or she needs to apply for a Hong Kong ID card within 30 days.

Hong Kong Work Authorization

After receiving a visa to enter Hong Kong, a worker needs to apply for a work permit. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, so it works under different regulations than other areas in the country. Workers in the region need to apply under the General Employment Policy, which is designed to bring high-skilled professionals into the country. To obtain this permit, a worker must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • No security objection or history of serious crime
  • Proof of special qualifications
  • An offer for a job that cannot be readily taken by the local workforce
  • Compensation package is at the same level as local labor

To receive a work visa, applicants and employers must start with the proper application forms: form ID 990A for applicants and form ID 990B for employers. When these forms have been completed, they can be sent to the local Chinese consulate. A local sponsor can also deliver them to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Along with an application, the employer must supply a copy of the employment contract and Business Registration Certificate, proof of financial standing, and a detailed business plan.

The consulate usually takes four weeks to process the application once all documents have been received. The General Employment Policy usually grants an initial stay of 24 months, after which, a person can apply for an extension. The Hong Kong government puts forth efforts to make the process of hiring a foreign worker as painless as possible in order to continue to boost the local economy.

Companies that have offices in Hong Kong can benefit greatly by bringing foreign workers into their business. Finding high-quality global talent can help a business thrive in this economic hub. As long as a company does their due diligence to learn what is required in order to receive a Hong Kong work visa, then they can expect to thrive in this booming economy.




Take charge of your growth in Hong Kong with help from the leading global employment solution experts. Get in touch with our team to learn how to navigate the applications for work permits and visas in Hong Kong or any of the over 185 countries we support.

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