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Employers Guide to Work Permit in Hong Kong

The opportunity to work in a new country is exciting, both on a personal and professional level. As Hong Kong becomes a hub for the ever-expanding corporate world, there is an increase in the number of companies that wish to set base in Hong Kong.

Migrants who wish to live in Hong Kong to pursue their career or education are expected to go through a confusing process of obtaining a work permit. As a foreigner who is uneducated about the local administration and language of this country, the process of visa application can get intimidating. As an employer, it’s your job to make the onboarding process as seamless as possible for the benefit of your employees. The first step for this is being aware of all the processes of getting a work permit in Hong Kong.

However, if you wish to spare yourself from the hassles and avoid the risks of penalties, getting help from an EOR (Employer of Record) in Hong Kong is a more feasible option.

Before we dive into the benefits of hiring an EOR in Hong Kong, let’s start with understanding who is eligible to work in Hong Kong.

Who is Eligible to Work in Hong Kong?

Eligibility to work in Hong Kong can vary according to nationality, immigration status, educational qualifications, and specific skills. Workers in Hong Kong can be divided into four main categories:

Types of Visas and Work Permits in Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers five main types of work permits to cater to different categories of migrant workers. These are:

Requirements for Hong Kong Work Permit

Individuals who wish to work in Hong Kong need to apply for work permits from the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Here are the eligibility requirements that a prospective applicant must meet:

1. Education

Applicants must possess requisite educational qualifications for the field of work they wish to join. An undergraduate degree in the relevant field is considered a minimum requirement in most cases. For certain domains of work, certifications that provide evidence of your technical qualifications and achievements, along with documented proof of work experience can suffice. Professionally qualified workers with a strong skill base are always preferred as candidates for employment visas.

2. Employment

Work visas are granted to professionals who have a job offer from an employer based in Hong Kong. The job position you have secured must match your academic qualifications or work experience. Further, the hiring company needs to show that they need help finding local talent to fulfill your job vacancy.

3. Remuneration

Work permit applicants must prove that they have obtained a remuneration package that is in line with local standards. This includes income, accommodation, medical, and other benefits which are provided according to prevailing market standards in the Hong Kong region.

Hong Kong Work Permit Application Process

If you are a skilled professional who wants to apply for a work permit in Hong Kong, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Get a confirmed Job in Hong Kong

An applicant must have accepted a job offer in a Hong Kong-based company before they are eligible to apply for an employment visa. This means that you must be ready with documented proof of your job offer, including the remuneration package and other key details of your job position.

2. Submission of Application

Most employers in Hong Kong take the responsibility of initiating the process of visa application by submitting application forms (ID 990A, and ID 990B) along with other documents to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. These documents include copies of the applicant’s passport, academic records proof of work experience, and a copy of your employment contract.

3. Review of Application

The submitted visa application and supporting documents are reviewed by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. During this process, the department may ask for clarifications, additional documents, or complementary information as they screen your application.

4. Issuance of Visa

If your application passes the screening and gets verified, the Immigration Department will issue an employment visa that gives you legal permission to work and stay in the country. The entry and work permit label you receive must be affixed to your travel documents before you arrive in Hong Kong. Upon your arrival in the region, your work visa gets activated as you start your employment journey.

Timeframe for Hong Kong Work Permit Application

The processing and approval of your Visa application is expected to take about 2-3 months. It is therefore advisable to be ready with accurate documentation and a completed visa application as soon as you get a confirmed job in Hong Kong. This will allow you to weather any delays or confusion that could hinder the review of your application by the Immigration Department.

It is important to remember that all work permits in Hong Kong are time-limited, and most of the visas are initially valid for one year. So, you must be ready to submit a visa renewal application at least four weeks before the expiration of your visa. This ensures that your stay in Hong Kong remains uninterrupted in case your employment in the country continues for a longer period.

Streamline Your Employee’s Visa Application Process with BGC

BGC Group’s EOR services in Hong Kong assumes responsibility for legal and administrative obligations related to your employees, such as payroll management, tax compliance, and employee benefits. This not only ensures hassle-free visa application processes but also minimizes risks of non-compliance with Hong Kong’s employment laws.

So, to make your visa application quick and easy, trust the experts at BGC!