Employment Work Visa in HK | HKWJ Tax Law

Employment Visa in Hong Kong

The Employment Visa in Hong Kong is a special working visa or work permit for foreign nationals in Hong Kong. It grants the right to reside and work in Hong Kong for the duration of the Employment Visa.

An employment visa is granted by the Immigration Department (ImmD) of Hong Kong under the General Employment Policy. There are also other schemes to attract talent to Hong Kong, such as the Top Talent Pass Scheme, Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, and Technology Talent Admission Scheme.

In this article, we will walk you through the eligibility requirements, necessary documentation, application process and other relevant information you need to know about obtaining an Employment Visa in Hong Kong.


To be eligible for the Hong Kong Employment Visa, professionals should meet the following major criteria:

  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Have a good educational background. Usually, a first-level university degree in the relevant work field, though in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements (supported by documentary evidence) may also be accepted.
  • Fulfil a genuine job vacancy
  • Have a confirmed employment offer
  • Have a remuneration package offer comparable with the prevailing market level for professionals in Hong Kong.

In general, the Immigration Department looks at the following conditions when approving work visa applications:

  • The job matches the academic qualifications or working experience
  • The job cannot be filled readily by the local workforce
  • Supporting documents and explanation from the sponsoring company (employer) why they cannot fill the post locally
  • The sponsoring company can demonstrate its commitment to doing business in Hong Kong

Not sure if this is the right visa for you? Our Guide to Hong Kong Visas lists the most common options.

Documents needed for employment visa in HK

The applicant and the sponsoring company both need to submit documents for the employment visa application.

Documents required from the applicant:
  • Completed Employment Visa Application Form, including a recent photograph
  • Copy of the passport (the personal particulars page). If you are already staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label and, if applicable, the latest issued e-Visa.
  • Copy of the HKID card, if any
  • Copy of proof of your overseas residence
  • Copy of CV and academic qualifications/relevant working experience
Documents required from the sponsoring company (employer):
  • Completed application form for Employing Professionals in Hong Kong
  • Copy of the company’s employment contract or letter of appointment. It should contain information about your post, salary, other fringe benefits and employment periods.
  • Copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate
  • Copy of proof of the company’s financial standing, such as the latest audited financial report or profit tax return
  • Documents with details of the company background, such as business activities, mode of operation, product ranges, sources and markets, background/connection of the company, memberships of Chamber of Commerce (if any), and more.
  • For newly set up companies (set up within the last 12 months), a detailed business plan should be included too. E.g. information on source of funds, estimated capital injection, nature/mode of business activities, expected turnover, sales volume, gross and net profit in the coming years, proposed creation of local jobs, etc.).

All submitted documents must be in English or Chinese or translated into English/Chinese by a certified translation body.

The Immigration Department has the right to demand further documents from the applicant or employing company if deemed necessary.

Application procedure & timeline

Once all necessary documents for the employment visa application have been prepared, they must be submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department online or by post.

When all required documents have been received, processing a work visa application normally takes about 4 weeks.

If the application is successful, the applicant will be granted the work permit in the form of an “e-Visa”.

As the applicant, you must show the e-Visa (digitally or printed) together with your valid travel document when entering Hong Kong.

The application procedure is free, but there is a fee for the e-Visa of HK$230 (ca. 29 USD).

Generally, the employment visa is issued for an initial validity of 2 years or in accordance with the employment duration stated in the contract (whichever is shorter). After this, you can apply for an extension/renewal.

Employment visa extension

Four weeks before the expiry date of the employment visa, you can apply for an extension of stay.

The extension application will be considered only if the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria as set out above.

If approved, an extension of stay normally follows the 3-3 years pattern or the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter).

Change of employment

The issued employment visa is tied to a specific employer and is not transferable.

For any change in employment, the visa holder must obtain approval from the Director of Immigration by filing an “Application for Change of Employment” with the ImmD.

Dependant visa

When you have a Hong Kong employment visa, you may apply for a dependant visa for your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 18.

A dependant visa application must be filed for each family member. The length of stay is tied to the applicant’s length of stay.

Dependant visa holders are allowed to take up employment, do business, and study in Hong Kong.

Permanent residence

When you have resided in Hong Kong under an employment visa for a continuous period of at least 7 years, you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency.

This status grants individuals the right to live and work in Hong Kong without any visa restrictions.

HKWJ Tax Law can help with your employment visa application

Whether you are an employee relocating to Hong Kong or an employer hiring from abroad, our professionals at HKWJ Tax Law can help by preparing and submitting your employment visa application.

Contact us today via the form below or [email protected] for more information on how our team can help you get the visa quickly and easily.

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