Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an urbanized financial center that is officially part of China, but enjoys a great deal of autonomy. It used to be under British rule until 1997, so the main two languages are Chinese are British. Hong Kong is one of the most capitalist economic centers in the East, and many people come from all over the world to do business.


You do not need to apply for any type of permit if you hold a Hong Kong or British identification. Otherwise, you need a permit to work, study, establish or join, or gain residence in Hong Kong. You are required to support yourself financially during your stay. You can apply for visas at Chinese consulates or embassies, or to Hong Kong’s Immigration Department. Many foreign nationals may enter for up to 14 to 90 days without a visa, depending on your place of origin.

Work Permit:

It is difficult to obtain a work permit in Hong Kong, because they try to protect jobs for locals, but it is still a major center of expat employment. You must have a job lined up for your in Hong Kong before you get a visa, and apply for the visa from outside the country. Your company will then assist you in the process of obtaining the visa.

In order to obtain a visa, you must have a graduate degree, unless you have specific technical skills, as well as experience in your field. The salary they offer you must meet local standards. Your company must also prove that your job is very special and no one in Hong Kong can fill it. Applications usually take 7-8 weeks.

In order to apply, you must fill out an application form. You must submit this, and the following documents:

  1. Recent photograph
  2. Travel document
  3. Photocopies of any academic records
  4. Proof of any skills or relevant working experience

Your company must submit the following:

  1. Company application form
  2. Copy of the contract or letter of employment
  3. Copy of business registration certificate
  4. Proof of financial standing
  5. Documents with details of company background
  6. Detailed business plan

Click here for official information.

Click here for more details about the job market.

Student Visa:

In order to obtain a Student Visa, you must be accepted by an educational institution. You must nominate a local sponsor to invite you, but that can be your educational institution.

You must submit the following documents to the Receipt and Dispatch Unit of the Hong Kong Immigration Department:

  1. Application form
  2. Recent photograph
  3. Travel document
  4. Letter of acceptance from your school (if your school is your sponsor.
  5. Proof of funding

Click here for more information.

Moving Pets:

In order to move a pet to Hong Kong, you must obtain a Special Permit.

Pets from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii usually do not have to wait in quarantine. Otherwise, there are different requirements for your animal, depending on your country of origin. In general, you will need to submit an Animal Health Certificate, a Residence Certificate, a Vaccination Certificate and and Airline Certificate.

Click here for some advice on owning pets in Hong Kong.

Other Information:

Click here for some FAQs on practical information in moving to Hong Kong.

Visit Expat Forum for a helpful article about moving to Hong Kong.


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