Application flow of two major Hong Kong working visas
Around 2 years ago, a Japanese karate master was invited to Hong Kong for a sports exchange activity. However, he was arrested because he was suspected of working in Hong Kong without a working visa and violating the “Immigration Regulations (Chapter 115A)”. This case aroused public awareness about the regulations related to non-locals working in Hong Kong.
As an example, many companies would like to invite foreign celebrities or KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) to film and promote ads nowadays. A company asked a foreign Youtuber to help film in Hong Kong so they appointed us to handle the matter of working visa. According to the Hong Kong “Immigration Regulations”, any foreigners without the right of abode or right to land in Hong Kong need to apply for a visa before coming, so that they can work, invest or even settle with foreign families.
Therefore, we organized a short guide on the two major working visas for you all, the employment visa and dependent visa.
The Hong Kong Immigration Policy
In line with the law, generally, all foreigners who would like to come for employment or training need to apply for a visa, except who is holding the right to abode or land in Hong Kong. Anyone who has no permit issued by the Director of Immigration cannot accept any labour work with or without wages, starting or joining any business while staying in Hong Kong.
Non – Hong Kong resident needs to apply for a working visa from the Immigration Department if he or she wants to work in Hong Kong no matter with or without salary. There is no quota or sector limitation for labour working visa. In general, it is for the applicants who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value and those that are not readily available in HKSAR.
Application of two major work visas
1. Employment Visa
In general, only two types of foreigners can work in Hong Kong without a permission by the Immigration Department, who are:
- Hong Kong permanent residents, or;
- Holders of non-Hong Kong permanent identity cards with an annotation on passports or any travelling documents.
The actual requirements of who and when can be permitted to work in Hong Kong are not stated in the law. The approval of cases is all made at the discretion of “Immigration Regulations (Chapter 11)”. The Immigration Department will exercise the discretion according to the internal rules, however, most of the rules are not published.
Here are some unique cases with higher chances of getting approval:
- Recruitment relating to executive positions, or;
- Positions where no related professionals can be hired in Hong Kong
Basic required documents:
The employer usually has to submit more required information than the employee, such as:
- application for employing professionals in Hong Kong (ID 1990B),
photocopy of the company’s employment contract with or letter of appointment,
- photocopy of the Business Registration Certificate,
- photocopy of proof of financial standing,
- documents with details of company background such as business activities, and;
- detailed business plans (for companies nearly set-up within 12 months only).
* The new applicant may need to submit additional documents within the 6 to 8 weeks processing time. The applicant will be notified when the case is processed.
2. Dependant Visa
Apart from the working visa, Hong Kong residents can apply for a dependent visa for his or her foreign families in order to attain the right of abode. According to the law, the sponsor’s spouse, children under 18, and parents aged 60 or above can apply to stay in Hong Kong if the sponsor is a 1. Hong Kong permanent resident, 2. Hong Kong resident without staying limitation.
The sponsor’s spouse and children under 18 can apply for staying in Hong Kong if the sponsor is permitted to work, study or stay as an investor.
Basic required documents:
- Photocopy of proof of the sponsor’s financial standing,
- Photocopy of proof of the applicant’s financial standing,
- Photocopy of proof of the applicant’s relationship with the sponsor,
- Photocopy of proof of sponsor’s accommodation, and;
- Photocopy of proof of applicant’s accommodation in Hong Kong.
Advantages of doing business in Hong Kong
What are the advantages to start up a business in Hong Kong? Here are some examples:
Prestigious status of international financial centre
Starting up business in Hong Kong can enhance the image of a company with your own brand, and raise the business’ competitivity to create larger profit.
A large business area with less limitation
A Hong Kong limited company can run most of the business in a free market without trading barriers of the government. The business environment is suitable for setting up a new company and there is no bias for foreign investors. Therefore, enterprises can transfer fund, import, and export freely.
Also, as a legal and independent business, you and your limited company are entirely separated legally.
Low tax environment benefits for development
As a tax haven, there are only a few tax types in Hong Kong with low tax rates. Basically, setting up a business in Hong Kong needs to pay two taxes: 0.1% of stamp duty according to your actual registered capital and 16.5-17% of profits tax.
Low registration fee without verification
The minimum required registration capital is HKD$10,000 which you can adjust freely.
The springboard to develop international business and get into the China market
Hong Kong locates at the south-east of China which is an important gate for business and invests in the Mainland. The benefits the mainland enterprises to develop outward. Therefore, setting up a business in Hong Kong can be a springboard to invest in China with the trust and cooperation of foreign companies.
A super financial system
Hong Kong is a super financial centre where you can freely transfer money internationally with more than 200 financial services, high convenience through electronic banking. We can also invest with the small fund by short trading or issue a letter of credit directly overseas. The government support SMEs by funding too and the funding can be invested into the market for profits if needed.
However, the process of applying for a working visa for your employees can be complicated and time-wasting. Champ Partners’ services are targeting SMEs and outsourcing these administrative work to a human resources professional company is much more costs effective than building a human resources department. The saved costs can be focused on the core business and inputted into a more valuable area.
If you want to learn more or have your work visa process outsourced, you’re more than welcome to have a free consultation with us!