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Under different circumstances, there are various types of visa and immigration services we would advise our clients for application. Below we try to provide more detailed, yet exhaustive, information of each type of these services. For further details, please contact us for a free enquiry.




Employment Visa (or known as Working visa / Work permit)

For a person not of having the right of abode or right to land or unconditional of stay in Hong Kong, Employment visa is required before taking up any sort of employment whether paid or unpaid, part-time or permanent, contract or temporary assignment.

Each application is determined on its individual merits, and an applicant should meet normal immigration requirements. Listed below are some of the key criteria to be considered:

a.whether there is a genuine vacancy for an employee in Hong Kong;
b.what skills, knowledge and experience are needed for the job;
c.whether the terms and conditions of employment are comparable to those in the local market;
d.whether the applicant is suitably qualified and experienced relevant to the job; and
e.whether the job can be filled locally.

For a person who is the owner of the sponsoring company, i.e. proprietor, major partner or shareholder, the applicant has to apply for the another visa type - Investment Visa as Entrepreneurs (or known as Investment visa). Please refer to the details below.

Remarks: A person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a Visitor could generally ONLY engage in the following business-related activities: concluding contracts or submitting tenders; participating in or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public), and attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.

 

Investment Visa as Entrepreneurs (or known as Investment visa)

Investment Visa as Entrepreneurs is considered as one of the categories of Employment visa or known as (Working visa / Work permit). This visa is suitable for those who attempt to carry out a business in Hong Kong. The essential requirement is similar to Employment visa application; however, the applicant should prove that the company in Hong Kong can contribute to the Hong Kong economy significantly. A detailed business plan with financial projections and local staff recruitment is required. Nevertheless, there is no definite requirement for the investment amount, nature or scale of the business. The applicant must be the major shareholder of the business, otherwise, an employment visa should be considered.

The Immigration Department may consider the application favourably, if the start-up business concerned is supported by a government-backed programme with a rigorous vetting and selection process. Examples of government-backed programmes include StartmeupHK Venture Programme administered by InvestHK, Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Cyberport Incubation Programme, Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme and Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission, and Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.

 

Dependant Visa

For a sponsor who is a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident who is not subject to a limit of stay (i.e. a resident with the right to land or on unconditional stay), the following dependants may apply to join him/her for residence in Hong Kong:

a.his/her spouse;
b.his/her unmarried dependent child under the age of 18; and
c.his/her parent aged 60 or above.

For a sponsor who has been admitted into Hong Kong to take up employment or study, or who is permitted to remain in Hong Kong as a capital investment entrant, the following dependants may apply to join him/her for residence in Hong Kong:

a.his/her spouse; and
b.his/her unmarried dependent child under the age of 18.

 

Training Visa

An application for an entry permit to enter Hong Kong for a limited period (not more than 12 months) of training to acquire special skills and knowledge not available in the applicant's home country may be favourably considered if:

a.the bona fides of the applicant and the training company are satisfied;
b.there is a contract between the training company (the sponsor) and the trainee;
c.the sponsor guarantees in writing the maintenance and repatriation of the trainee and that the trainee will receive training in the sponsor's premises until the end of the agreed period, after which the trainee will return to his/her place of residence;
d.the sponsor is a reputable company, capable of providing the proposed training; and
e.the proposed duration and content of the training program can be justified.

 

Student Visa

Before applying the student visa, all non-local students should be accepted by the institute in Hong Kong. Here below is the Immigration policy on Education:


Primary and Secondary Education :

a.Students other than those from the Mainland, Macau and Taiwan may apply to study at private schools registered under the Education Ordinance; or
b.Mainland students may apply to attend secondary school level short-term exchange programmes approved by the Education Bureau up to a maximum period of not more than 2 weeks, if accompanied by Mainland teachers.

Post-Secondary Education :

a.Study at private schools registered under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance and Education Ordinance (except students from the Mainland, Macau and Taiwan);
b.Take up full-time studies in locally accredited post-secondary programmes*; or
c.Attend full-time exchange study programme for not more than one year at degree or above level;
d.Students other than from the Mainland may apply to take up part-time studies in any locally accredited taught post-graduate programmes;
e.Mainland students may apply to take up part-time studies in locally accredited taught post-graduate programmes run by the University Grants Committee (UGC)-Funded Institutions

The above entry arrangement for education does not apply to nationals from Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam

If the student applicant is under the age of 18, the student is required to name a local sponsor who agrees to sign an undertaking to support and provide accommodation to the student. In addition, the sponsor is held responsible for the repatriation of the student where necessary. In processing student applications, the sponsor is required to produce proofs of financial standing and accommodation for this purpose.
 

Business / Leisure Visit

An application for an entry visa to enter Hong Kong for a visit (leisure, social or business) may be favourably considered if :

a.the applicant's bona fides are not in doubt;
b.the applicant has adequate funds to cover the duration of his/her stay without working.

 

Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professional

The objective of the Scheme is to attract qualified Mainland talents and professionals to work in Hong Kong in order to meet local manpower needs and enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness in the globalized market.

The Mainland talents and professionals must possess skills and knowledge not readily available or in shortage locally. Admitted talents and professionals must be able to contribute to the operation of the firms and sectors concerned with a view to facilitating economic development in Hong Kong. The Scheme also caters for the entry of talents and professionals in the arts, culture and sports sectors as well as those in the culinary profession so as to enhance Hong Kong's status as an Asian world city.

An application for an entry permit to enter Hong Kong for employment under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals may be considered if:

a.there is no security objection and no known record of serious crime in respect of the applicant; and
b.the applicant has a good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be adopted; and
c.the applicant's has a confirmed offer of employment and is employed in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or working experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local work force; and
d.the remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in Hong Kong; or
e.the applicant is in a position to make substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong.

A Mainland resident who is currently working or studying in Hong Kong is required to return to the Mainland first to obtain a proper Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement before coming to Hong Kong for employment under the Scheme if his/her application is approved.

 


Extension of All Visas

Visa extension should be applied before the current visa expires. Non-permanent Hong Kong residents who are permitted to work, study or reside as dependants in Hong Kong should apply for extension of stay within four weeks before the expiry of their limit of stay if they intend to continue their residence in Hong Kong. The applicant must be in Hong Kong at the time of application and collection of visa. Routine applications will normally be finalised within 2 to 3 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

 

Change of Visa Sponsorship

An application of the change of visa sponsorship is required when a person who is holding an employment visa is seeking to change the employing company from the current employer to another Hong Kong registered company.

The application procedures and requirements of supporting documents are similar to those for a new employment visa application. The applicant must be in Hong Kong during the application. Routine applications will normally be finalised within 4 to 6 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

 

Change of Visa Status

An application of the change of visa status is required when there is any change of the immigration status; for example, this can be a change from a student visa to an employment visa if a student gets a job offer in Hong Kong.

 


Capital Investment Entrant Scheme ("CIES") (suspended with effect from 15 January 2015 until further notice)

The objective of the CIES Scheme is to facilitate the entry for residence by capital investment entrants (the entrant), i.e. persons who make capital investment in Hong Kong but would not be engaged in the running of any business here. The entrant is allowed to make his choice of investments amongst permissible assets without the need to establish or join in a business.

The CIES Scheme is applicable to

a.foreign nationals (except nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cuba and Democratic People's Republic of Korea);
b.Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) residents;
c.Chinese nationals who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country *;
d.stateless persons who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country with proven re-entry facilities; and
e.Taiwan residents.

* We also offer Chinese nationals to obtain permanent resident status in the third country, before applying this CIES Scheme.

To qualify for admission under the CIES Scheme, the entrant must :

a.be aged 18 or above when applying for entry under the CIES Scheme;
b.have net assets of not less than HK$10 million to which he is absolutely beneficially entitled throughout the two years preceding his application;
c.have invested within six months before submission of his application to the Immigration Department, or will invest within six months after the granting of approval in principle by the Immigration Department, not less than HK$10 million in permissible investment asset classes ;
d.have no adverse record both in Hong Kong and country/region of residence; and
e.be able to demonstrate that he is capable of supporting and accommodating himself and his dependants, if any, on his own without relying on any return on the permissible investment assets, employment or public assistance in Hong Kong.

 

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme ("QMAS")

The QMAS Scheme is an entrant scheme. It is quota-based and seeks to attract highly skilled or talented persons who are fresh entrants not having the right to enter and remain in Hong Kong to settle in Hong Kong in order to enhance Hong Kong's economic competitiveness in the global market. Successful applicants are not required to secure an offer of local employment before their entry to Hong Kong for settlement. All applicants are required to fulfill a set of prerequisites before they can be awarded points under one of the two points-based tests, namely the General Points Test and Achievement-based Points Test, and compete for quota allocation with other applicants. Successful applicants under the QMAS Scheme may bring their spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 to Hong Kong provided that they are capable of supporting and accommodating their dependants on their own financial resources without relying on public assistance in Hong Kong.

All applicants must satisfy all of the following prerequisites:

Age - The applicant must be aged above 18 when lodging an application under the QMAS Scheme.
Financial requirement - The applicant must be able to demonstrate that he/she is capable of supporting and accommodating himself/herself and his/her dependants, if any, on his/her own financial resources without relying on public assistance during his/her stay in Hong Kong.
Good character - The applicant should not have any criminal record or adverse immigration record in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
Language proficiency - The applicant should be proficient in written and spoken Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English.
Basic educational qualification - The applicant must have a good education background, normally a first degree from a recognized university or a tertiary educational institution. In special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may be considered.

Remarks : If the applicant fails to provide satisfactory supporting documents showing that he/she meets all the above prerequisites, his/her application will not be processed further and will be refused immediately.

The QMAS Scheme is not applicable to nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

 

Right of Abode

According to the Immigration Ordinance which has come into operation on 1 July 1997, a person who is within one of the following categories is a permanent resident of the HKSAR and enjoys the right of abode in the HKSAR :

a.A Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.
b.A Chinese citizen who has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 7 years before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.
c.A person of Chinese nationality born outside Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR to a parent who, at the time of birth of that person, was a Chinese citizen falling within category a or b.
d.A person not of Chinese nationality who has entered Hong Kong with a valid travel document, has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 7 years and has taken Hong Kong as his place of permanent residence before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.
e.A person under 21 years of age born in Hong Kong to a parent who is a permanent resident of the HKSAR in category d before or after the establishment of the HKSAR if at the time of his birth or at any later time before he attains 21 years of age, one of his parents has the right of abode (ROA) in Hong Kong.
f.A person other than those residents in categories a to e, who, before the establishment of the HKSAR, had the ROA in Hong Kong only.