Before beginning work in Hong Kong, the applicant must apply for and be granted an employment visa.
A change of status application from a visiting visa to an employment visa will be affected if an individual arrives in Hong Kong before submitting an employment visa application or is recruited locally and then applies for an employment visa while in Hong Kong. This visa application is significantly more challenging to process, and the applicant must explain why they did not apply for a working visa before entering the country. Therefore, applying for a working visa before entry is prudent.
When an overseas firm wants to transfer an employee to their office in Hong Kong, the application process can be straightforward if the overseas company has been employing the person for some time and the Hong Kong office already has a working relationship with the employee. Imagine that the applicant has only spent a short time working for the company in another country. If this is the case, the application will likely be handled as a “new” rather than an “internal transfer” application. This means that extra justification will be required as to why a candidate from the local area cannot fill the post.
A person allowed to enter Hong Kong as a Visitor may only engage in the following business-related activities: concluding contracts or submitting tenders, participating in trade fairs (except selling goods or providing services directly to the general public), and attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.
Employment Visas are required for foreign workers to enter Hong Kong. The hiring company is required to pay the employee a fixed monthly salary. The Hong Kong Immigration Department will not accept employment visa applications for commission-only, part-time, or freelance work. The offered position should be managerial or supervisory in nature.
Another consideration for an employment visa application is the hiring company’s history. The longer the company’s history and size, the fewer questions about the employment visa application will be asked. For a company that has been in operation for less than 18 months and has fewer than four local employees, the Immigration Department will require a detailed business plan. Also needed will be the personal information of all shareholders, including all ultimate beneficiaries.