a. A Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.Points (a) and (c) seem to cover both groups of people we mentioned, but what does 'Chinese nationality' and 'Chinese citizen' mean? The nationality law says that
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).
Article 9 Any Chinese national who has settled abroad and who has been naturalized as a foreign national or has acquired foreign nationality of his own free will shall automatically lose Chinese nationality.
So it seems that if you were born overseas, or have lived there for many years, there's a good chance that either you, your parents, or both would have lost your Chinese nationality. And yet... in a following ‘Explanations…’ document there appears to be a loophole whereby you can have an overseas passport, but be treated as a Chinese national when in Hong Kong.
Update, 28 Oct 2007: This page clarifies 'Chinese Citizen' in a way that seems to include many more people:
Whether you are regarded as a Chinese citizen in Hong Kong does not depend on what travel document you have. It depends on whether you have made a declaration of change of nationality to the HKSAR Immigration Department.
If you think you could receive ROA, your best bet is to contact immigration to check how they will interpret your case. (If you've been in this situation, please leave us a comment to describe how your case was treated. Then over time we'll get a clearer picture of how this works in practice)
5. You’re Irish, Australian, or a Kiwi aged between 18 & 30
Cha-ching. The Working Holiday Scheme can give you a visa to visit and work in Hong Kong for up to 12 months.
6. Your spouse has an employment visa to work in Hong Kong
Then you can work too. From the government FAQ : “With effect from 15 May 2006, dependants of persons admitted for employment (as professionals, investors or for training) or as capital investment entrants are not prohibited from taking up employment.”
7. You own a company in your home country
I remember reading of a person that owned a company in their home country, registered a branch office in Hong Kong, then had the Hong Kong branch sponsor him for an employment visa in Hong Kong. But… I can’t find the article now. Can anyone confirm that this approach works?
8. You have clear and convincing plans to start a business in Hong Kong
Separate from the ‘Capital Investment Scheme’ mentioned above, visas can also be issued to people who are investing time and effort in developing a business in Hong Kong. So, if you are an entrepreneur with a strong business plan this may be an option for you. Angela Spaxman has written a good summary of the process, and also gives a couple of real-world examples.
9. None of the above
If all else fails, some readers have suggested teaching English is a way to finance an extended stay in Hong Kong, even without an employment visa. There may be people doing this, but keep in mind it is illegal, and that there is no guarantee you will be allowed to re-enter Hong Kong if you are trying to extend a tourist visa. Here are some opposing views that have been left in the Batgung comments:
Submitted by J (not verified) on Tue, 2006-10-31 21:49.
It's pretty easy to pick up work teaching english to kids in local private kindergardens or even business english to adults. I know many young westerners (18-25) who come out to HK for a year or so (or longer) to do that. Many are without a college degree. For those who come from abroad they are here without work visas and therefore it's illegal of course but clamping down on these kinds of felons is not really high on the police's agenda. All you need to do is to make sure you leave HK every 3 months or so to renew your tourist visa. Typical going rate is around HK$15,000 per month and you can supplement this income by advertising in supermarkets / estates / or quietly pinching students from your tutorial center (many will be keen for you to teach them 1 to 1 as it will cost them less than they pay for group sessions) etc. Pretty boring work to do of course but it's quite easy and the money is good. If you're really serious about coming over here then I'd say go for it dude.
Submitted by Steve (not verified) on Mon, 2006-11-27 11:15.
It is pretty easy to get work in HK teaching english to kids / adults, WITHOUT possessing a university degree or work visa. I know many people who have done this and while I acknowledge that most english teachers here have a BA and a work visa this is not uniformly the case. Naturally if you wish to work for the British Council or other reputable organization which will page you a decent wage you would require both plus several years of experience but there are many, many small tuition centers around town, particularly in Kowloon / NT , who employ young westerners without degrees or work visas. They (the tuition center and the people you will teach!) just want a white face basically. The salary would not be great ($12,000 - $15,000 full time) and these centers can be quite unreliable at times when it comes to paying their staff on time, but there are many young westerners - most are on a gap year between secondary school and college, but i know of others well into their 20s without degrees who are doing the same - in HK doing this type of work. Of course it is illegal to work without the proper work visa and I do not wish to encourage people to break the law but it is relatively easy to get round this by simply leaving HK every three months (when entering HK most people with western passports get a 3 month tourist visa), if only to Shenzhen or Macau, to renew your visa.
Submitted by Fiona on Fri, 2006-12-01 13:15.
Last I heard, you couldn't count a trip to Macau or Shenzhen as qualifying for a new visa upon re-entry into Hong Kong. Has there been a change?
Submitted by Codyintokyo.com (not verified) on Sat, 2006-12-02 03:27.
"What jobs are available without college ed. and with livable income in HK?"
Not many, trust me. Sure there are plenty of HK residents with no college education who make "livable income", but as a foreigner, someone with no education or language skills is basically a liability to HK. Companies risk huge fines for illegally employing you etc. Plus, look at how most people live in HK.. they live with their parents until they are married, and that's not all just a cultural thing. Without income coming in from everyone, even HK families would struggle with the cost of living here. My flat in HK is not what I would consider luxury, in fact it's small and old, but it still costs nearly double what I was paying per month back in southern California for a place about four times as large. Living here isn't cheap, you can reduce costs here and there, but the cost of living here is much higher than compare to say... Thailand ;)