work permit for spouses

as I'm getting closer to the decision whether to take up a job offer in Hong Kong, I was wondering if any of you have made experiences with work permits. My company will sponsor mine, but I'm equally concerned if my wife would be able to get a work-permit. We're both Europeans and my wife would like to be able to work (in the shipping business). Have heard different comments that you need a sponsoring company and was wondering how difficult it would actually be to get a visa for a local job (local salary would be just fine and housing is covered thru me already).
I see that this is a very active forum (as I have posted a question on taxation already - thanks Mr. Tall and Ordinary Gweilo!), and hope you can help me in my decision process..

Re:work permit for spouses

I haven't got first-hand experience, but it looks as though your spouse can work on their dependant's visa :


Re:work permit for spouses

the rules were changed in July used to be that a dependent spouse automatically had the right to seek work in hong kong under the umbrella of the spouse with the work visa

now, however, each person must seek their own sponsor and obtain their own work anyone without right of abode or permanent residency in hong kong is treated just like any other person entering for employment, regardless of spouse dependent status

extract from the immigration dept website:

Q13: Why the new policy does not grant dependants automatic right to work?

A13: The review on the dependant policy has taken into account the practices adopted in other major developed economies, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the USA. The requirement on dependants to seek prior permission before taking up employment in Hong Kong is in line with the international practice. It should be stressed in particular that the requirement of obtaining prior permission before dependants may take up employment is not a wholesale prohibition. Dependants who satisfy the criteria similar to those applicable under the General Employment Policy1 may be given permission to work in Hong Kong. As the sponsors of the dependants are themselves subject to an application and vetting process before they are allowed to work in Hong Kong, there is no reason why their dependants should have the automatic right to work in Hong Kong without prior permission.

1The relevant criteria are:

the applicant should have 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 would also be accepted;

the applicant must have a confirmed offer of employment before making the application. The employment secured must be relevant to the applicant's academic qualification or working experience, and the job cannot be readily taken up by the local work force; and

the remuneration package is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for similar jobs in HK.

for information, the sponsoring company will be asked what they have done to source the position locally and may be subject to review of recruitment efforts

hope this helps!

More immigration trouble!

Thanks much, Fiona -- that's very timely information. We ran into this very issue at my church, with the wife of one of our pastors. She would like to find work, but unless she does so on a purely voluntary basis, she's got to go through the entire work visa application process, with sponsor, etc., to establish her own completely separate terms of employment. My impression is that this might be easier for a non-Asian applicant to accomplish, but that's just my impression.

Re:work permit for spouses

most welcome!

i process a few applications for the company i work for and while the process has become very much more protracted (for example the standard form now requires that proof of a local search has been conducted where before it wasn't part of the form and they would only sometimes ask about that), they are pretty affable at immigration

re the voluntary work....they did even mention that immigration needs to be consulted for unpaid work...which i find pretty mind-boggling

in all my years dealing with immigration (both personally and professionally) i've found them reasonable but they do have more 'rules' to stick to now

good luck!

Re:work permit for spouses

ooops that 'guest' was me....i forgot to login before posting :oops:

My situation


My situation is slightly different. We're planning to move to HK at the end of this year. My wife is from HK so she's a HK citizen. I am from The Netherlands.

I have a few questions for our situation. Hopefully someone over here has had experience with this before, as I'm hearing conflicting stories.

1. Will I qualiffy for a staying permit because I'm married to a HK citizen?

2. Will I also be able to work for in HK?

3. Actually, I'm not looking for a job in HK as I have my own company. I do intend to open up a HK office to sell our software on the HK market. Is this also seen as 'work' or does this have a different status?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,

Re:work permit for spouses

see Residence as Dependent

as for setting up your business, this will be helpful

sorry i can't go into too much detail....busy day!!! just wanted to be sure to point you in the right direction

good luck gary

Re:work permit for spouses

My question is sort of similar to Gary's, however it is regarding my wife. I have a HK Permanent ID Card and my wife has an HK ID Card. We both worked in HK during 2001-2002. Would my wife still be able to work if we returned to HK now? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.