Working Visa's & Employment Situation in HK

Hi everyone,

First off, I just wanted to say thanks for posting all of this information on obtaining a working visa.  This site has become a valuable resource for me. Now that we’re almost a quarter into 2009, I was wondering what the job market is like in HK.  Given the fact that we’re in a global recession, are expatriates experiencing greater difficulty in finding employment in HK?

I’ve been to HK many times and would really like to move there.  I was planning on moving to HK in Dec 2009, however, with all of this uncertainty in our economy, I’m not exactly sure if it’s the right time to make this change in my life. 

Here’s a bit of information about my background and qualifications:

I’m 25 years old, a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent, born and raised in Canada.  I have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and I’ve been working as a Marketing Analyst for a well-branded multinational company in the automotive industry (no office in HK though) for about 3 years.  My work mostly consists of statistical data analysis, analyzing market trends etc.  I’m quite happy with my career path and hope to continue to advance my career in marketing.  I also speak fluent English and Cantonese; can speak conversational mandarin and understand the whole language; I can also read Chinese (but not write).

I guess based on this brief background, what are my chances of obtaining a working visa? 

I understand that no one here is an immigration expert, but your advice would be greatly appreciated.  



Work Visa

Hi Anon,

Although it may sometimes feel like the global financial problems are slow in reaching these shores, hardly a day goes by that I don't hear of layoffs, short working weeks and so on.  That's on the employment side of things, but a search at would be a good source of current vacancies.

On visas, one thing to note is that if you do find an employer willing to take you on, there is a section of the visa application form they have to complete, titled "Please state the justifications for employing the applicant in Hong Kong and reasons why the post cannot be filled by locals."  That's going to be the real kicker in future as, unless you have very specialised skills not easily available in the local market, the issue of a work visa is going to be difficult and most likely, few employers will want to go through the rigmarole of being tested to see what they've done to ensure they've searched the market thoroughly.  Especially as the numbers of unemployed rise.

Sorry to put a bit of a damper on all this, but this is the situation here.

Good luck with whatever you decided to do.


Working visa reply

Hi Vince,

The economy for everywhere is really the same....recovering to ok.  However if you are really positive in this change, then I do suggest going through headhunters and looking at classifieds post.

Fiona is right where most companies have to comply with labor rules and have to explain why a post cannot be filled by a local and require migrant workers.  However most corporate companies can hire international people as they have the headcounts to do so. 

One thing is living in HK is not cheap.  Rentals have increased by 20% and if the new job pays only reasonable, one will struggle.  So unless you have free accomodation here in HK, otherwise it would be tough.  Not to dampen your spirits but if you feel good about it go for it.  I did the same thing at your age and I didn't have any savings.  Lucky I had some friends who allowed me to stay with them for a few months before I could save enough for rental deposit.   

But I do strongly recommend when you look for the job, negotiate a good package. 

Quick question, if you are of chinese descent, are your parents from HK and if so, can you apply for HK ID base on them even though you are born in Canada?

Good luck,