Work visa application process

Hi, I am planning on moving to Hong Kong early next year and am lucky enough to have experience which is in demand there.

I am a bit confused about the process of applying for a work visa - I get the impression that the sponsoring company takes care of this.

My question is can I go to Hong Kong on a tourist visa and stay there until the work visa is processed or do I have to be out of the country while this is taking place?

Also if I applying from home, do I have to surrender my passport to the local HK embassy? I was planning on taking a career break to do some travelling so this would be a bit of a problem.


Change tourist visa to work visa

First the usual caveat - check with the immigration dept to confirm details before booking flights, etc.

From what I understand...

>I am a bit confused about the process of applying for a work
>visa - I get the impression that the sponsoring company takes
>care of this.

Right. The exceptions are:
- Working Holiday Visa (aimed at young people from a small number of countries)
- Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (ie you have appx USD800K or more burning a hole in your pocket, that you'd like to invest in HK, eg buy property or buy HK stocks.)
- Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (points-based application process to attract highly qualified / skilled immigrants. Might be of interest to you)

In other cases you get a traditional emplyment visa, and the sponsoring company does the work.

>My question is can I go to Hong Kong on a tourist visa
>and stay there until the work visa is processed or do
>I have to be out of the country while this is taking place?

It seems it isn't impossible to switch type of visa while you're here, but at the same time it isn't encouraged, and you may still end up having to leave. Also note it takes 4-6 weeks to process, during which time you're not allowed to work. So it might be the time to do that travelling out of HK anyway.

>Also if I applying from home, do I have to surrender my
>passport to the local HK embassy?

It sounds like you don't need to surrender your passport. Instead the immigration department issue a sticker to the sponsoring company, who sends it on to you to stick in the passport yourself.

Can anyone that has actually been through this process confirm the above?

Regards, MrB

Dependants can work in HK

Dear Mr Tall,

In one of the articles i.e. it is mentioned that the dependants can work in HK as long as their visa does not explicitly prohibit them from taking up an employment. I have an issue here. When I went to the immigration tower for getting my Employment visa stickers, I asked this question. The lady showed/gave me copy of a 3-4 page std letter which mentions that Spouse can not work. This condition however is not mentioned anywhere on the DEPENDANT visa sticker of my spouse. Could you please publish the html link of the Government which substantiates the fact that Dependants can work as long as they have not been prohibited to do so. I migrated to this country on Employment visa on 6th September 2006. I would be grateful to know more on this.

See Q5 in 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."

Full document here.

Regards, MrB

Vietnamese citizen applying for HK work VISA.

I am a Vietnamese citizen and I am going to do a 10 week internship in Hong Kong?

Will I be able to obtain a work Visa ?

Is there any special rules or regulations?


Intern's visa

We've had other people ask about visas for interns here, but so far we have not had anyone give an answer. Have you asked the company that is offering the internship? They would have to apply for any work visa on your behalf.


I was told that the

I was told that the immigration office will not even consider my application ?

Is that right?



Application for intern's visa

If you write a question to, in my experience they do reply but it may take several weeks.

I don't know if Hong Kong's immigration department give out visas for internships. You should contact the immigration department if your employer cannot answer.

There is no mention of 'internship' as an option for visas on the government website. There is an option for a training visa, but that has the note that it is not apply to 'nationals from Vietnam'. So again I'd start by writing to the immigration department and asking for their advice.

Good luck, MrB

Hong Kong Work Visa

Actually, These days it is a bit hard to get working Visa than 5-10 years back.
However, You find sponsor company in Hong Kong and supply all necessary document to Hong Kong Immigration. You can do while you are in your country. Better consult lawer
that immigration policy has been changed a lot .


If this is the reply I get

If this is the reply I get from :
"This entry arrangement does not apply to:

1. Chinese residents of the Mainland (except Mainland employees and
business associates of reputable and multi-national companies based in
Hong Kong); and
2. nationals from Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea
(Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam. "

And I am a citizen of Vietnam. Is there anything I can do to obtain a work Visa then?


Intern visa

It sounds unlikely that you'll get a visa then. The only other approach I can think of is to have someone from the company that wants you as an intern to call immigration, say they'd like to have a Vietnam national join them as an intern and ask how they should do this.

Only a small chance it will work, but sometimes you have better luck just asking for help than asking a straight "Can I do this?" question - where the easiest answer is 'no'.

Good luck, MrB

PRC passport holder trying to obtain internship visa to HK

Dear Mr.B

I am a PRC passport holder and currently living in the U.S.
I have this 6 weeks internship in HK this summer and the company says they did not deal with interns traveling with mainland documents before so I have to sort everything on my own.

Do I suppose to apply for the training visa? Do PRC passport holder have other ways to get permission to intern in HK?

I also call the chinese embassy here in NY, they told me they can only issue a 14 days visa to HK? should i get this first then when i arrive in HK then apply for the intern visa??

thank you very very much,


Internship visa

Hello Mia,

Sorry, I'm not sure. You should contact the immigration department to get the official answer.

Please let us know what answer you get, to help other people with the same question.

Good luck, MrB