Work Permits for Hong Kong

Each year, large numbers of expats choose Hong Kong as a destination in which to pursue new career opportunities. 

Given its formidable international presence and its status as a former British colony, Hong Kong’s employment visa legislation is fairly liberal. There are a number of visa options for Hong Kong which allow the holder to take up employment, the most common being the General Employment Policy and Working Holiday Scheme visas.

General Employment Policy visas

Well-qualified and experienced expats wanting to work in Hong Kong will likely apply for a General Employment Policy (GEP) visa. No quota restrictions are in place for general employment permits, and they are not sector-specific.

Generally, these work permits are easy to come by if expats can prove they don't have a criminal record, that they have a high level of education or possess a highly specialised skill set that will be of value to society and isn't readily available locally. However, in most cases, expats will need to have a confirmed offer of employment and an employer sponsor before applying for this type of work permit.

Working Holiday Scheme visas

Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) visas allow expats from certain countries aged between 18 and 30 to come to Hong Kong and work for up to 12 months (six months for Austrian nationals). There are annual quotas of Working Holiday Scheme visas for each of the eligible countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. 

Participants of the Working Holiday Scheme are allowed to take up any kind of temporary employment and are permitted to study while in Hong Kong. Expats are required to show that they have sufficient funds in their bank accounts to support themselves while in Hong Kong and hold valid medical insurance.

There are no extensions or renewals granted for Working Holiday Scheme visas and dependents are not permitted to enter Hong Kong as part of this scheme.

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.