Depending on their nationality and the purpose of their stay, expats may need a visa in order to enter, work, study or live in Hong Kong. Fortunately, visa requirements aren't as stringent as in many other countries and the application process is relatively straightforward.
Visit visas for Hong Kong
Expats planning to visit Hong Kong should find out whether an entry visa needs to be obtained prior to departure.
Citizens from a number of countries around the world can enter Hong Kong without a visa for a limited amount of time. Different periods of stay are granted to different nationals, so expats should be aware of the amount of time specifically associated with their nationality – usually either 14, 30 or 90 days.
For those who do need an entry visa, this documentation can be applied for at the nearest Chinese embassy.
Work visas for Hong Kong
There are a number of options when it comes to work permits for Hong Kong, with the most common being the General Employment Policy (GEP) visa for skilled and qualified workers and the Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) visa, which allows nationals of certain countries to take up part-time employment while holidaying in Hong Kong.
Dependant visas for Hong Kong
Expats in Hong Kong can apply to bring their dependants to Hong Kong, including dependent unmarried children under the age of 18 and spouses of the original visa holder. Once an expat becomes a permanent resident of Hong Kong, they are also able to apply for a dependant visa for parents over the age of 60.
Expats will have to provide proof of their relationship with their dependants, and must be able to show that they can financially support and accommodate these individuals while living in Hong Kong.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For more on employment in the Fragrant Harbour, see Working in Hong Kong
Are you an expat living in Hong Kong?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Hong Kong. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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