The general employment policy is the guideline that defines entry/stay in Hong Kong for employment. Notably, this is only applicable for people who possess special skills or experience that is not available in Hong Kong. Notably, the policy does not apply for Chinese from mainland or nationals from the following countries; Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, and Vietnam.
This post focuses on all about GEP: General Employment Policy to outline eligibility, entry of dependants and processing time.
Any application for employment visa under the GEP could be considered under the following conditions;
- The employee under consideration should not have a criminal record.
- He/she should have a high level of education preferably more than one degree.
- There is a genuine job vacancy at the company.
- The applicant should be confirmed for the particular vacancy in the company.
- The offered remuneration must be at the prevailing market level and in line with Hong Kong legislative requirements.
Chinese living abroad and have People’s Republic of China Passports and meet the outlined conditions can also apply. However, they are also required to have the following additional requirements;
- Have permanent residence abroad
- Have been residing abroad for more than one year
Note that unless you have right of abode or allowed to land, you are required to have an entry permit/visa to work in Hong Kong. Even though every employment visa application is evaluated on individual merit, you must meet the standard migration requirements that include
- Having the required traveling documents with adequate returnability.
- Have no criminal record.
- Not likely to become a burden to Hong Kong.
- Relevant experience for the employment of choice.
Entry of Dependants
The applicants who get the visa through GEP may bring their dependant children under the age of 18 years and spouses. The person holding the working visa under GEP is the sponsor and must make an application for every dependant at the immigration department. To get a dependant visa, the following is required;
- Enough proof that the spouse you are bringing is in a genuine relationship with you.
- There is no record of harm of the dependant.
- The sponsor must be ready to provide to the dependants and guarantee them lifestyle above average standards.
The following are not eligible under GEP :
- People who previously lived in the Mainland China but are now residents of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).
- Citizens of Afghanistan and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The length of stay for dependants is completely tied to the sponsor. Therefore, request for renewal will only be successful if the sponsor’s visa is still valid. If the dependants live for 7 years in Hong Kong, they will get the right of abode. The dependants are not prohibited from taking any legally gainful employment or study in Hong Kong.
After making an application under the GEP, the department of immigration requires about one month to complete the verification. However, the processing will not commence if one of the documents was not included.
To get a visa application under General Employment Policy processed faster, it is prudent to confirm all the documents required and send all of them to the immigration department.
In every application, the department of immigration follows the established criteria for review. The approval is, therefore, solely based on merit. Despite this, the director of immigration has absolute right to deny any application even if another office had approved it.
General Employment Policy allows people with special skills to look for vacancies and apply to enter Hong Kong. Besides, it makes it easy to bring dependants, allows them to work, and even study in Hong Kong. Remember that in case you require changing job under GEP, an application must be made first at the department of immigration.