Unlike the mainland China that requires entrants to have visas, Hong Kong has different legislations that allow people to travel on different policies. People visiting Hong Kong from more than 170 countries can enter Hong Kong without requiring visa and stay between 7 and 180 days.
Requirement for a working visa
If you are foreign national and want to get employed, you will need a working visa. However, the light-touch policies mean that even people visiting Hong Kong for a short period can conduct businesses like signing contracts and even negotiations. If you are planning a visit, here is Hong-Kong: 5 visas that you need to know about.
If you have a company or business and want to employ a foreigner, you are required to apply for an employment visa. It is a requirement that you demonstrate the skills the foreign employee is bringing are not available in Hong Kong. Besides, the employee must have a sponsor/employer with a vacancy matching his skills.
This visa is meant to encourage people set up businesses in Hong Kong. To get the investment visa, you are required to have a limited liability company and provide a comprehensive business plan for the next two years. Besides, you have to show the capital being injected into the investment and a company structure detailing the employment opportunities to be opened.
To get the entrepreneur visa, an applicant is required to be the proprietor or a key researcher in a business start-up. The applicant can also get this visa if the start-up is supported by any of the top five government supported programs. The immigrations department together with other stakeholders rigorously vets these applications to ensure only those specific to different government supported programs are accepted. These government programs include;
- StartmeupHK Venture Programme administered by InvestHK;
- Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation;
- Cyberport Incubation Programme;
- Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission; and
- Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.
Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES)
This program was suspended in January 2015 until the government provides further directions about it. However, those people who had made applications before 2015 will have their requests processed to a logical conclusion. If you had made an application before January 2015, you might consider getting in touch with the immigrations department.
If you successfully get an investment visa or employment visa, you are allowed to bring a spouse and dependant siblings below the age of 18 years. You have to make an application for dependant visas for every member of the family who comes to stay with you. The dependant visa is eligible as long as the sponsor’s visa is valid. You are allowed to take gainful employment or even study in Hong Kong like any other resident when living on a dependant visa. Remember that the sponsor must demonstrate the capability to support all the members on dependant visa by providing an above average lifestyle.
In addition to the outlined Hong-Kong: 5 visas, there are enhancement measures that have been adopted for the GEP (general employment policy) for investment and employment visas, the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, and the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.
A Pilot scheme has also been initiated for admitting second generation Chinese who have been living abroad for some time. This pilot initiative is meant to encourage more Chinese to come back home and bring new talents that will help grow the economy and take Hong Kong to the next level.