Visas for Mainland Chinese

After 1997, special visa arrangements for PRC nationals were introduced by the Hong Kong Immigration Department in order to attract highly skilled and qualified mainland professionals to the Hong Kong workforce, to enhance Hong Kong’s global competitiveness and to meet local manpower needs. These employment visas fall into three different categories.

(1) Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals

To qualify, PRC nationals have to prove they possess unique skills, knowledge and experience not readily available in Hong Kong.

The scheme is quota-free and non-sector specific. The number of talented personnel and professionals admitted under the scheme will be adjusted according to local demand.

Documentary requirements to support an employment visa under this scheme are similar to that of a normal employment visa application. The scheme allows applicants to bring their spouse and unmarried dependant children to Hong Kong. As dependants, they are eligible to apply for dependant visas. Professionals and dependants will be eligible to apply for permanent residency after 7 successive years in Hong Kong.

Once the application is approved under this scheme, the visa label has to be stuck onto the applicant’s Exit-entry Permit (EEP) instead of the passport. Before the applicant comes to Hong Kong to activate the visa label, the applicant has to get an exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau Office where the applicant’s household registration is kept.

This scheme has its own specific division within the Immigration Department and processing time for visas usually takes 4-6 weeks from the date of submission.

(2) One Year Rule

This visa is designed for PRC nationals currently overseas, who intend to take up employment in Hong Kong. The documentary requirements to support an employment visa under this arrangement are similar to that of a normal employment visa.

There are however two notable differences. PRC nationals must have a valid resident visa for a third country at all times throughout their visa application process. And they have to stay in that third country with a valid resident visa for at least one year prior to submitting their employment visa application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

If PRC nationals intend bringing family with them to Hong Kong, their dependants are eligible to apply for dependant visas.

Once the application is approved, the visa label has to be stuck onto the PRC passport. An exit endorsement is not necessary.

If PRC nationals possess dual citizenship with permanent residency in a third country, they will not be subjected to the above restrictions. In other words, they will be treated as a foreign national if they apply for an employment visa in Hong Kong.

(3) Degree Level Mainland Students Graduating from UGC Funded Institutions.

With effect from 1 August 2001, mainland students who completed their bachelor degree or higher-level studies in Hong Kong, may apply for work visas if they have confirmed job offers in Hong Kong.

This scheme is available to all mainland students who graduated from locally accredited full-time educational programs in Hong Kong at degree level or above and, who from 1990 onwards, graduated from UGC funded institutions at degree level or above.

Exchange students, graduates of part-time study programs and other mainland students who do not fall into the degree level or above category, are not eligible to apply. They can however apply for an employment visa under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.

The applicant’s spouse and unmarried dependant children may apply for dependant visas. Both the applicant and his family are eligible to apply for permanent residency after having lived in Hong Kong for 7 years with valid visas.

Visa processing time is usually 4-6 weeks from the date of submission.

Once the application is approved under this scheme, the visa label has to be stuck onto the applicant’s Exit-entry Permit (EEP) instead of the passport. Before the applicant comes to Hong Kong to activate the visa label, the applicant has to get an exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau Office where the applicant’s household registration is kept.

Prism’s Work Visa Consultant Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant and the applicant’s Hong Kong sponsor;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the collected documents in favor of immigration policy;
    Suggest alternative documents if the applicant is not able to get the listed documents;
    Submit the application to Immigration Department;
    Reply on the applicant’s behalf to all enquiries and correspondence from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep the applicant and the sponsor updated on the status of the application;
    Accept the approval and have the visa delivered to the applicant;
    Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Application Procedure:
  • [1.] Free consultation regarding to the Hong Kong visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant and the sponsor on the alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the sponsor’s signature on the letter of engagement;
    4. Obtain deposit payment;
    5. Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the application;
    6. Complete immigration forms, drafts and letters;
    7. Review the collected documents to ensure they are correctly presented;
    8. Draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    9. Ongoing liaison with Immigration Department;
    10. Reply Immigration Department’s enquiries on the applicant’s behalf;
    11. Accept the visa approval and collect the visa label from Immigration Department;
    12. Deliver the Hong Kong visa to the sponsor;
    13. Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 990A with the applicant’s signatures;
    An application form ID(E) 990B with the sponsor's signatures;
    Copy of the applicant’s passport;
    Copy of the service contract or letter of appointment from the sponsoring employer;
    Copies of the sponsoring employer's business incorporation documents;
    Copies of the personal documents to prove that position cannot be filled by locals.
Processing Time:
  • The visa application process normally takes 4 to 6 weeks from the date of submission.
Remarks:
  • Student visa holders are not allowed to work unless getting a consent from Immigration Department.

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Client References

Chris and Bonnie at Prism have been an absolute pleasure to work with. They clearly explained the application process, assisted in drafting necessary documents and were always available to address any questions or concerns. We couldn't have asked for better consultants.

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Cinar, Karazona

Director, Organic Modernism Limited


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