Work Visa

Work Visas are required for foreigners by the Hong Kong Immigration Department before taking up any sort of employment whether it is paid or unpaid, short-term or long-term, unless you have been provided a Right of Abode, a Right to Land or an Unconditional Stay in Hong Kong.

Generally, in order to successfully apply for a work visa in Hong Kong, there are several criteria Immigration will be focused on:

1. An individual should have secured an employment/job offer before the visa application is submitted;

2. An individual should possess unique qualifications and relevant working experience that are not readily available in Hong Kong.

3. An individual should be placed in a management level job position and the salary offered should be met with market rate.

4. The sponsoring company should be financial stable and healthy.

5. The sponsoring company should have local staffs and office premise has already been set up

The processing time of a work visa is normally 4-6 weeks from the date of submission. Upon approval of the application, a two-year work visa will be granted. The applicant will then be allowed to apply a resident Hong Kong Identity card.

The applicant should apply and be granted a work visa before entering Hong Kong to take up his/her employment.

If an individual comes to Hong Kong before applying for a work visa, or an individual is recruited locally, and then subsequently applies for a visa whilst in Hong Kong, this will effect a change of status application from a visitor visa to a work visa. This type of application is comparatively more difficult to process, and requires an explanation as to why an individual did not apply for a work visa before he/she came to Hong Kong. Thus, if at all possible, it is advisable to submit the application prior to entering Hong Kong.

In situations where an overseas company wishes to transfer an employee internally to their Hong Kong office, these types of applications can be fairly straightforward as long as the employee has been employed by that company for some time. If the applicant has only been employed by the company overseas for a few months, then the application will probably be treated as a “new” application instead of an “internal transfer” application, and thus more supporting evidence as to why the position could not be filled locally will be necessary .

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the work visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the 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 correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep the applicant 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 work visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant and the sponsoring company on their alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant/sponsoring company’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 applicant;
    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 sponsoring company's signatures;
    Copy of the applicant’s passport;
    Copy of the applicant’s service contract with the sponsoring employer;
    Copies of the sponsoring employer's business incorporation documents;
    Copy of the sponsoring employer’s financial documents.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong visa application process normally takes 4 to 8 weeks from the date of submission.
Remarks:
  • The initial Hong Kong visa once obtained is valid for a maximum of 24 months (sometimes less).
    Once the visa has been approved, the applicant is eligible to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card.
    If the applicant continues to work with the same employer, he/she can apply a work visa extension when the visa is going to expire. Under normal circumstances, he/she will be granted a 3-year extension.
    If the applicant resigns and finds a new job, he/she has to apply change of sponsorship even the work visa is not expired yet.

Investment Based Work Visa

An investment visa is a subcategory of a work visa, designed for those business owners who intend to stay in Hong Kong to actively participate in daily business operations.

In order to obtain an investment visa in Hong Kong, an individual should prove the followings:

1. He/she is a sole or majority shareholder of the Hong Kong company. To distinguish an investment visa from a work visa, one should be a majority shareholder of the company and should contribute significantly in a business sense. Otherwise a work visa would be more appropriate.

2. His/her business in Hong Kong will enhance the Hong Kong economy.

Immigration Department will focus on the following criteria:
1. Local hiring;
2. Having an office premise;
3. Having actual or/and potential business transactions in the Hong Kong company;
4. Having sufficient fund.

There is no minimum capital injection required by Immigration Department for an individual to invest in a business in order to obtain an investment visa. However, applicants should show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and the business in Hong Kong. Thus, sound financial statements are one of the supporting criteria required by Immigration Department.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the investment visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the 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 correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep the applicant 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 investment visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant on the alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant’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 applicant;
    13. Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 999A with the applicant's signatures
    An application form ID(E) 999B with the the company's authorized person signatures;
    Copy of the applicant's passport;
    Copy of the applicant’s personal documents;
    The company detailed business plan;
    Copies of the company's business incorporation documents;
    Copies of the financial documents of both the applicant and the company.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong visa application process normally takes 4 to 8 weeks from the date of submission.
Remarks:
  • The initial Hong Kong visa once obtained is valid for a maximum of 24 months (sometimes less).
    Once the visa has been approved, the applicant is eligible to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card.
    If the company is newly established, when first visa is granted, it is common that the visa will be under the condition of ‘under business review’. It means that when the applicant applies for an extension for the investment visa, immigration department will review the company’s business and financial abilities before approving the extension of stay for the applicant.

Training Visa

A training visa is a subcategory of a work visa, designed for those who are required to come to Hong Kong to receive training in skills related to their current work; or for students who are doing internship in Hong Kong.

A person entering Hong Kong as trainers offering training to local staffs cannot be considered under this category. They should apply for a normal work visa.

A training visa is normally issued for the proposed training period or for a maximum period of 12 months, whichever is shorter. Processing usually takes 4 weeks approximately from the date of submission. Once the training visa holders complete their training in Hong Kong, they should return to their countries of origin. They are not allowed to remain in Hong Kong to undertake a change of category from a training visa to a normal work visa.

This category is also open to PRC (People’s Republic of China) nationals provided they fit the relevant criteria. However, it is not available to citizens of Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Nepal or Vietnam.

Documentary requirements to support an application for training visas are similar to that of work visas. However, a detailed training schedule must be submitted in addition to other supporting documentations.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the training visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant and the sponsoring employer;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the 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 correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep both the applicant and the sponsoring company 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 training visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant and the sponsoring company on their alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant/sponsoring company’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 pick the visa label from Immigration Department;
    12. Deliver the Hong Kong visa to the applicant;
    13 Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 992A with the applicant’s signatures;
    An application form ID(E) 992B with the sponsoring company's signatures;
    Copy of the applicant’s passport;
    Copy of the applicant’s service contract with the sponsoring employer;
    Copies of the sponsoring employer's business incorporation documents;
    Copy of detailed training schedule from sponsoring employer.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong training visa application process normally takes 4 to 6 weeks from the date of submission..
Remarks:
  • The initial Hong Kong visa once obtained is valid for a maximum of 12 months (sometimes less).
    Once the training visa has been approved, the applicant is eligible to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card if the training period is 6 months or longer.

Change of Sponsorship of Work Visa

Regardless a work visa has expired or not, a change of sponsorship application is required if a work visa holder is changing an employer. An application for a change of sponsorship must be filed with Immigration Department before starting a new employment.

The application procedure is similar to a new work visa application. However, if the new employment is in the same field/industry as the previous employment and other factors are similar, the change of sponsorship should be straightforward.

The Change of Sponsorship may involve the following situations:
1. Work Visa to Work Visa due to change of employer.
2. Work visa to Investment visa due to the fact that the applicant set up his/her own company.

The normal processing time for a change of sponsorship application is 4 weeks from the date of submission.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the change of sponsorship application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant and the sponsoring employer;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the documents in favor of immigration policy;
    Suggest alternative documents if the applicant is not able to get the listed documents;
    Letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Reply on the applicant’s behalf to all enquiries and correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep both the applicant and the sponsoring company updated on the status of the application;
    Accept the approval and have the visa endorsed onto the applicant's passport.
Application Procedure:
  • 1. Free consultation regarding to the Hong Kong change of sponsorship application;
    2. Advise the applicant and the sponsoring company on their alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant/sponsoring company’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 have the visa label endorsed onto the applicant's passport.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 91 with the applicant’s signatures;
    An application form ID(E) 990B with the sponsoring company's signatures;
    Copy of the applicant’s passport;
    Copy of the applicant’s service contract with the sponsoring employer;
    Copies of the sponsoring employer's business incorporation documents;
    Copy of the sponsoring employer’s financial documents.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong visa application process normally takes 4 to 6 weeks from the date of submission.
Remarks:
  • At the discretion of Immigration Department, the visa is valid for 1 or 2 years.
  • No new visa label would be issued if current visa label is valid for more than one year.
  • Applicant's Hong Kong Identity Card status would remain unchanged and no further action is required.

Working Holiday Visa

The main purpose of the scheme is to facilitate cultural and educational exchange between Hong Kong and participating countries with a view to strengthening the bilateral relationship.

Participating countries include Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and UK. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 and they cannot bring their dependant spouse to Hong Kong.

During the working holiday period, an individual is eligible to take a training course or/and temporarily jobs in Hong Kong. The working holiday visa holder can work for the same employer for not more than three months. Except for Korean Citizen, French Citizen, Austrian citizen who can work for the same employer for not more than six months; and for British citizen who can work for the same employer for not more than 12 months.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the working holiday visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the 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 correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep both the applicant 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 working holiday visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant on his/her alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant’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 pick the visa label from Immigration Department;
    12. Deliver the Hong Kong visa to the applicant;
    13. Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 940 with the applicant’s signature;
  • Copy of the applicant’s passport;
  • Financial proof of having sufficient fund of living while the applicant is in Hong Kong;
  • Copy of health insurance.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong visa application process normally takes 4 weeks from the date of submission.
Remarks:
  • Extension of stay will not normally be considered
    Dependant visa for the spouse is not considered.
    The applicant can only apply the visa under this scheme for one time only.

Travel Pass

The HKSAR Travel Pass enables the holder to use Hong Kong resident counters when passing through Hong Kong Immigration. This means that once you’ve landed it takes a lot less time to clear Immigration.

The HKSAR Travel Pass is open to frequent visitors and those who are eligible to come to Hong Kong without a visa or entry permit for the purpose of visiting. Applicants should make a minimum of 3 separate trips to Hong Kong within the 12-month period immediately preceding the application. Trips to the Mainland or Macau don’t count.

Once the application is approved, the HKSAR Travel Pass is valid for three years and good for multiple entries to Hong Kong, for a stay of two months for each trip. Processing time takes approximately 4 weeks from the date of submission.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for the Travel Pass Application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the applicant and the HK sponsoring company;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the applicant;
    Review and organize the 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 correspondences from Immigration Department;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration Department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep the applicant updated on the status of the application;
    Accept the approval and have the Travel Pass delivered to the applicant.
Application Procedure:
  • 1. Free consultation regarding to the Hong Kong Travel Pass application;
    2. Advise the applicant on his/her alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the applicant’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. Submit the application to Immigration Department;
    9. Ongoing liaison with Immigration Department;
    11. Reply Immigration Department’s enquiries on the applicant’s behalf;
    12. Accept the Travel Pass approval and collect the Travel Pass booklet from Immigration Department
    13. Deliver the Hong Kong Travel Pass booklet to the applicant.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 888 with the applicant’s signatures;
    Copy of the applicant’s passport;
    Supporting letter from the applicant’s major Hong Kong business contact;
    Supporting letter from the applicant’s current employer.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong Travel Pass application process normally takes 4 to 6 weeks.
Remarks:
  • The Hong Kong Travel Pass would be valid for three years;
    The applicant is not entitled to HK Identity Card;
    The applicant should visit Hong Kong at least 3 times in last 12 months period immediately preceding the application.

Foreign Domestic Helper Visa

It is very common to hire a domestic helper in Hong Kong. The employer should hold a valid visa (which excludes those on visitor visas) or should be a permanent resident, to apply for a foreign domestic helper visa for his/her maid in Hong Kong.

A person holding a foreign domestic helper visa is only allowed to perform domestic duties from the following five broad categories: household chores; cooking; looking after aged persons in the household; baby-sitting and child-minding. If an individual employer has a genuine need for a domestic helper to perform driving duties, the employer must seek an exceptional permission from Immigration Department.

This visa is not valid for Chinese residents from Mainland China, Macau or Taiwan. Neither is it valid for nationals from Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Nepal or Vietnam. Foreign Domestic Helpers are not allowed to bring in their dependants. Foreign nannies are not considered in the category of foreign domestic helpers, they should apply for normal work visas.

Prism Service Involves:
  • Provide consultation service regarding to the documents required for foreign domestic helper visa application;
    Prepare a tailor-made document checklist for the helper;
    Complete all necessary Hong Kong Immigration forms for the helper;
    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 all enquiry letters from Immigration Department on the helper's behalf;
    Prepare and draft all letters required for submission to Immigration department;
    Monitor the application process;
    Keep the employer updated on the status of the application;
    Accept the approval and have the visa label delivered to the employer.
    Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Application Procedure:
  • 1. Free consultation regarding to the Hong Kong Domestic Helper visa application;
    2. Advise the applicant on the alternatives and the likelihood of success;
    3. Obtain the employer’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 employer;
    13. Provide guidance on Hong Kong Identity Card application.
Documents Required:
  • An application form ID(E) 988A and ID(E) 988B with relevant parts duly completed and signed;
    Copy of the helper’s passport ;
    Reference letter to prove that the helper has previous domestic helper experience;
    The employer's financial proof.
Processing Time:
  • The Hong Kong visa application process normally takes 8 to 16 weeks from date of submission.
Remarks:
  • The visa (for a first-time approval) is valid for a maximum of 24 months.
    Even staying in Hong Kong for more than 7 years, domestic helpers are not eligible to apply for permanent residence.

Testimonials

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.

testimonial 1
Cinar, Karazona

Director, Organic Modernism Limited


Prism Visas https://www.prismvisas.com/images/prismvisaslogo.jpg $
14/F, Tung Wai Commercial Building, 109-111 Gloucester Road, WanChai Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3464 5200

Free Assessment

Connect with Prism