Visa & Immigration
Hong Kong has business friendly immigration policies. As such, visitors from over 170 countries/territories can enjoy visa-free entries to Hong Kong and stay for between seven to 180 days.
Working Visa Requirements
Short-term visitors can make the most of Hong Kong’s light-touch visa policies and are permitted to conduct business negotiations and sign contracts while on a visitor’s visa or entry permit. Foreign nationals working in Hong Kong for longer periods of time require a visa before they can live or work in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Visa Types
To employ overseas staff, you must demonstrate that a prospective employee has special skills, knowledge or experience not readily available in Hong Kong. The proposed employee must be sponsored by an employer in Hong Kong.
The applicant should be in a position to make substantial contribution to the economy of the HKSAR, with consideration factors or startup businesses. Their startup business may be considered favourably if it is supported by a government-backed programme with a rigorous vetting and selection process. For example:
- Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation;
- Cyberport Incubation Programme;
- Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme and Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission; and
- Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.
People who successfully apply for a visa can bring their spouse and dependent children under the age of 18, provided they have sufficient funds and suitable accommodation. The limit on their stay is the same as the visa holder – who is officially the ‘sponsor’. A spouse holding a Dependant visa can undertake any type of lawful employment in Hong Kong.
Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)
TechTAS provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible companies to admit overseas and Mainland technology talent to undertake research and development ("R&D") work for them. Companies that are engaged in R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science, robotics, 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, Internet-of-Things or microelectronics are eligible to make applications. For details, please visit here.
Enhancement measures have been applied to the General Employment Policy (for both employment and investment), the
Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.
The Immigration Department has also introduced an admission scheme for the second generation of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated overseas and may apply to return to work in Hong Kong. For more details, please refer here.