For immigration into Hong Kong there are four main visa options, some of which are very straight forward in comparison to other countries requirements, i.e the tourist visa which can be done when you land in Hong Kong, then there’s the other end of the spectrum where there’s the Investment visa which is the most difficult to obtain. It will depend on your situation which visa will be most suited to you.
Tourist Visa: A tourist visa is the most straight forward to obtain. You can fill out the form whilst on the plane before arriving in Hong Kong, then once you’ve arrived at the airport you will be directed to the ‘visitors section’ where your visa claim will be quickly assessed. You will then be given your tourist visa and a time limit for which it will be effective, this will vary mainly depending on what country you are from, for example if arriving from the UK you will be given a longer stay allowance. Tourist visas tend to be for between 7 to 180 days.
Student Visa: For a student visa you can actually get this through your chosen recognised Hong Kong university making it a fairly straight forward process. You need to be studying full time and have proof from the university for this. The university also needs to be recognised by the Hong Kong government as an education establishment.
Working Visa: A working visa can be a long process to obtain in comparison to the above and is not an easy task. You will need to have a Hong Kong employer who will be willing to sponsor you. It is their job to prove they have explored all other avenues to employ a Hong Kong resident and they need to have evidence to show that they have tried their upmost to employ a resident before looking else where. They need to show that you are the only one for the position available and that you have the relevant skills and qualifications required. Once they’ve proven they need you they then need to prove that they can financially afford you for your time there i.e pay you a decent salary. Once you obtain your working visa this will usually be in place for the period of one year, after this is can be renewed in alignment with your employment contract.
Dependant Visa: For a dependant visa you need to be married to a Hong Kong resident. You will be able to freely live, work and study in Hong Kong once your visa is granted and it is usually a straight forward process, but can be quite invasive depending on where you originate.
Investment Visa: An investment visa is very difficult to get. You have to physically invest over 6.5 million dollars in a Hong Kong business and only employ Hong Kong residents. This isn’t a popular visa option and doesn’t suit many people.
The visa process in Hong Kong is a speedy one and will take no longer than 8 weeks in total. The rules are that you must never over stay your visa this is taken very seriously in Hong Kong and will result in a prison sentence, deportation and permanent ban from the country. The same goes for if you work illegally then you and also your employer will face legal action.
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