Hong Kong working visa
It’s time for some more of my expert visa advice on DSL as I cover my guide on how to get a Hong Kong Working Visa. I wrote before about how I originally came to Hong Kong as a backpacker, ended up with a cool job in a pub after a few days – I had already secured a working holiday visa. Things developed further for me after that and I ended up liking Hong Kong so much I have made it my base for the last three years or so. As well as just being on a tourist visa a few times I have also twice gone through a successful Hong Kong working visa application. I thought it was about time a budget cheapskate backpacker told it how it is. Here’s my easy guide to getting a Hong Kong Working Visa.
Transition from a Working Holiday Visa to a Working Visa.
While on my working holiday visa in Hong Kong I worked in a pub and in schools. It was by signing the job contract with the schools that I was eventually able to upgrade to a full Hong Kong Working Visa. What you need to do to get a Hong Kong Working Visa is to have a guaranteed job contract for a year. Once you have a job contract, you can apply for your official Working Visa. Just after my Working Holiday Visa ran out, I applied for my Working Visa. The timeline for me was something like:
– activated my Hong Kong Working Holiday Visa in May 2011 (valid for 1 year)– signed a full time job contract in June 2012 (for 1 year)
– activated my Hong Kong Working Visa in August 2012 (valid for 1 year)
– left Hong Kong in August 2013 on that visa and returned 5 times on a tourist visa before getting another Working Visa in March 2014 (valid for 1 year)
(during the past three years while being “based in Hong Kong” I have still managed to travel for around 4-6 months each year, to 35 countries across 4 continents as well as working full time, backpacking, travel blogging and coming in and out of the country 30+ times as my travel timeline shows).
Making the Hong Kong Working Visa application.
OK so once you have a guaranteed job and signed a contract you will need to apply for your visa. On the first time I applied for my Hong Kong Working Visa I was still covered in Hong Kong with my Working Holiday Visa. On the second time I was merely on a tourist visa. Both are totally fine. The application should be done in Hong Kong and in person (yes it is possible to get someone else to fill in the forms for you and drop them in and later collect the visa – but you need to sign it.) I like doing everything myself, so I did.
To apply for the HK Working Visa you need to first fill in the application form for the Working Visa. You can ask your employer for this, you can pick up a copy from the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai or you can print it from the internet, it’s available on the main Hong Kong Immigration site. I just got it from my employer – your employer can also tell you the beset way to fill in the form as they will be used to having employees doing them.
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