From time to time some clients will ask if a Working Visa is needed when they are only visiting HK for a week or two. In general, there are two main visa types: a) tourist travelling and b) working or investment, and if your visit involves any ‘work’ elements, a Working Visa is essential. 

Let us walk you through with a few case studies so you can understand what circumstances a work permit is required, and which type of permit suits the most.
 

 

Common Situation

CASE 1: “I run an offshore software company. Recently, our company has launched a new system software and one of my technicians, who is a not a local citizen, will go to HK to help install the software in offices, as well as brief our HK staff on the software features. Does he need a HK Working Visa? 

ANSWER: The technician will NEED a work permit to stay in HK for business-related purposes. According to the General Employment Policy, for those who come to HK for employment or involving other business activities as professionals, a Working Visa is required. Even for some expat SME clients who are sent to HK for regular stocktake (e.g. diamond stock check) or training provision, they have to apply for the Working Visa too.

So if you are the employer, you are obligated to apply for a work permit for your employees under any circumstances that involve professional knowledge or its application in workplace.

 

CASE 2: “I am a British resident and run a restaurant in the UK. I will be heading to the HK franchise to promote a new dish, also to host a short cooking class exclusively for our VIP clients. This is a one-time thing and takes only a day. Do I need to apply for an official work permit for that?

ANSWER: Similar to CASE 1, if you are not a HK permanent resident nor having the right of abode in HK, yet possess special skills and will apply your skills for certain achievements or work purposes here, you will need a Working Visa. Hosting a cooking class, playing gigs, exhibiting your own artwork as invited artists, performing magic or singing in a company’s organized show, modelling, etc - all these kinds of cultural and artistic communications are actually work delivered to a company and so you will need to get an official work permit in advance, even if your work is unpaid or for charity purpose.

 

CASE 3: “On behalf of the company, I’ve got invited to be the guest speaker of a seminar / workshop / talk in HK but it only lasts 1-2 days, must I apply for a Working Visa for that?

ANSWER: YES. Though you are not making any profits in HK and you just come here to “share” your personal insights / thoughts / knowledge, etc. with the attendees, this kind of professional knowledge sharing counts as a type of training purpose under the HK legal system so you would need a Working Visa for carrying out such training, whether the seminar or workshop requires admission fees or not.

 

Types of HK Working Visa

Employment Visa - the applicants should already have an offered position in HK which could be not be replaced by the local labour market; Investment (Entrepreneurs) Visa - the applicants should be the owner of a business, planning to be stationed in HK for managing the business.

For those who come to HK for a rather short period of time (no more than 1 year) and do not have much working experience / qualifications, they could choose to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, which is easier to apply and suitable for young applicants.

If you are non-local / mainland graduates who decided to extend your stay in HK and maybe even develop your career here, there is an Immigration Arrangement for Non-local Graduates (a.k.a. IANG) visa for applicants to continue their professional venture in HK and work under the IANG scheme.

Other visa types like Dependent Visa (for a spouse and even unmarried dependent child to reside in HK), Training Visa (for trainees to be trained in a HK reputable company) and more. It is best to talk to an experienced counsellor who can provide tactical advice and guidance along the way, facilitating your process, increasing the success rate and making sure you are on the right track.

 

Why You Need a Consultation?

When applying for an immigration permit like Working Visa that has a set of eligibility criteria, it is much better to get a middleman like an agency to help you communicate with the government officers and precisely fulfill their specific requirements. Especially if you have never applied for a Working Visa, submitting your application through an agency is definitely worthwhile because: a) many applicants do not know which visa type is the most suitable to apply for; b) the unknown waiting period (meaning the ‘real’ time here, not the rough time stated in the Government website); and c) which qualifications are required in order to get a higher chance of successful application. 

Applying for a Working Visa could be very personal. So if you are not familiar with the process, it is always wiser to consult a professional prior. In addition, if you have applied for the wrong type of visa and got rejected finally, it is quite difficult to appeal the case (in view of the immigration practice that this disapproval record will be archived in your file, making your future application even trickier).

Our team has over 18 years of experience in assisting clients to get the permit successfully, we are pleased to provide a face-to-face / video call / phone consultation on your visa application so you will know what is your BEST way to move.

 

What is the Latest Time to Apply for Work Visa?

The processing time of a work permit application takes at least 4 weeks and this period is just for paperwork assessment only. In order to avoid the mishap of not having a valid working visa, please contact a professional agency as early as possible to kick start all preparation work, no matter how long you will work in HK.

 

What If I Don’t Really Know Where to Start?

Feel free to shoot us an email at info@bridges.hk anytime for precise advice or appointment making with our proficient visa team who will swiftly answer your queries and save your hassles as soon as possible before the application starts.

*Under the circumstances of COVID-19, the compulsory quarantine period in HK varies according to your inbound country. Please check with our professional visa team for any inquiries. 

Read All
CHECK PACKAGES APPOINT US NOW
Read All

With the pandemic turmoil of the European and American economy, many global businessmen have pivoted to explore further in Asian countries. Among the different choices, Hong Kong is always the one winning entrepreneurs’ hearts. Wanna know the reasons behind?!
 

 

Easy Procedure

Forming a HK limited company is very straightforward, especially if you're doing it with a professional service provider. BRIDGES team has served countless start-ups and SMEs in setting up their company with our all-in-one package (no hidden costs at all) for 19 years. Let us share a few tips and you will find establishing your own company has never been easier.

 

STEP 1: Collecting the required documents (please refer to the list below) for registration at the HK Companies Registry :

There are 2 types of Required Documents:

Type I. If the Director / Shareholder is an individual:

> Copy of all Directors & Shareholders’ passports / HKID

> Copy of all Directors & Shareholders’ addresses proof

* The Director & Shareholder can be the same person, which means it only takes 1 person to complete the process.

Type II. If the Director / Shareholder is a corporation:

> Copy of Business Registration (BR) Certificate

> Copy of all Directors’ passports

> Copy of  registered office’s address proof

> Articles of Association

> Meeting minutes of agreeing to appoint Directors / Shareholders for this Company

* If the Director is a corporation, it is required to appoint at least one individual Director to comply with the new Companies Ordinance. 

 

STEP 2: Pay and go!

Once your incorporation payment is confirmed, we will get on preparing the Government paperwork for you to sign.

 

STEP 3: Submitting your signed documents to Government :

Even if you are aboard, we will help submit all signed application documentations to the Government for swift processing. In fact, by the time you reach this step, you are already halfway through setting up your own company.  Our team would get it all done for you, like approaching different Government departments to file the required paperwork. For a ready-made (shelf) company, it takes around 2 working days to process; for an all-new company, it would take around 1 week or less to process.

 

STEP 4: Opening bank account :

You may ask: ‘How can I finish all company setup and bank account opening procedures as I'm stuck at my place?’ The good news is BRIDGES is now able to provide remote incorporation. From business consultation to business set-up, everything can be settled via the Internet. For bank account opening, indeed many traditional banks require physical presence and it usually takes a one-month appointment in advance. However, now with the pandemic, you might consider utilising fintech platforms to facilitate your business transaction especially if you are trading in multiple currencies.

The three reliable bank account alternatives in HK (BRIDGES' business partners) - AirwallexStatrys and Currenxie - do not require the physical presence of applicants and offer more than 10 different currencies. For more details, please refer to "
Traditional Bank Account Alternatives to Run Business".

 

Bank Account Opening Preparation

The assessment criteria of international banking are getting stricter, including HK’s banking and financial system. Therefore, a thorough preparation before the bank appointment always helps. If you managed to fly to HK, we will help arrange an appointment with bankers in advance on your behalf. What’s more, sets of the certified true copy are included in our package already for presenting to the bankers. Before the appointment, our experienced specialists will advise you of the documents needed to prepare (e.g. passport copy, residential address proof, business plan, business proofs, etc.), so that the whole process could be sped up and the situation of missed documents is minimised. Some banks can even offer our clients pre-screening to let you know whether your provided documents are sufficient for the bank appointment. In general, the assessment time will be around 2 - 4 weeks provided that all required supporting documents are submitted to the bank for review. We work closely with HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, DBS, OCBC Wing Hang Bank, China Citic Bank, etc. and we will guide you through to smooth out the whole process.

 

Favourable Taxation in HK

HK is famous for having a rather simple and low tax regime. There are two main taxes: Corporate Profits Tax (16.5%) and Personal Salaries Tax (15%), and there is no dividend tax in HK. Generally after 18 months of your limited company incorporated, you will receive the 1st Profits Tax Return. When your company is in good hands like us where there is an in-house Accounting Team able to assist your business with all accounting work, audit arrangement and getting prepared for local tax compliance, you can rest assured that all these essential functions will be handled properly and timely in a legitimate way.

 

HK Incorporation vs. Singapore Incorporation

Both HK and Singapore are popular jurisdictions in Asia for international businessmen. However, forming a Singapore company requires foreign entrepreneurs to partner up with a local Singapore citizen, while there is no limit on the nationality of the director(s) in setting up a HK company.  It means no matter what your nationality is, you can freely form your own company in HK without the need to include a HK citizen as your company’s stakeholder, giving you more flexibility in the company structure.

 

How HK Serves as a Stepping Stone into China?

For expats who want to set foot in China, they have to set up a special type of entity named Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) according to the China policy. From our experience, if you own a Hong Kong limited company as a shareholding company, it would be way more beneficial to use it informing your WFOE due to the close economic partnership between HK and Mainland China i.e. under The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). Not to mention financing in HK is much more accessible than in China, and all major international banks are located in HK, leading to a high standard system in terms of technology and security. In contrary to China, there are no restrictions or approvals needed to receive or transfer funds / foreign currencies in HK as you might know.

=============================================================================

If you have any further questions on setting up your own company, please feel free to email our company incorporation team, at info@bridges.hk to know more about our practical advice. 

Read All
CHECK PACKAGES TALK TO US NOW
Close Open