Types of Visa in Hong Kong



Hence, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) visas issued to foreigners ineligible for visa waiver are evaluated by the Chinese embassy or consulate. The HKSAR Immigration Department website posts the 170 countries with a visa waiver. Visas are classified based on the purpose of visiting.

Visit Visas are issued to foreigners entering the country to visit or pass through the territory. Holders of this visa are required to secure a visa/entry permit if they wish to stay longer than they are entitled. A Visit Visa holder cannot be employed, enrolled in an educational institution or engage in business resulting in income.

For employees

Applications for Work Visas must be submitted by the sponsoring employer. Applicants are evaluated based on a clean criminal record, exemplary educational and work background and a confirmed job offer. 

Key documents to submit as follow:

• Passport that’s valid for a minimum period of 6 months after estimated date of entry in Hong Kong

• Visa application form

• Sponsorship forms with relevant supporting documents

• Proof of academic qualifications and experience relevant to employment

• Photocopy of sponsor’s Hong Kong ID card

• Photocopies of applicant’s passport

• Two passport size photos

Additional requirements for the sponsoring employer to be presented include proof the excellent skills of the applicant, appropriate remuneration package and validation that no local worker is qualified to fill in the vacancy. It usually takes four to six weeks to process an entry visa application.

Work Visas need to be renewed by the employer if the job contract is extended beyond two years. In the event that a foreign worker changes employers, the same process of application applies.

The Imported Workers Visa is issued through an employer with genuine difficulties in finding suitable employees locally. Live-in domestic helpers are issued with a Foreign Domestic Helpers Visa. They are prohibited to perform driving duties unless employers have valid reasons to apply for exceptional permission. Foreign nationals holding Imported Workers and Foreign Domestic Helpers Visas are not allowed to bring dependents.

For investors

Foreign nationals who wish to engage in business and investment activities are considered under certain qualifications including a cleared criminal record, outstanding educational and professional background and a considerable position to contribute substantially to the HKSAR economy.

Successful applicants are issued with an Investment Visa and are allowed to stay on an employment status. Extensions of stay may be appealed at the Immigration Office within four weeks before the expiration of the papers. The same eligibility criteria are applicable for visa permit extension requests. Foreign investors with net assets of not less than HK$6.5 million and have or will invest within six months are issued with the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme Visa.

For entrepreneurs

The Business Visa is for people who wish to set up their own business or work as freelancers. This type of visa would give the maximum amount of freedom to do business in Hong Kong. It is suitable for those planning to establish themselves independently in Hong Kong, or those joining a spouse who is already working.

In assessing your application, the Immigration Department will look for evidence that your business is viable and will not go bankrupt. It must also be able to contribute to Hong Kong’s economy and not take jobs away from the locals.


Families of foreign workers can apply for Dependent Visas. The dependent visa is cancelled once the employment status of the foreign worker is terminated. Proof of familial affinities such as birth certificates and marriage contracts and documents indicating the financial capability of the foreign worker to support his dependents is required.

Foreigners to undergo training not available in their home country may apply for a Training Visa valid for 12 months.

Citizens from these countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand wishing to spend holidays in HKSAR are issued with a Working Holiday Scheme Visa.