Hong Kong is a city of charm and it attracts thousands of expats coming to work in Hong Kong every year. Yet, landing a job here could be a bit of a challenge. No worries though, as we would guide you through the process of obtaining your work permits, as well as giving you our insider tips and tricks to hunt down your dream job in Hong Kong.
Part 1: How to Get a Working Visa in Hong Kong?
First, you will need a visa to be able to work in Hong Kong of course if you are not a permanent citizen. The most obvious one is the working visa, which you could only obtain when you already got an offer from your employer and it is the company’s responsibility to apply that for you so you basically don’t have to do anything. It usually takes 6-8 weeks to process.
Please note that there would be certain “pre-requisites” for the government to approve the working visa application:
- A Graduate Degree Holder (Even though sometimes higher educational background from vocational schools would also be accepted, depends on your skills and working experience)
- Being offered a job position in Hong Kong with reasonable salary level; a guide of above HK$23,000 per month.
- Relevant experience that is deemed to be in short supply in Hong Kong
- A position that can’t be filled by a local or resident worker
- How the expatriate can benefit the local workforce (e.g. training)
*Not that you would not have to fulfill every single ‘requirement’ mentioned above. These are just some guidelines and factors that the government would take into consideration.
Working Holiday Visa
If you are not a degree holder, chances are slim for the companies to apply a working visa for you. You may consider obtaining a working holiday visa in Hong Kong if you are aged 18-30, which is a much easier process and would last 12 months. Try to work a year in Hong Kong first and see if there are any chances that the employer would want to continue your employment.
If you happen to have a spouse who is a permanent Hong Kong resident, this is the easiest way to get yourself a work permit in Hong Kong, although there are still some conditions in obtaining this visa:
- The sponsoring spouse needs to have a job in Hong Kong with income proof
- If your sponsoring spouse is not working, he/she has to have bank statement showing that she has over HK$100,000 in the saving account (If your spouse doesn’t have such amount of saving, you may consider asking your family members to transfer the money into her account first just for the statement proof)
- The sponsoring spouse also needs to have address proof from such as bank statement, tenant receipt, ownership proof etc.
Part 2: How to Find a Job in Hong Kong?
Now that you understand the pre-requisites of working in Hong Kong, let’s jump to our main topic: How to get a job in Hong Kong.
Transfer to the Hong Kong office of Your Current Compay
If you are lucky enough that the company you are woking in is an international one and is sending you to Hong Kong, there are few things that you have to pay attention:
- Make sure the company is providing housing, if not then don’t bother to come
- Pay attention if the contract is on home-country term or local term, the salary and the medical benefits etc could be a huge difference
Typical Job Hunting Websites in Hong Kong
LinkedIn and Indeed are more international and you would get a higher chance to be hired as an expat. Jobs on JobsDB and recruit are a lot of times very local and is therefore very competitive.
Large Recruitment Agencies in Hong Kong
Send your resumes to recruitment agencies in Hong Kong to increase your exposure to potential employers:
- Randstad Hong Kong
- Michael Page
- Hudson Hong Kong
- Adecco Hong Kong
- Gemini Personnel Limited
- Manpower Hong Kong
Other Hong Kong Job Hunting Tips
- Check your connections. Any of your friends working in a company that has office in Hong Kong or any friends that are already working in Hong Kong? Ask them if they know if there are any openings
- Go on LinkedIn and see the companies your friends working as an expat in Hong Kong are working in. You would get an idea of what companies in Hong Kong are hiring expats and maybe try to send your resumes to those companies too
- Check if there’s a chamber of commerce of your country in Hong Kong. They will have a list of all the companies from your country who are doing business in Hong Kong
- Lock down the international companies in Hong Kong. You could start with the Fortune 500 Companies list. International companies in Hong Kong have a higher tendency to hire expats
- Look a little bit broader than what you normally would be looking for. Say if you are a graphic designer coming from Germany, try not to just focus on looking for a designer job. Since speaking German is your huge advantage, you might want to use this as a bait and try to find jobs that only require candidates that could speak fluent German
- Search with keywords such as Work Visa, Work Permit, Expat so to look for companies that are actively willing to sponsor working visa
- Recruiters here are mostly local and they recruit in a very practical local style. For instance, your resume says you are a sales manager and you are trying to apply for the sales director role in Hong Kong. They would probably be like well we are looking for a sales director and sales director is not on your resume, so no match. They won’t be thinking ahead and think about the potential of how could things turn out