Working in Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers a wonderful combination of a cosmopolitan lifestyle, a multicultural community and a low unemployment rate. So it’s not surprising that the idea of working in Hong Kong appeals to professionals around the globe. 

Good reasons to consider working in Hong Kong

As a global commercial and financial hub, working in Hong Kong is a career goal for many professionals. Candidates with skills and experience in accounting, finance, banking and technology are among the most sought after in Hong Kong, and your own overseas experience can be highly valued by local employers.

However, it’s important to do plenty of homework before booking your plane ticket.  Hong Kong can offer plenty of great career opportunities but strict rules apply for expatriates hoping to secure a working visa.

Are your qualifications recognised in Hong Kong? 

Skilled professionals have a better chance of obtaining a working visa for Hong Kong as the Department of Immigration makes permits available based on skills and qualifications. So an ideal starting point to working in Hong Kong is to check if your professional qualifications hold merit among local employers.

To find out if your qualifications and skills are recognised in Hong Kong, visit the website of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ). It explains how to have your qualifications assessed for suitability in the Hong Kong employment market.

Consider the financial impact

Hong Kong offers a good standard of living. However when it comes to housing, Hong Kong consistently ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world , and you need to be sure that working in Hong Kong is financially viable for you. 

The Robert Half Salary Guide can help you learn more about salary levels and other types of remuneration for a range of roles in Hong Kong. Be sure to back this up with additional research on general living costs to ensure you can afford to work and live comfortably.

Applying for a Hong Kong working visa

Securing a working visa for Hong Kong is achievable though it does bring challenges. In particular, before you can apply for a visa, you will need a job offer in writing from a Hong Kong employer. 

The role must relate to your academic qualifications, and the remuneration package needs to be in line with local market salaries. More details, plus application forms are available through the Hong Kong Department of Immigration.

The requirement for sponsorship by a Hong Kong employer, means internal transfers are a common way for expatriates to secure work in Hong Kong. If you currently work for a multinational company, it can be worth requesting an overseas transfer to Hong Kong. Or, if your organisation has plans to establish a global footprint, consider putting your name forward to be part of a team based in Hong Kong. A key advantages here is that the company will often arrange (and pay for) the necessary visas and work permits on your behalf. 

How to apply for a job in Hong Kong

If you have skills or qualifications that are in high demand among Hong Kong employers it may be possible to receive an offer of employment while you are overseas. Applying for positions now can give you a head-start in your job search. 

At Robert Half, we work with some of the top companies in Hong Kong and have a wide array of job opportunities. Submit your CV and it will be reviewed by one of our specialist recruitment consultants in Hong Kong. 

Working Holiday Visa

If you are aged 18-30 years you may be eligible for the Working Holiday Scheme, a program that offers young adults from participating countries an opportunity to combine an overseas holiday with short term work. At present, partner countries include New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. A number of conditions and an annual quota apply however, the scheme could help you achieve the goal of landing a job in Hong Kong.

Working in Hong Kong can be both enjoyable and financially rewarding.  As well as being the ideal destination for your overseas adventure, Hong Kong offers an opportunity to add international experience to your resume, and this can be a plus for your career no matter whether you continue travelling or decide to settle in Hong Kong for the longer term.

Take a look at our find a job hub for more job search tips and advice.