COVID is not going to stop me getting a visa into HK
Year 2020 was a challenging year for global professionals and foreign employees. However, COVID is not going to stop international travels forever. As flights schedules resume and the airports reopen, Visas & Travel Permits are becoming ever more important for business travel.
It is therefore believed that the Immigration Department will play a more strategic role in for international business since Hong Kong has not fully opened its borders to travellers with visitor status. Investors, business travellers, and most importantly global professionals are required to carry a valid visa in order to get the green light to enter Hong Kong.
What kind of visa do you need in order to enter Hong Kong?
With the ongoing pandemic and unclear conditions for re-opening the borders, the Hong Kong Government does not currently allow all travellers to enter Hong Kong as a general visitor. The entry restrictions for visitors are subject to change at very short notice, however the following types of travelers are nonetheless permitted to land in Hong Kong:
- Hong Kong SAR travel permit holders (eg Hong Kong Passport holders)
- Hong Kong Permanent Residents
- Hong Kong Residents who hold a valid work visa, dependant visa or study visa
- The spouse and children of Hong Kong Permanent Residents (subject to the individual airline’s policy, the dependants and the Hong Kong Permanent Resident must be travelling to Hong Kong together on the same flight)
- Local government overseas personnel performing special duties (by invitation)
- Diplomatic/official passport holders
- Travellers holding a new entry visa to work, study, establish or join in any business or those who take up residence in Hong Kong
In short, for foreigners a valid visa permits entry to Hong Kong. So which visa do I need?
Previously, if employees from an overseas office wanted to come to Hong Kong for the purpose of attending business meetings, visitor status was the usual practice (with the ‘visa-upon-arrival’). However, in the current circumstances you are required to apply for an Employment Visa.
If you receive a new job offer in Hong Kong and are required to move to Hong Kong to take up employment, you are required to apply for an Employment Visa. This is the same best practice as before the pandemic.
If your employer requires you to attend training at the subsidiary / branch / head office in Hong Kong, you are required to apply for a Training Visa which permits a stay of up to one year.
If your plan is to invest in Hong Kong and set-up a Hong Kong company, an Investment Visa may be what you need in this scenario.
Not all visas take the same amount of time or documentation to process. Still not sure which visa you should apply for? Talk to us! Marbury Encore’s visa specialists provide a free initial consultation and can give you tips and professional advice to make your entry to Hong Kong a success!
Please note: the information provided is current as of the date of publication and does not take into account quarantine requirements on inbound travelers imposed by the Department of Health, which are subject to change at short notice. For further details see the Government website here.