Living in Shenzhen and Working in Hong Kong – Good Idea?


Question: Can I have my company in Hong Kong, be employed by my startup in Hong Kong, yet live in Shenzhen to cut down on housing costs?

Answer: You will be facing a few challenges with this arrangement:

First, you will need to be lawfully employed in your own business in Hong Kong and apply for a business investment visa.

Second, once your approvability test for the investment visa has been passed, you will need to secure permission to live in China. Hong Kong ID can help you secure a 12-months visa in China. However, renewal may be a problem, as Chinese Immigration will question your frequent trips in and out of China. Eventually, they will ask you to set up a WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in China, so that you pay corporate and personal taxes in the country.

The third challenge you will be facing is the daily across-the-border grind. Surely, quite a large number of people live in Shenzhen and commute to Hong Kong for work. But make sure you are aware of what the journey involves.

The final challenge you may be facing is your investment visa extension (after 12 months). The Immigration Department may look into the reasons WHY you spend so much time outside of Hong Kong.

The implication behind Hong Kong investment visa is that you work and live in Hong Kong.

So, if you choose to live in China, it seems like only 50% of the criteria is present.

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