So you are considering a change of jobs? And you already have your next dream position or have even decided to start your own business? No matter how excited you are about your new prospects, there are visa issues to think about.
You will need to undergo what is known as sponsorship application before you start working for anyone else in Hong Kong, including yourself!
You have to look at it as an entirely new visa application. The “employment” stamp in your passport is not a carte blanche to work for just anyone you like and you have to consider legal ramifications.
So what will you have to do?
If you are seeking to work for another employer you have to pass the employment visa approvability test.
If you are seeking to work for yourself – or in partnership with someone else – you have to pass the investment visa approvability test.
For more detailed instructions on getting those, we recommend visiting the Hong Kong Visa Handbook.
You should expect the process to take between 4 and 8 weeks or even longer, depending on
– the quality of your application
– the overall length of your stay in Hong Kong
– and whether or not you have already breached your conditions of stay by taking up an unauthorized employment or embarking on a business venture of your own
Remember: it is illegal to work for an employer other than your current visa sponsor. There is no such thing as a “flexible” working visa in Hong Kong.
Every new employment or business activity proposed must be cleared first by the Director of Immigration and you could find yourself in some very hot water if you do not comply with Hong Kong’s immigration laws.
Remember: ignorance is no defense!