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In Hong Kong Working As A Visitor | All You Need to Know | Only Limited Opportunity

September 10th, 2023

Posted in Feature Article, Musing, Visitor Visas /


In Hong Kong Working As A Visitor?

What You Need to Know …

Can You?

In Hong Kong working as a visitor? Visitors often wonder if they are legally allowed to work during their stay in the HKSAR. In this post and, via the above video, I explore everything you need to know about working as a visitor in Hong Kong.

Visitor Visa Permitted Activity

Before diving into whether visitors can work in Hong Kong, it’s important to understand what a visitor visa is. A visitor visa is designed for individuals visiting Hong Kong for short stays, usually for up to 14 to 90 days, depending on the visa type. There are different types of visitor visas, including:

Visit Visa/Entry Permit for Tourism

Visit Visa/Entry Permit for Family Visit

Visit Visa/Entry Permit for Business Visit

To get a visitor visa, visitors are required to meet certain requirements, such as possessing a valid passport, having a confirmed return ticket, and providing proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Essentially, you need to prove your bona fides as a visitor to Hong Kong which requires the foregoing and also that there is no risk of you breaching your conditions of stay as a visitor.

In Hong Kong Working As A Visitor?

So, can visitors legally work in Hong Kong while on a visitor visa? The answer is yes, and no. Visitors are allowed to engage in certain work-related activities on behalf of their overseas employer/self-owned businesses, such as attending business meetings, conducting research, or attending seminars.

Being in Hong Kong working as a visitor is fraught with difficulty.

Visitors are prohibited from availing of employment activities or discharging a service in Hong Kong.

Visitors are also prohibited from establishing or joining a business in Hong Kong.

The reason for this distinction is that working in Hong Kong requires a valid work visa, which is different from a visitor visa.

Failure to comply could result in the visitor being refused future entry to Hong Kong and/or being fined or even deported or incarcerated.

Ensure Compliance

If a visitor wants to engage in work-related activities while in Hong Kong, they must obtain an invitation letter from a  government-accredited organization. This letter is a formal endorsement of the visitor’s work-related activities in Hong Kong and must be obtained prior to arriving in Hong Kong.

Once the visitor has obtained the invitation letter, they can engage in the specific work-related activities outlined in the invitation letter for a maximum of 14 days. Note that visitors are not permitted to obtain compensation for these activities unless allowed by the terms of the invitation letter.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I work part-time on a visitor visa in Hong Kong?

    No, visitors cannot engage in paid or unpaid work, including part-time employment, while on a visitor visa in Hong Kong.

  2. Can I extend my visitor visa to work in Hong Kong?

    No, a visitor visa cannot be extended to work in Hong Kong. Visitors must obtain the appropriate work visa to engage in employment in Hong Kong.

  3. What kind of invitation letter do I need to work in Hong Kong as a visitor?

    Visitors must obtain an invitation letter from a government-accredited organization. The invitation letter must outline the specific work-related activities the visitor will be undertaking in Hong Kong.

Last Words …

While visitors are not allowed to work in Hong Kong on a visitor visa, they can engage in certain work-related activities with the proper invitation letter. It’s important for visitors to understand the regulations around working as a visitor in Hong Kong to avoid any legal consequences. Visitors should be aware that working in Hong Kong requires a valid work visa, and breaking any regulations could result in serious consequences.

If you are interested in working in Hong Kong, ensure you follow the proper procedures to obtain the appropriate visa or entry permit before engaging in any employment-related activities.


Hong Kong Working As A Visitor

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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