Issuing Work Permits
General professional positions
In order to apply for work permit under the employment for professionals scheme, the following eligibility requirements apply:
- Don’t have any criminal records or security objections.
- Have a good educational background. Normally it is preferable to have at least an undergraduate degree in the relevant field. However, in the absence of such a degree, documentary evidence of good technical qualifications, relevant professional abilities, achievements and experience may suffice.
- There is a genuine job vacancy at the employing company.
- You have secured a confirmed employment offer and the job matches your academic qualifications or working experience and that the job cannot be readily taken up by the local work force.
- The remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is in line with the prevailing market standards in Hong Kong.
Documents required from the work permit applicant:
– Completed Employment Visa Application Form
– A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. If you are currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong.
– A copy of your Hong Kong identity card (if any)
– A copy of proof of your overseas residence
– A copy of proof of academic qualifications and relevant working experience
Documents required from the employing company:
- Application for Employing Professionals in Hong Kong
- A copy of the company’s employment contract or letter of appointment containing information about employee’s post, salaries, other fringe benefits and employment periods
- A copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate
- A copy of proof of financial standing of the company such as latest audited financial report, trading profit and loss account, or profit tax return
- Documents detailing the company’s background such as business activities, mode of operation, background/ connection of company, product ranges, sources and markets, membership of Chamber of Commerce (if any), etc. with documentary evidence such as catalogues, brochures, etc. (this is not required if the company is sponsoring a non-local graduate)
- If the employing company is a newly setup company within the last 12 months: Detailed business plan such as information on source of funds, estimated capital injection, nature/mode of business activities, expected turnover, sales volume, gross and net profit in the coming years, and proposed creation of local job posts, etc.
Note – the above mentioned company documents (except for the application form for employing professionals) need not be submitted by the employing company if it had successfully obtained an employment or training visa/entry permit for a non-local staff in the past 18 months immediately before submission of the application.
– All documents submitted must be in English or Chinese or translated into English or Chinese by a certified translation body. The Immigration authorities reserve the right to demand further documents from the applicant or employing company as and when necessary.
Application Procedure & Timeline
Once both the applicant and the employer have prepared the necessary documents required for the work permit application, the application must be submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department via post. The processing of work visa application takes about 2-3 months.
– If the application is successful, the Immigration Department will issue a Visa/Entry Permit label which must be collected from the immigration office in-person by the applicant or an authorized representative. The Visa/Entry Permit label must be affixed on a blank visa page of the applicant’s passport and presented to the Immigration Officer upon arrival in Hong Kong. Most work permit visas issued initially are valid for one-year period. In case the work permit application is rejected, an appeal can be filed with authorities.
The domestic helper
The employment contract clearly stipulates the allowed duties, the living conditions, the minimum wage and other labor-related regulations. The Standard Employment Contract provided by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. There is no need for an employer to draw up their own contract and terms.
Each contract has 4 copies and all these need to be filled out. The copies are for: the domestic helper, the employer, the sending Consulate and the Immigration Department. Employer can get the original copies of the domestic helper standard employment contract can at 2/f of the Immigration Tower at Wan Chai.
Abiding by the employment contract
The domestic helper employment contract is a legally binding document under the Hong Kong labor law and it will be submitted to the Immigration Department. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that domestic helpers are aware of what they sign. if something is unclear, ask employment agency to explain the contract again. Always keep a copy of the contract in a safe place so that they can refer to it when needed.
The main provisions of the Standard Employment Contract
Duration of the contract is set for 2 years (clause 2). It can be terminated by any party with a 1month notice period (clause 10). It cannot be extended: upon expiry of the contract, the Employer and the Helper who agree on the continuation of employment must sign and submit a new contract (clause 13).
Changing residence address
If the domestic helpers have moved, the domestic helpers have need to update the address on the domestic helper employment contract. The domestic helpers have should complete the form “Revised Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties” (ID407G) and submit it to the Immigration Department. If the domestic helpers have are moving to a flat in a housing estate run by the Housing Department/Hong Kong Housing Society, the domestic helpers have need to produce a letter of consent from the Housing Department/Hong Kong Housing Society granting permission for the domestic helper to reside in the premises and a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Renewing employment contract.
Sometimes the domestic helpers need to apply for 2 visas, 1 for entry and the other for extension of stay if the employers wish to renew the employment contract of the same domestic worker. It is because according to the employment contract, the domestic helpers are entitled to a home leave after the two-year contract is completed. The entry visa is applicable in all times if wish to renew the domestic worker’s contract, but only when the employers cannot immediately give their domestic helpers’ s vacation leave would the employers need to apply for the extension of stay visa.
Termination of domestic helper employment contract.
Both employer and domestic helpers can terminate the contract by giving not less than 1 month’s notice in writing or by paying 1 month’s wages to the other party. Within 7 days of termination, employers should notify the Foreign Domestic Helpers Section of the Immigration Department in writing of the termination. Other than that, employer and the helper need to work together to settle all the outstanding wages, holidays, severance payment, long service payment etc.