British Citizen wanting to move to HK

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    25

    British Citizen wanting to move to HK

    Hello,

    I am a British citizen and passport holder currently resident in the UK. I am a degree holder, a native English speaker and am soon to hold a TEFL certificate. Due to the terrible job market in the UK and already having spent a lot of time in HK, as well as the strong contacts I have there, I am considering moving to Hong Kong in the new year. However I am unsure as to how the right to work operates.

    I am not a resident of Ireland, Australia or NZ, so I cannot apply for the Working Holiday Scheme, nor would I want to, as it limits you to 3 months in each job. Nor do I qualify for the Quality Migrant Scheme either.

    My HK contacts keep saying how native English speakers are in high demand in tutorial schools and can find work easily (especially with a Degree and TEFL). This seems to be my best hope. But how does one job hunt, and get the right to work?

    Does one arrive in Hong Kong on a tourist visa, job hunt, and then convert it into a work visa once they've found a job? Is a visa run to Macau needed? Isn't it illegal to job hunt while on a tourist visa? Wouldn't the crossover be rather awkward? Indeed, how does the cross over from a tourist visa to a work visa actually happen? Can it?

    So, quite simply, what is the procedure?

    Last edited by tiaw; 29-08-2009 at 12:12 AM.

  2. #2

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    I think you can get a NETS job from overseas - I'm not sure how, but I know a few teachers and they certainly got their jobs before arriving - so perhaps they can comment.

    Re your other questions - asked and answered many times on this site so do a quick seach. In brief - legally, you cannot look for, or work, on a tourist visa. In practise, many people do and the conversion process is trivial (you go to Macau for the day). Yes you can do visa runs to Macau (as a brit you get 6 months anyway) but Immigration will start to get suspicious eventually and you need an ID card for many of the normal stuff here which means life can be awkward without one.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    25

    I appreciate the reply and the advice to search the forum, but having already done that I have still failed to find a very clear and precise answer on this.

    Basically i'm rather confused. Which comes first? Go to HK, or apply for a visa? As I already said, i'm not eligible for any working visas on the HK immigration website, so what can I do?

    Can someone explain to me, in detail, the transition from hanging around on a tourist visa, to successfully acquiring a work visa?

    Wouldn't immigration be annoyed that I didn't apply for a working visa before coming? Plus most employers require the 'right to work', which I don't/won't have.

    And i'd say very few can just offer a job to someone without ever having met them, not to mention sponsor them too? Therefore i'd need to come to look for a job. But again, same problem :S

    So in what order do most people do it? There must be a bunch of non-irish, australian and newzealanders in Hong Kong right now, working in English schools, all with the LEGAL right to work in HK. Very simply, step by step, how did they do it?

    And also, is there some additional working visa i'm unaware of? On the HK immigration website, all I can see of relevance are the "Quality Migrant Scheme" and the "Working Holiday Scheme", neither of which I am eligible for.

    Many thanks to anyone who can answer

    Last edited by tiaw; 29-08-2009 at 08:21 AM.

  4. #4

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    >> step by step, how did they do it?

    Applied to the schools, got the jobs (many through remote interviews), applied to immigration for work visas with the schools acting as sponsors and came to HK to work.


  5. #5

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    If you come without a job, then the process is "get a tourist visa, interview in HK and find a job, apply for a work visa, get a work visa and go to Macau and come back to activate it"


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Usually the company that employs you will handle the visa application - well that applies to all companies I have ever worked for at least.

    I don't think immigration would be "annoyed" that you came in on a tourist visa and then transferred to a work visa - a non-issue I would imagine. I worked in Singapore by entering on a tourist visa and doing visa runs to JB until I got a job. When I moved to HK I lived for the first six months here on a China contract and a tourist visa before I got my HK work visa.

    Regarding the "right to work" issue, unless you are a permanent resident your "right" only applies to your current job anyway. For example if I were to change companies now, my current employer would cancel my work visa and the new company would have to apply for another one.


  7. #7

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    I have friends who are English teachers here. One of them applied for jobs from the US shortly before she was due to come out here. Set up interviews for her first week, entered on a tourist visa, had interviews and was offered a job. Employer applied for employment visa, work visa was granted, she went to Macau and came back to activate it.