Visa options for a freelancer?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Visa options for a freelancer?

    Hello
    I'm planning to move to Hong Kong or China in june.
    Will be working as a freelancing programmer.
    Most of all I'd like to stay in Hong Kong but seems uncertain whether I can get a visa there or not.
    (I'm eligible to stay in HK for 3 months without a visa)

    Either way I'm planning to start a company in Hong Kong and do freelancing through this company.

    Would it be possible to get a visa because I have a company in HK?
    Are there any other ways to get a visa?
    Seems visa run is not an option?

    My backup plan is to live in HK for 3 months, move to mainland China for maybe 3 months then come back to HK for another 3 months and so on...


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Two options spring to mind

    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department
    -takes some time
    -requires business plan and support letters from potential clients
    -a lot easier if you plan to hire people locally and have leased an office

    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department
    -longer process
    -need to pass point threshold
    -more flexibility


  3. #3

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    But bear in mind that being employed in Hong Kong without a valid visa is an offence and can lead to deportation, jail & fines. You cannot legally work on a 3 month visitor visa.


  4. #4

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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by fth:
    Two options spring to mind

    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department
    -takes some time
    -requires business plan and support letters from potential clients
    -a lot easier if you plan to hire people locally and have leased an office

    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department
    -longer process
    -need to pass point threshold
    -more flexibility
    Thank you! Looking into these options, but seems hard.
    Probably I'll end up living 3 months in HK, then live in China for a while, then go back to HK and so on...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    But bear in mind that being employed in Hong Kong without a valid visa is an offence and can lead to deportation, jail & fines. You cannot legally work on a 3 month visitor visa.
    Am I not allowed to start up my own company and work for it on the regular 3 month visa?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by niklas:
    Am I not allowed to start up my own company and work for it on the regular 3 month visa?
    No. The "regular" visa is a TOURIST visa only. You cannot work on it, even for your own company. If you visit HK for business you can only have meetings legally, you can't give presentations or do any work. Obviously some people ignore this but these forums are full of people with "I've been doing visa runs but immigration caught me last time and now I only have 5 days to leave what should I do" questions.

  7. #7

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    Moreover, even if you don't work you must have a valid (non-visitor) visa to "Move to" or reside in Hong Kong. You can't legally just roll up and move in.


  8. #8

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    Are you talking about what we'd call in the UK limited company contracting? I just left my UK ltd company dormant, and work through an agency here. I doubt there are any tax advantages to working through your own co here.


  9. #9

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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Moreover, even if you don't work you must have a valid (non-visitor) visa to "Move to" or reside in Hong Kong. You can't legally just roll up and move in.
    Okay. I'd still like to register a company in Hong Kong, but work from mainland China.
    Would this be possible?

  10. #10

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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by mid_gen:
    Are you talking about what we'd call in the UK limited company contracting? I just left my UK ltd company dormant, and work through an agency here. I doubt there are any tax advantages to working through your own co here.
    Do you know how I can find such an agency? I will consider this option.

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