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Some basic questions about living and moving to HK.

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  1. #1

    Some basic questions about living and moving to HK.

    I'll be moving in July and I have some questions. I read the forums but I just want to make sure I got everything right.

    1. Opening a Bank Account for US citizens

    From what I can understand I would need a passport, my Driver license, employment contract, and 3 months of old utilities bills from the States. I am planing to just open an basic saving account first so I can receive my salary and do basic stuff. Also what is the least amount i need to have to open an account. Will the banks be able to exchange USD to HK dollars so I can deposit some?

    2. Prepaid Sim with Data/Voice

    This, I can't seem to find any info on. I need a prepaid sim with both voice and data (I feel lost without google maps). Is there any carrier that offer this without HKID or HK address? Also does the airport sell prepaid sim at night(arriving late 7-8pm)?

    3. Suit Color for Work

    Is it ok to wear a light grey suit to work in HK. I know this sounds stupid but I rarely see a businessman in Asia wear any other color than Black or charcoal. I just don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.

    4. Need to carry Passport ALL the TIME

    From what I understand I'll need to carry one or else I'd be arrested and fined. Can I instead carry a photocopy or a have a photo of it on my Phone? I take daily runs and I really don't want my ID or passport falling out of my wallet.

    5. Rental Deposit

    I heard I need to bring 2 month deposit 1 month rent plus half a month rental for agent fee. Is this correct? I never heard of paying agent fee unless I am the one who is renting out the place. I always though agents get commission from the landlord.


    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    1. You need proof of identity, and proof of address. Some banks might require proof of salary but the documents you list will move than cover it. Open the account with your US address, set your work address as the mailing address and then change it once you have rented a place.

    2. Not sure, sorry.

    3. Yes, that's fine unless your office has some internal rules

    4. No need to carry.

    5. Here the convention is to split the agent fee 50/50 between renter and landlord. You can negotiate this sometimes, it never hurts to ask. 2 months deposit is quite standard too.


  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Gold Coast Marina
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    1. Opening a Bank Account for US citizens

    From what I can understand I would need a passport, my Driver license, employment contract, and 3 months of old utilities bills from the States. I am planing to just open an basic saving account first so I can receive my salary and do basic stuff. Also what is the least amount i need to have to open an account. Will the banks be able to exchange USD to HK dollars so I can deposit some?

    Answer: Thats about right. Yes they can change USD - your account, even a basic one, can easily have multi-currency capability anyway. (So you pay in your USD and it stays as USD and you just move it into the HKD account when you need it).

    2. Prepaid Sim with Data/Voice

    This, I can't seem to find any info on. I need a prepaid sim with both voice and data (I feel lost without google maps). Is there any carrier that offer this without HKID or HK address? Also does the airport sell prepaid sim at night(arriving late 7-8pm)?

    Answer: LMAO. You have not been here before have you? Yes, EVERYTHING will be open in the airport at 8pm. It might slow down a little around 11pm. There are oodles of prepaid SIM's. Go google them - try CSL, 3, Smartone, China Mobile (there are others). Any 7-11 will sell them. Once you have a number you can go into their shops and add data plans - but there are some prepaid data plans - search for a guy called PIN on here, he has many threads which give great details.

    3. Suit Color for Work

    Is it ok to wear a light grey suit to work in HK. I know this sounds stupid but I rarely see a businessman in Asia wear any other color than Black or charcoal. I just don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.

    Answer: Probably depends where you work.

    4. Need to carry Passport ALL the TIME

    From what I understand I'll need to carry one or else I'd be arrested and fined. Can I instead carry a photocopy or a have a photo of it on my Phone? I take daily runs and I really don't want my ID or passport falling out of my wallet.

    Answer: To work here you will need to apply for an ID card when you get your visa. You MUST carry this ID card with you at all times. Before this, carrying a passport is wise. If you are white, probably fine. If you are coloured of any kind, carry ID, it'll save you hassle.

    5. Rental Deposit

    I heard I need to bring 2 month deposit 1 month rent plus half a month rental for agent fee. Is this correct? I never heard of paying agent fee unless I am the one who is renting out the place. I always though agents get commission from the landlord.

    Answer: This is correct. Welcome to HK


    Thanks

    Answer: You're welcome.

  4. #4

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    Mar 2007
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    4) If you dont carry and you look Asian and/or African (Chinese, Indian, Pinoy, dark skinned etc) you will get real hassles and it may earn you a trip to the local police station.
    If you dont carry and you look like a tourist you should be OK.
    Its better to carry and avoid the hassle.

    Here is the law : IMMIGRATION ORDINANCE - SECT 17C Carrying and production of proof of identity

    Last edited by HowardCoombs; 23-06-2011 at 03:02 PM.

  5. #5

    To MovingIn07
    Ya I haven't been to HK in ages. The last time I was in HK was when I was still in middle school (90s).

    And I am not white. Just a really really tanned ABC with a army buzz cut. Also do the cops in HK speak english? I don't know any Chinese but the word "poke ai" and some word that sound like "sexy".

    Also thanks for the link to the law. If they did that here in the States I think people will probably burn down government buildings.


  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeowFromCali:
    And I am not white. Just a really really tanned ABC with a army buzz cut. Also do the cops in HK speak english? I don't know any Chinese but the word "poke ai" and some word that sound like "sexy".
    A tanned ABC can be easily mistaken for a tanned mainland worker. Better carry to avoid hassles.

    Most cops will speak some passable amount of English. Your troubles will be with the taxi drivers and other regular service people you will engage with. Since you look Chinese they will all assume you can speak Chinese and they will start blabbing at you in Cantonese at full speed :-) When you tell them you cannot speak, you will get dirty looks and unapproving tuts.

    I have several Chinese non-speaker friends and they hate this aspect of living in Hong Kong; and no, they dont want to learn the local language.

  7. #7

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    I stand corrected on the identity document carrying requirement - seems you do need to. I think it's unlikely you will be arrested or fined but the law certainly gives the police the power to do so.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    I stand corrected on the identity document carrying requirement - seems you do need to. I think it's unlikely you will be arrested or fined but the law certainly gives the police the power to do so.
    As previously pointed out it does largely depend on the colour of your skin unfortunately. Watch how the Filipinas suddenly go on their phones when a policeman is near, often puts the policeman off asking for their ID.
    wtbhotia likes this.

  9. #9

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    Sure, I have read similar from several posters here. Is it likely that - when asked for ID and being unable to present - that the result would be a fine? Or is it (as I suspect) much more common for

    1. the police to accompany the person back to their accommodation to check passport
    2. being asked to present at a police station with passport within 24 hours

    Really think these are far more likely than a fine, even if it is technically possible. However, I don't have any experience to justify these thoughts.


  10. #10

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    Yes won't be a fine (at least to my limited knowledge). I have seen a (white) tourist taken back to their hotel and I have had a Filipino friend taken to the cells until I could turn up with his ID.


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