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Moving to HK from Scotland

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2017

    Moving to HK from Scotland

    Hi there all,

    My husband has just been offered a job in HK. I'm really excited but also terrified and hoping if you can help me!

    Firstly, I need to find a job! I am currently a teacher of pupils with additional support needs. Ideally I'd like to continue in a similar role but at least as a Primary teacher. Any tips on who to contact or where to start looking? My searches so far have turned an overwhelming number of results!

    If I don't have a job in advance of going what happens Visa wise?

    Accommodation. Where to start! We have a decent allowance I think ($HK 35000 per month). My husband's job is based in Kowloon but other than that we have no idea of locations. Obviously we'd like to 'have it all'- balcony/view, couple of bedrooms, pool/gym access but again I don't really know where to start and from what I have read so far there can be a lot of hidden costs...?

    Anyway, if anyone can offer any help it would be massively appreciate!

    Jenny x

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by jenmkw:
    If I don't have a job in advance of going what happens Visa wise?
    Your husband can apply for a dependant visa for you at the same time he is submitting his work visa application.

    This will remove one obstacle from your job search (you won't need sponsorship).

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2017
    I am living in Hong Kong at this moment in time.

    Renting property over here is very expensive. Do you have to pay all your rates out of that as well?.

    Look at agency on the internet.We used agency.

    Will you be staying in a hotel when you arrive?

    If you need any help PM.

    It is a nice place to live.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    @jenmkw - dozens of threads here from people in similar situations. The standard thing to do is:

    - Get schools sorted (you've not mentioned you have kids).
    - Get a serviced apartment for the first month or two, close to work or school.
    - Sort out banking, ID cards etc. Your company HR should be able to help.
    - Start exploring neighbourhoods. You'll find threads about most districts / locations / buildings in the forums.
    - If you have a company appointed relo agent, they may help you with the apartment search
    - Look for local estate agents in the area(s) you're interested in. Start with a lower budget and move up if you don't like what you see.
    - Budget for startup costs - furniture (plenty of used stuff in our classifieds, but if you want to curate everything it can get expensive - I suggest you do this long after you've settled in), utility deposits,

    Honestly $35K for every thing you've asked for will involve some sacrifices - the biggest one might be moving further away from work and off the island, depending on how large you want your space to be.

    MandM! likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Wan Chai

    I think the $35k is for fine with that as a budget

    shri and Char Siu King like this.

  6. #6

    Welcome to Hong Kong. As OP has said, there will be no problem for you to get a job as your dependent visa allows you to take up paid employment. Also, a lot of expats on dependent visas seem to work in education as as the expat community is quite transient, there are always plenty of roles available.

    Unless you speak good Cantonese, you will need to find a role in an English language school. Harbour School specialises in pupils needing additional support and I am pretty sure they are recruiting at the moment. ESF (English Schools Foundation) also have a number of Learning Support units, all of which are over-subscribed, so I imagine they may well be interested in hearing from you.

    Your accommodation allowance seems like a lot of money by Scottish standards, but a quick look on the various property sites soon tells you that it doesn't go as far in HK. $35k is very do-able though be prepared to be open-minded and if required, compromise on something. For example, I had wanted a balcony and a sea view, but ended up settling for no balcony and an open view in return for a great location and a large newly refurbished apartment.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    A teacher on a dependent visa is one of the best situations to be in as a trailing spouse. You won't have much problem finding work, either through a school or working independently. Your visa will allow you to work for any employer or establish your own business.

    For housing $35K is a great start but you may need to be open to topping that up if you plan to live near your husband's work (not sure where in Kowloon but there are a few likely spots) and want a 2-3 bedrooms, a club house and a balcony. There aren't hidden costs in housing - you need a 2 month deposit and to pay stamp duty and agency fees. Your husband's company might pay towards some of those upfront costs so check on that. We got the agency fees and a furniture allowance as part of our package.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Hi Jen!

    I am the parent of a special needs child and also active in the sen community, I am confident you won't have much trouble finding new employment here in HK.

    You could start by joining this group:

    And contact the following international schools with (comprehensive) sen support:

    The Harbour School : + 852 2816 5222

    ESF Jockey Club Sarah Roe School: +852 2761 9893

    Anfield International Primary School: + 852 2692 8823

    Hong Lok Yuen International School: + +852 3955 3000

    Hong Kong Academy (location is not very convenient out in the sticks) : + 852 2655 1111

    There are others, feel free to pm me if you would like more (specific) info.

    Assuming you don't have children and your husband works in Kowloon, I would recommend living anywhere on the Tung Chung MTR line. For your budget you can get a 2bdr in Kowloon Station in The Sorrento or The Waterfront (older estates but all with pool and gym and on top of luxury mall), one mtr stop up you will have more options in Olympic Station area (all with pool and gym plus on top of huge mall as well) and further up North, last stop on the mtr line, you can get a very nice 3bdr in Tung Chung (plus lots of outdoor space and facilities!).

    Good luck!

    shri, jmbf, z754103 and 1 others like this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Tuen Mun

    My first thought on reading the initial post was "WHERE in Kowloon?" If you check a map, you will see this covers quite a large area ... while Tung Chung is a good suggestion if your husband is working in West Kowloon, if he'll be over in Kowloon Bay then somewhere like Clearwater Bay would make much more sense. If you can give a more specific address, we can give more specific suggestions.
    No problem at all to find work in the education sector; there are a lot more international schools employing learning support teachers than are listed above, or if you don't want to have all the responsibility (at least until you've settled in) you could also fill an EA/ TA role, or do one-on-one work with individuals in their own homes.

    jmbf likes this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    A big factor will be whether you have children or not. IF you do (and they are at least primary school age), you need to start researching schools now.

    If you don't have children, then things are much easier and some good advice has already been posted above.

    shri and chingleutsch like this.

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