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How to get a job as an expat in Hong Kong

Are you hoping to live and work in Asia someday? Well, one of the top destinations for expats seeking employment abroad is Hong Kong.

Before you begin your hunt for the perfect job, check out the information below, which includes helpful tips on:

What kinds of jobs are available in Hong Kong?

Expats have a variety of options when it comes to industries that they can work in while living in Hong Kong.

Here are a few of the sectors that you can consider finding employment in:

  • Finance
  • IT
  • Human resources
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Education
  • Management
  • International law

Boat sailing over river in Hong Kong

Do you need to know how to speak Chinese to work in Hong Kong?

Businesses in Hong Kong, particularly in the world of finance, typically communicate in English. Although you might be able to get by with just knowing English, it will be easier to live and work in Hong Kong if you can communicate in Mandarin or Cantonese (even if it’s only on a basic level).

Plus, if you can prove that you’re capable of communicating in multiple languages, you might be able to increase the odds that you’ll be the candidate chosen for a competitive position.

How to find work as an expat in Hong Kong

Here are a few methods that you can try in order to make landing a job in Hong Kong easier:

Search for jobs within multinational companies

Search for large businesses that have offices around the world, including in Hong Kong. You might be able to get hired to work in their Hong Kong office right away, or you might be able to ask for a transfer later on, after you’ve gotten to know the company and have proven your skills.

Some global brands that you could consider include:

  • Allianz
  • Citi
  • HSBC
Teach English

If you want to teach, you could seek opportunities in primary and secondary schools via the Native-Speaking English Teacher Scheme, which is a program that recruits individuals who can lead English Language classes for students in Hong Kong.

As an alternative, international schools that are located throughout Hong Kong are another great way to find a teaching job. If you know of a specific school that you’d love working at, you can check their website to see if there are any job openings that you can apply to.

You can also check out resources like Teach Away to find job openings in schools.

Hong Kong city high-rise buildings lit up at sunset

Search through international job boards

Job boards are another smart place to look for employment opportunities in Hong Kong. You can also find tools and guides online that can assist you in writing up a stellar CV that you can use to make yourself stand out against the crowd of other candidates applying for the same positions. And you can set up job alert emails so you never miss an important opportunity.

Here are a few job sites that are worth checking out:

  • Indeed
  • Recruit
  • JobsDB
  • Monster
Seek support from recruitment specialists

Recruitment agencies and headhunters might also be helpful in your search. Some examples include:

  • Gemini Personnel
  • Michael Page
  • Egron Zhender
  • Randstad
  • JAC Recruitment
  • Connected Group

It’s important to know that you might face some challenges when applying for work in Hong Kong. Businesses typically need to try filling their positions with locals first, and if they choose to hire someone from abroad, they also need to help by sponsoring the expat’s visa.

What are the requirements to work in Hong Kong?

You’ll need to get an employment visa to live and work as an expat in Hong Kong.

  • One strategy that you can use to get your visa involves asking your employer to transfer you to their office in Hong Kong, while helping you with your visa.
  • Another way to find employment is by doing your job search in advance before you move to Hong Kong. Apply for the position that you want and, if you get it, your employer can then help you get the visa that you need.
  • Finally, you also have the option of heading to Hong Kong with a visitor visa and then seeking job opportunities while you’re there. However, this is likely going to be the most challenging method.

Basically, if you want to work in Hong Kong, you’ll need to apply for your visa under what’s known as the General Employment Policy (GEP), which will be valid for a specific span of time. You’ll need to fill out application form ID 990A, and the company that hired you will need to fill out form ID 990B.

Dimly-lit restaurant in Hong Kong where friends are dining

You’ll need to prove that you have secured employment in Hong Kong, and that you have a solid education, professional experience, or technical qualifications.

You might also need to include the following with your application:

  • A statement from your new employer, along with proof that they couldn’t find a local to fill the role
  • A recent photo
  • Proof that you’ll be able to contribute to the local economy
  • A copy of your degree, and information on relevant experience
  • Proof that you’ll be receiving a salary that meets local standards

How to send earnings abroad when working in Hong Kong

While living and working as an expat in Hong Kong, you might need to send money internationally, whether you’re making a purchase, sending money back home to family, or moving money to your home savings account.

One way to save when making any international money transfer is by using OFX, rather than a bank that will charge you high margins and fees. Plus, with the help of handy currency charts, you can be sure that you’re making the most of every transfer by planning for the best times to move your money.

Have the experience of a lifetime while working in Hong Kong!

Once you’ve settled in, Hong Kong is sure to be an exciting place to live, work, and play. The culture, the history, the tasty food, and the myriad activities that you can enjoy by day and by night are sure to make your experience as an expat one that you’ll never forget.

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IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.