When traveling to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong, SAR PRC), your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.
As a business visitor to Hong Kong, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:
Nationals of the European Union, the United States, and many other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct business activities in Hong Kong. Additionally, foreign nationals in possession of valid Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Cards (ABTC) endorsed with “Valid for travel to HKG” may be eligible to enter Hong Kong and engage in permissible business activities without obtaining a visa. If you are not eligible for visa-waivered entry, you must obtain a Visitor Visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department or a Chinese Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.
Special regulations apply to residents of Macau SAR PRC, Taiwan PRC and China PRC.
The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Hong Kong law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Hong Kong, even if conducted for a short duration.
The requirements for a work-authorized visa depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work, on your nationality, on your place of residence and on whether your employer has an entity in Hong Kong. The most common Hong Kong visas for employment purposes are:
Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?
Hong Kong does not offer work authorization exemptions.
Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.