More and more Canadians are finding work in Mainland China and Hong Kong. In fact, Hong Kong boasts the third largest Canadian community, aside from Canada itself and the United States. It’s estimated almost 300,000 Canadians live and work there. Though Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, it has different systems in place from Mainland China, including the rules concerning work visas. If you’re considering obtaining a work visa in either country, particularly in the financial services industry, take note.
Requirements for a Work Visa in Hong Kong
Canadians can apply for a work visa in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) if they meet certain eligibility requirements. Professionals wishing to find employment in the Hong Kong financial services, commercial, arts, culture, sports and culinary sectors will be considered if it’s decided they can enhance the city.
Work visa applicants from Canada can take one of two main routes:
- Non-local graduates can apply to stay or return to Hong Kong for work through the Immigration Arrangements for Non-Local Graduates (IANG). You must have received an undergraduate or higher degree from a locally accredited, full time program in Hong Kong. Non-local fresh graduates are those who apply within six months of graduation, while applicants who graduated more than six months prior are considered returning non-local graduates.Non-local fresh graduates do not need to have an offer of employment to receive a work visa. The Immigration Department may allow them to stay for 12 months. Returning non-local graduates must have an offer of employment.
- Permission to work in Hong Kong can also be garnered though the General Employment Policy (GEP). This applies to individuals with special skills, experience or knowledge that is important to the HKSAR and not readily available through local residents. Applicants must have a degree in a relevant field or, in some instances, excellent technical qualifications, proven abilities or documented experience and achievements in their desired sector. Professionals have to have a confirmed job offer in a position that can’t be easily filled by a member of the local work force. The compensation package must be in line with the market level for all professionals in the HKSAR.
Non-local graduates and professionals are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Visa applicants interested in working in Hong Kong must also have a clear criminal record and the appropriate travel documents. A checklist of the necessary forms and documents can be found on the Immigration Department’s website.
Requirements for a Work Visa in China
Under China’s new visa laws, those interested in working in China must obtain a Z Visa and then a residence permit within 30 days of arrival. A work visa is issued if there is a special need for the position or a shortage of qualified candidates in China. Depending on the agency or city, a “certificate of no criminal conviction” or criminal background check, might need to be submitted. This is not the case for all applicants.
Though the regulations are similar for both Hong Kong and China work visas, China doesn’t differentiate between recent graduates and professionals. All foreign individuals seeking a work visa must go through the same application process. A verified offer of employment is necessary.
Pacific Fingerprint Services Can Help
Whether applying for a work visa in Hong Kong or China, a criminal background check conducted by the RCMP may be required. In this case, you will be asked to submit fingerprints. Pacific Fingerprint Services offers international and electronic fingerprinting for visa applications. If you can’t visit our Surrey office or a local agent, we can digitize your prints with Remote Cardscan and submit them to the RCMP on your behalf. For more information, contact us today.