Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Hong Kong as an expat

Many global companies have their offices located in Hong Kong. Therefore, many interesting job positions await locals and expats as well. The job market in Hong Kong is vast but the competition for a good position is fierce.

Furthermore, living in Hong Kong can be a great journey. You can either get a great job, or even start studying in Hong Kong. To get the best experience in Hong Kong, you might want to read on these guides as well:

But first, let’s see what you can do to get a job in Hong Kong.

Finding a job in Hong Kong

Hong Kong people

Many local enterprises prefer to hire people with at least basic knowledge of their language. Therefore, basic knowledge of Cantonese can open many opportunities for you in the local job market. If you don’t know the local language, then looking at job positions at international companies is the best bet for you.

You can also be self-employed if you possess a skill-set that is necessary for the local economy. Hong Kong allows foreigners to open their businesses here so it should be a problem to start your own business.

Whatever option you prefer, one thing is sure. Your income needs to be high since the expenses of living here are extremely high.

Job opportunities for expats

If you are a foreigner, then you can apply for a program called Talent List. It encourages foreigners with certain skills to migrate under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.

This option is recommended for foreign individuals looking for work. Those who possess one of the skill-sets required for this program don’t need to find a job prior to applying for a visa. The skills that qualify you for this program are:

  • Actuaries;
  • Asset management professionals;
  • Creative professionals;
  • Data and cybersecurity specialists;
  • Dispute resolution professionals;
  • Transnational lawyers;
  • Fintech professionals;
  • IT experts;
  • Marine engineers;
  • Superintendents of ships;
  • Marine insurance specialists;
  • Naval architects;
  • Waste treatment engineers.


1000 expats that possess these skills and have the necessary qualification and work experience enter Hong Kong each year.

How to apply for a job in Hong Kong

To apply for a job position in Hong Kong, you will need to write a resume either in English or Cantonese. Your CV should be styled similarly as is recommended for European job applications. This means, your personal information should be on the top of your resume. Personal information should include the following information.

  • Name;
  • Email address;
  • Address;
  • Phone number.

It is also recommended to include your age but you should avoid attaching your photo. You can also put your visa status in the resume if you wish.

A list of your education details should be provided. Start with the latest achievements first. You can also add a section for special skills or training as well as extracurricular activities to show more about your personality and abilities.

Your professional work experiences should also be covered starting from the latest job position. Emphasize the experiences that correlate with the job position you are applying for. Additional language skills or other useful skills should be added as well. It is a good idea to keep your CV concise and no longer than two pages long.


Hong Kong work visa requirements

You will need to apply for a work visa if you are moving to Hong Kong for work. You can apply for it under the General Employment Policy by mailing your documents or presenting them in person.

A work visa issued under this scheme is usually issued for a certain period of time. In order to be eligible, you will also need to already have a secured job position in Hong Kong. Alternatively, you could have a sponsor.

The Immigration Department is more likely to issue you a work visa if you meet the following requirements in addition to already having a secured job position:

  • You have a graduate degree for your job position;
  • You have professional experience in a similar position;
  • Your salary and work conditions are adequate to local standards;
  • The company that hired you is able to prove that they couldn’t find a local for the job positions.

Business hours

The average working day in Hong Kong is hard for many people. It is long and demanding since people here are used to high standards. Working overtime is common and Saturday is considered a working day for many businesses.

Since the new legislation in 2006, most companies don’t work on Saturdays. However, many still work half-days on Saturdays up to this day.

The standard working hours in the offices are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, many people in higher job roles usually stay longer than their official work hours.

In the retail sector and service industry, the usual working hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is not unusual to find a store or a boutique that is open until 10 or 11 p.m.


Getting a job in Hong Kong means entering a world of fierce competition for open positions. Be prepared to show your best abilities and characteristics. To increase your chances of success you could start learning the Cantonese language as it will increase your chances of landing a job.

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