This is a typical question we receive via our general enquiry email address frequently enough for it to warrant its own response on the Hong Kong Visa Geeza Blog.
I’m interested in getting HK residence permit (working visa). Please advise what’s the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to do it.
My idea is to register Hong Kong based company and who will hire myself as a director.
Am I able to be self-employed expat in HK or it’s wise to use nominee shareholder services?
What are the minimal salary criteria in my case?
How long will it take?”
I’m afraid there is no easy, fast or cheap way to secure Hong Kong residency on the basis you are mooting. Please find the following collection of resources covering this subject:
One man businesses
Idea of self-sponsorship and use of nominees.
Newcomer’s guide to employment visas in Hong Kong
And this Case Study which speaks to one businesses and how we eventually got their visas approved.
FOLLOW UP QUESTION
“Many thanks for your prompt reply, useful links and awesome infographics. It’s getting much more clear now.
Well, I’m definitely not planning to invest HK$10M in the next some yeas to get an Investments visa. Because I’m just not able to do this.
You’re saying that it’s not a good idea to use nominee shareholders because HK immigration authorities might discover this fact and it will take a lot of efforts to approve this new company as a valid sponsor.
So for now it seems (please correct me if I’m not right) that cheapest and easiest way to get HK RP for me is to:
- find a local sponsor, private person, or
- get a job in an existing company
Regarding sponsor, I have a friend in HK who is probably able to be my sponsor (using my own funds).
But getting a job seems to be an easiest solution so far.
I believe there are some companies known to the HKID that you might also know who are stable enough and can hire me as employee and start paying me salary (using my own funds). I hope that you can recommend me this kind of company, probably one of your customers can help me.
I’m well known in my industry (internet technology) as a noted professional (proper references from worldwide known companies could be provided) so I assume that there is a chance for me to be be admitted as qualified migrant.
As an example, my Italian residence permit is based on ‘high skilled migrants’ immigration program, so most of the documents confirming my skills are ok and we can try use them in future in HK.
Please let me know if I understand everything in a proper way and we can proceed somehow.”
FOLLOW UP ANSWER
Unless you have a pre-existing consulting business overseas which you intend to ‘relocate’ to Hong Kong and support that relocation with resources to pass the investment visa approvability test (as detailed on the Visa Information PDF I sent you previously) the only option will be for you to secure a genuine job offer in Hong Kong from an independent third party employer and in the context of that job offer pass the employment visa approvability test as detailed here.
There is no option of having a Hong Kong resident, in his private capacity, of sponsoring you for residence permissions in Hong Kong unless you are legal family.
You can find information on the Quality Migrant Scheme here. In my experience, unless you have at least 125 points, you’re unlikely to get in the running for an eventual approval – but you will never know if you don’t try.
One final point.
What you are proposing about using your own funds to contrive an employment would involve you making misrepresentations to the Hong Kong Immigration Department on the part of the ‘employer’, yourself and my firm.
This is illegal and neither my firm nor I will play any part in such a scheme and I urge you to readjust your expectations as to how to go about becoming a lawful Hong Kong resident.
As I have stated, there is no easy, fast or cheap way to secure residence in the HKSAR. There only the legal way.
I trust this advice guides you accordingly.
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