This programme first came into play in April 2001 and is meant to aid cultural and education exchanges between HK and those nations who take part on a bi-lateral basis.
Participants in the Hong Kong Working Holiday Scheme are not permitted to engage in permanent employment and should not work for the same employer for more than six months (for participants from the Republic of Korea) or three months (for participants from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand) during their visit in the HKSAR.
Participants from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand may also enrol in study or training course(s) during their time under the programme.
The Scheme permits younger people (between 18 and 30) to make an application for a Working Holiday Visa for Hong Kong which enables them to remain in the HKSAR for a maximum vacation period of one year. During their stay, the Working Holiday Visa holder can take up short term work for a period of less than 3 months with any one employer and can study for a fixed duration.
The tradition of the Scheme works to permit a lengthened vacation type experience of working, living and also, the chance of studying in HK for an unqualified maximum period of one year but the Scheme shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative choice to a work visa.
Extensions outside the twelve months aren’t available and an applicant may only receive one Working Holiday Visa during the life of the Scheme.
The overall objective of the Scheme is to offer a valuable opportunity for younger people to broaden their horizons and the programme is subject to a maximum quota of visas to be issued each year.
Australia (annual quota = 5000)
Canada (annual quota = 200)
Germany (annual quota = 150)
Ireland (annual quota = 100)
Japan (annual quota = 250)
South Korea (annual quota = 200)
New Zealand (annual quota = 400)
Applications are selected on a first-come-first-served basis. Processing of applications takes about 3 weeks.
Conditions for successful application include:
* You must hold a valid national passport issued by the participating country and be ordinarily residing in that participating country.
* Your primary intention is to holiday in Hong Kong.
* You must be aged between 18 and 30.
* You must be able to show financial proof of having enough funds to maintain yourself during the stay in Hong Kong. (e.g. bank statement, saving accounts passbooks, and the like).
* You must have a return air ticket or financial proof of having sufficient funds to purchase one home.
* You must hold medical and comprehensive hospitalisation and liability insurance to cover your time in the HKSAR.
* The process is by way of direct application in Hong Kong via a local representative or direct to the HKID via mail.
* Applications can also be submitted via the network of Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in the participating countries.
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How about you? Have you been to Hong Kong and found work on the strength of a working holiday visa? What kind of what was that? How receptive were Hong Kong employers to the idea of just a short stint of employment? Have you been able to subsequently, successfully secure a full time employment on the strength of your original working holiday visa AND pursuade the ImmD to allow you to adjust your status to a full time employment visa?