V. Visitors/tourists and employment visas

Any person who has no legal right to land or reside in Hong Kong and wishes to visit requires permission to do so. Citizens of some countries are required to obtain prior entry clearance, visas or entry permits, which can be obtained from the Chinese diplomatic missions in their country of residence.

Although permission is given on a case by case basis, the general requirements are that visitors should be able to prove their ability to support themselves during their visit to Hong Kong and must possess return tickets. The invariable practice is to permit visitors to stay for a limited period, which varies from only one week to several months depending on the visitor's nationality.

To find out whether you need to apply for a visa or entry permit before visiting Hong Kong, please read the visa requirements section of the Immigration Department's website.

The entry of visitors is not covered by any specific legislation. Instead, it is governed by the general discretion of the Director of Immigration under section 11 of the Immigration Ordinance. However, regulation 2 of the Immigration Regulations contains specific provisions that prohibit visitors from working in Hong Kong.

  1. How can visitors from Mainland China gain permission to enter Hong Kong?
  2. Who is entitled to an employment visa?
  3. Are sponsored family members allowed to work in Hong Kong?
  4. Do British citizens have to apply for employment visas if they want to work in Hong Kong?
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