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What’s the Minimum Salary for a Hong Kong Employment Visa Approval?

May 1st, 2012

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Musing / 2 responses


This is a vexed question for many visa applicants and their employers but there is a simple rule of thumb that needs to be adhered to.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department expect that a foreigner seeking employment visa permissions to work in Hong Kong will perform, at a minimum, supervisory duties under his or her employment contract.

This essentially calls for an employment that is valued, as a minimum, at HKD200,000 p.a., depending on the nature of the work.

However, it is simplistic to believe that you take HKD200,000 and divide it by 12 in order to achieve a monthly salary amount that is acceptable to the HKID (namely HKD16,670 per month).

No, the HKD200,000 annually can amount to the total value of the employment each year.

Therefore it is acceptable to state in the employment agreement the total value of the emolument received by the employee each year and then break it down into its constituent components.

For example:

Salary:                                             XXXXX

Employer MPF Contribution:            XXXXX

Guaranteed Bonus                          XXXXX

Medical Benefits:                             XXXXX

Travel Allowance:                            XXXXX

Meal Allowance:                              XXXXX


Total:                                              200,000

This approach provides you with flexibility where the monthly cash salary is on the lower end of the scale but where the true cost of the employment does reach the threshold for visa approval.

Whilst HKD200,000 is not definitive in each and every case (we’ve seen approvals down at HKD186,000 in actual fact) it is certainly fair to say that the higher the value of the employment, the more likely the HKID will look more favourably on the application.

However, it is always preferable to avoid bumping against the bottom of this HKD200,000 sum as you’re not doing your application any favours by trying to eke out the bare minimum that you can pay your foreign national staff, expecting  the HKID to play ball!

More Stuff to Help You Along

What’s the deal about advertising your job locally before you can apply for an employment visa in Hong Kong?

Getting a working visa for Hong Kong is just a matter of filling in the forms right?

10 Must Have resources for a successful Hong Kong working visa aplication

The 5 key factors which impact on your eligibility for a Hong Kong employment visa

The Hong Kong Immigration Department – what an efficient organisation they really are!


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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.



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