Given that some countries, like Australia, organise their immigration policy to address skills gaps in their economies with specific temporary visa types, you might expect that Hong Kong would have a thriving job finding + visa service industry.
We do, after all, issue more than 17,000 new employment visa approvals each year under the General Employment Policy and genuinely talented professional workers are warmly welcomed – on the basis they have a job offer from a credible employer here.
But in Hong Kong, most employers do not recruit foreign workers ‘sight unseen’, on the strength of a CV or even after an extensive series of video Skype interviews.
No, the typical scenario is that foreign national professionals visit Hong Kong ‘on spec’, make themselves available for interview locally and, at the end of a traditional style recruitment process, an offer of employment will materialize and then the process of securing the employment visa is embarked upon.
This is, in many respects, a risky process for the intending foreign national worker as he will usually have to give up a job in one country just to pursue the chance of employment in Hong Kong.
And, until both an offer of employment has been secured and an employment visa issued by the Immigration Department, the pursuit of a new life in Hong Kong could go terribly wrong.
So, whilst it is natural to wish to pursue a ‘risk-free’ transfer to Hong Kong, unless you are an inter company transferee, a ‘top notch talent’ and have won the prize of a Quality Migrant Admission Scheme approval or are a person of means to quality for a Capital Investment Visa Entrant Scheme visa you’re going to have to take some risks to get a new life started here.
Remember, it is not unlawful to look and interview for jobs as a visitor in Hong Kong.
And when (or if) you do finally get yourself established in the HKSAR, you’ll discover most every foreigner here took a certain amount of risk to get their start in Hong Kong.
Risk taking is, after all, what Hong Kong is made of!