Imported Workers

Before Applying

Imported Workers

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Introduction

This webpage sets out the entry arrangement for persons who wish to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for employment as imported workers under the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS).

The SLS is implemented in the HKSAR to handle applications for importation of labour at technician level or below. Administered by the Labour Department of the HKSAR, it allows employers with genuine difficulties in finding suitable employees locally to import workers from outside the HKSAR.

Employers intending to import workers under the SLS need to first apply to the SLS Application Office of the Labour Department for approval-in-principle. Subject to the grant of approval-in-principle, employers shall arrange for their prospective workers to each submit a visa/entry permit application to the Immigration Department within the period specified in the approval-in-principle letter. The approval-in-principle will automatically lapse if the visa/entry permit application is not submitted on time.

Imported workers admitted under this arrangement are not allowed to bring in their dependants.

This entry arrangement does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

Eligibility Criteria

An application for a visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR for employment as imported workers under the SLS may be favourably considered if:

  1. the applicant is suitably qualified and experienced for the job in question;
  2. the terms and conditions of employment are comparable to those in the local market;
  3. the applicant will remain under the direct employment of the employer for a specific job and will not be contracted out to other companies or sub-contractors;
  4. there is no adverse record to the detriment of the applicant and the employer; and
  5. the employer is financially capable of employing the applicant, providing him/her with suitable accommodation and of guaranteeing his/her maintenance and repatriation upon termination of his/her contract.

In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the HKSAR, he/she requires a visa/entry permit to work in the HKSAR. While each application is determined on its individual merits, an applicant should meet normal immigration requirements (such as holding a valid travel document with adequate returnability to his/her country of residence or citizenship; be of clear criminal record and raise no security or criminal concerns to the HKSAR; have no likelihood of becoming a burden on the HKSAR, etc.) as well as the relevant specific eligibility criteria detailed above before he/she may be considered for the grant of a visa/entry permit. It should be noted that the eligibility criteria may be subject to change from time to time.

Levy

Successful employers are required to pay a levy that goes to the Employees Retraining Board to augment the provision of training or retraining for local workers who are vulnerable in the economic restructuring process to changing their employment. The levy payable in a lump sum in respect of each imported worker is HK$400 multiplied by the number of months covered by the employment contract up to a maximum of 24 months. It will be collected after the approval for importing workers and before the issue of visa/entry permit as directed by the Director of Immigration. The levy paid is not refundable under any circumstances.

Processing Time

It normally takes six weeks to process a visa/entry permit application for employment as an imported worker upon receipt of all the required documents. The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application unless all the required documents and information have been received. Please refrain from making enquiries about the progress of the application unless it is absolutely necessary, as it may delay the processing of the application.

All visa/entry permit applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department. Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. The Director of Immigration reserves absolute discretion to refuse any application even if the application meets all eligibility criteria.

Applying

Imported Workers

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Application Forms

Applicant should complete application form (ID 1001A). The employer should complete application form (ID 1001B). The application forms (ID 1001A and ID 1001B) can be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  1. Immigration Department Headquarters.
  2. Immigration Branch Offices.

The forms can also be downloaded here.

Supporting Documents

Forms and documents to be submitted by the applicant

Forms/ Documents Required
Application for Entry for Employment as Imported Workers in Hong Kong (ID 1001A)
The applicant's recent photograph (affixed on page 1 of the application form ID 1001A)
Photocopy of the applicant's travel document containing personal particulars, date of issue, date of expiry and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). For an applicant who is currently staying in the HKSAR, photocopy of his/her travel document page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR. Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document may submit a photocopy of his/her People's Republic of China resident identity card
Photocopy of the applicant's Hong Kong identity card (if any)
Photocopy of proof of academic qualifications and relevant working experience
Photocopy of proof of the applicant's medical fitness for the job, e.g. medical report
Photocopy of the applicant's Macao identity card [for Macao residents only]
Photocopy of the applicant's household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]

Forms and Documents to be Submitted by the Employers

Forms/ Documents Required
Application for Employing Imported Workers in Hong Kong (ID 1001B)
Four original copies of the standard employment contract (LD 294) signed between the employer and the imported worker
Photocopy of the approval-in-principle letter issued by the Labour Department

Notwithstanding that the documents and information required have been furnished, applicants and employers may still be required to submit further supporting documents and information in connection with the application when necessary.

Where a document is not in Chinese or English, it must be accompanied by a Chinese or English translation certified as a true translation by a sworn translator, court translator, authorized public translator, certified translator, expert translator or official translator.

Warning

It is an offence to make false statements or representations to an immigration officer. To verify the authenticity of the information and documents submitted with a visa application, field visits may be conducted. A person who knowingly and wilfully makes a statement or gives information which he/she knows to be false or does not believe to be true shall be guilty of an offence under the Laws of Hong Kong and any such visa/entry permit issued or permission to enter or remain in the HKSAR granted shall have no effect.

Submission of Application

All the forms must be duly completed and signed. Completed application forms, i.e. ID 1001A and ID 1001B, and all supporting documents should be submitted by the applicant by post directly or through the employer in the HKSAR to:

Receipt and Despatch Sub-unit
Hong Kong Immigration Department
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Underpaid mail items will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. For proper delivery of your mail items, please ensure your mail items bear sufficient postage with return address before posting. (Details)

The employer should enter into a standard employment contract with the applicant. The contract terms will be for a maximum period as specified in the approval-in-principle letter, the longest being 24 months. Standard employment contract (LD 294) should be completed in quadruplicate and submitted together with the application forms (ID 1001A and ID 1001B) to the Immigration Department. Standard employment contract (LD 294) can be obtained free of charge from the Immigration Department Headquarters.

For Mainland Chinese workers wishing to come to work in the HKSAR under the SLS, applications must be submitted to the Immigration Department through their prospective employers. Direct applications by the Mainland Chinese workers are not accepted.

Levy

Successful employers are required to pay a levy that goes to the Employees Retraining Board to augment the provision of training or retraining for local workers who are vulnerable in the economic restructuring process to changing their employment. The levy payable in a lump sum in respect of each imported worker is HK$400 multiplied by the number of months covered by the employment contract up to a maximum of 24 months. It will be collected after the approval for importing workers and before the issue of visa/entry permit as directed by the Director of Immigration. The levy paid is not refundable under any circumstances.

Processing Time

It normally takes six weeks to process a visa/entry permit application for employment as an imported worker upon receipt of all the required documents. The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application unless all the required documents and information have been received. Please refrain from making enquiries about the progress of the application unless it is absolutely necessary, as it may delay the processing of the application.

All visa/entry permit applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department. Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. The Director of Immigration reserves absolute discretion to refuse any application even if the application meets all eligibility criteria.

Payment of Fee

Payment of fees should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit either in cash, by EPS or by cheque. The cheque should be crossed, made payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region", properly dated and signed.

Fee table

After Applying

Imported Workers

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Online/ 24-hour Telephone Enquiry on Application Status

Once the receipt of application has been acknowledged, applicants can enquire the application status here or through the 24-hour telephone enquiry system at (852) 3160 8663.

Levy

Successful employers are required to pay a levy that goes to the Employees Retraining Board to augment the provision of training or retraining for local workers who are vulnerable in the economic restructuring process to changing their employment. The levy payable in a lump sum in respect of each imported worker is HK$400 multiplied by the number of months covered by the employment contract up to a maximum of 24 months. It will be collected after the approval for importing workers and before the issue of visa/entry permit as directed by the Director of Immigration. The levy paid is not refundable under any circumstances.

Payment of Fee

Payment of fees should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit either in cash, by EPS or by cheque. The cheque should be crossed, made payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region", properly dated and signed.

Fee table

Travel Documentation Requirement

A visa/entry permit label will be issued upon successful application which will be collected by the employer from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to the successful applicant. The visa/entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant's travel document for presentation to the immigration officer upon arrival in the HKSAR.

Successful applicant who is a Chinese resident of the Mainland should apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office where his/her household registration is kept. The entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the applicant's EEP on which his/her relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. The applicant should present the EEP for immigration examination upon arrival in the HKSAR. In case the applicant’s EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic EEP, it should be presented together with the entry permit label issued to him/her for immigration arrival clearance.

Extension of Stay

An imported worker may apply for extension of stay to work in the HKSAR within 4 weeks before the limit of stay expires for completion of the employment contract. Such application will be considered only when the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria for entry for employment as imported workers. 

Further information can be found here.

Conditions of Stay

After entry, the imported worker must remain under the direct employment of the same employer for the specified job and in the specific workplace(s) as stipulated in the standard employment contract (LD 294) and cannot be contracted out to other companies/sub-contractors. Change of employer or post is not permitted.

The imported worker is required to return to his/her place of origin on completion of his/her employment contract. If the contract is pre-maturely terminated, the worker is only permitted to remain in the HKSAR for two weeks from the date of termination of contract or the balance of permitted stay, whichever is shorter.

Termination of Contract prior to its Expiry

The employer or the imported worker may terminate the employment contract prior to its expiry by giving to the other party notice in writing or wages in lieu of notice as stipulated in the employment contract. The employer shall send a copy of the termination letter to the Labour Department (Fax number: 2542 2742) and to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of the Immigration Department (Fax number: 2824 2067) within seven days before the date of termination. If the contract is terminated without prior notice, the employer shall send a copy of the termination letter to the above two departments within one working day after the termination. The letter should bear the name of the imported worker in English and Chinese (if applicable), his/her Hong Kong identity card number, the date of termination and the application reference number of the Immigration Department.

Re-entry into Hong Kong

Non-permanent residents of the HKSAR, irrespective of their nationality and type of travel document held, do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR provided that they return within their valid limit of stay and that the circumstances upon which they have acquired their residential status remain unchanged.