Other than Australia there aren't many countries that are widely recognised for the ease of getting a working holiday visa.
And Hong Kong isn't one of those either.
Before I came here I didn't even realise it was possible.. I feel in love with the city and knew I wanted to stay, but realistically couldn't without getting a job, which of course would require a visa. A friend then told me about the working holiday visas they offered over here and my problems were sorted (well nearly).
If you are older than 18 and under 30 years old you can apply for a working holiday visa in Hong Kong for 12 months. Of course there are some restrictions, but not many.
Please note HK holiday visa are only accepted from citizens of:
Korea (Republic of)
- You have to prove you have a certain amount of available funds to show you can buy a ticket out of Hong Kong when necessary. The amount changes based on your nationality. But as a British Citizen I had to prove I had more than $22000 HKD which is around 2100 GBP. This needs to be a printed out statement with your name on it. To check how much you need if you have a different nationality click here
- Your passport has to have MORE than 12 months on it!! (from date of arrival in HK)
- I made the mistake of not checking mine and I only had 11 months and 3 weeks so I had to get my passport renewed before I could continue with the application.
- You have to have valid health insurance. (Travel insurance is fine)
And obviously you have to be under 30 years old.
Please note I applied for the Visa while in HK so I didn't have to send anything off and just went to the immigration tower in Wan Chai. But you can apply before you are actually in HK.
Once you have completed everything and either sent it off or handed it in you are expected to wait up to 2 weeks to receive the decision on your application. (There is a ‘chance’ you may not get accepted as they only give out a certain number a year based on what country you are from)
Australia (annual quota = 5000)
Austria (annual quota = 100)
Canada (annual quota = 200)
France (annual quota = 200)
Germany (annual quota = 300)
Ireland (annual quota = 100)
Japan (annual quota = 250)
Korea (Republic of) (annual quota = 500)
New Zealand (annual quota = 400)
I got an email a few days after I had put my application in saying my passport didn't have enough time on it so I would have to renew it and come back with the relevant documents. Also that my bank statement didn't have my name on it so they couldn't accept that either.
Once I had given all the correct information in on a Friday I got an email on the Monday saying it had been accepted!!
I went to collect it from Immigration Tower and paid the $190HKD fee, approx. 18 GBP, I was then told I now needed to leave HK and re enter for it to become valid.
And that isn't as bad as it sounds.
From HK you can get into China (either Macau or Shenzgin) within an hour.
I went to Macau as it worked out cheapest ($300 HKD return ferry trip) got off at Macau, went through immigration, got straight back on the ferry and returned to Hong Kong.
When you reach Hong Kong immigration they stick your visa to your passport and validate it with a stamp.
You can now go and apply for your Hong Kong identity card which will allow you to open a bank account and move into an apartment! (you can still move into shared serviced apartments with your passport) To apply for your Identity card you need to be in HK, go to the same Wan Chai office fill out a form and wait 2 weeks until you can go and pick it up. But they will give you an ID number the same day so you can start applying for bank accounts etc, its just the actually card you wont get on the day!
And there you are - you can now officially work and live in HK for 12 months. It really is as easy as that.
So when are you coming to join me?
Got your Visa? Get your TEFL and become an English Teacher in Hong Kong. Read more here about how to get one, plus a 30% discount code!