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Country Information - Hong Kong

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Visa Requirements  
  A foreign national who will move to Hong Kong for the purpose of employment must obtain an employment visa issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. In addition, the accompanying family members, defined as spouse and children, must obtain dependent visas. The employment visa must be obtained prior to arrival in Hong Kong. Visitors are not allowed by law to take up employment (paid or unpaid) without an employment visa. A Visitor Visa is not a legally valid document for employment.

For more information on visa requirements, go to: http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas.htm

For information on your nearest Hong Kong Embassy or Consulate visit: http://www.moveandstay.com/hongkong/guide_embassies_and_consulates.asp
  Income earned in Hong Kong is subject to a yearly salary tax (up to a maximum flat rate of 15%). Individuals are only assessed on annual employment income. The fiscal year runs from April 1 through March 31. The monthly salary/stipend, earned gratuity, and allowances are all subject to taxation.

  The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$), which is pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of US$1=HK$7.8, although the rate fluctuates slightly. The Government issues coins of $10, $5, $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents and 10 cents.
  Space is at a premium in Hong Kong, and as a consequence, housing is an expensive commodity. Prices fluctuate, and generally reflect the state of the property market. Housing may or may not be provided by employers as part of the salary package.

For information on rental, shared or "for sale" property, visit http://www.moveandstay.com/hongkong/
  There are basically three types of comprehensive schools in Hong Kong. There are government schools and subsidised schools, run by charitable organisations with government funding. Most private schools are run by various private organisations; admissions are based more on academic merit than on financial ability.

Outside this system are the private international schools, which provide an alternative to the mainstream education system, with higher tuition fees. Nursery Schools and Playgroups provide kindergarten education for children in the 3-5 age groups. Their charges and qualities may, however, vary to a substantial extent.
Health Insurance  
  Many companies with operations in Hong Kong provide their employees with membership to local and worldwide medical centers. The Family Health Service of the Department of Health in Hong Kong provides a comprehensive range of health promotion and disease prevention services for children from birth to five years and women aged 64 or below. It is advisable to choose the most suitable medical insurance provider for you and your family needs.
  Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, tending towards temperate for nearly half the year. During November and December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. January and February are more cloudy, with occasional cold fronts followed by dry northerly winds. It is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below 10°C in urban areas. The lowest temperature recorded at the Observatory is 0°C, although sub-zero temperatures and frost occur at times on high ground and in the New Territories.
  The common languages spoken in Hong Kong are Mandarin, Cantonese and English
Driving License  

One can drive in Hong Kong on a foreign license temporarily on arrival, but if stay is planned beyond a year, a Hong Kong license is essential. For overseas driving license holders who wish to drive in Hong Kong, a valid driving license may be obtained through the following means:

  • Apply for a full driving license by direct issue without test;
  • Apply for a temporary driving license;

For more details call Licensing Information (24-Hour Interactive Voice Hotline) + 852 2804 2600

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