You are here
Tips for professionals moving from China to Hong Kong
Moving from China to Hong Kong can be an exciting adventure that offers many opportunities to professionals. Some obvious advantages include being part of a diverse and international business hub, faster internet, access to Facebook and Instagram, and more options to travel to other parts of the world. So what needs to be done before moving day?
Secure your visa
A visa will give you the right to reside and work in Hong Kong, so make sure your (work) visa is confirmed before you make the move. Standard visa requirements are different for every nationality. For example, those with UK passports don’t require a visa to live in Hong Kong for up to six months. Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China, but because it is a Special Administrative Region (SAR), it has its own entry requirements.
A new work visa requires that you have a special skillset that is not readily available in the Hong Kong market, so if you have a job offer, it’s important to make sure you meet the requirements.
RELATED: How to resign from your job
Check that your salary expectations will fund your lifestyle. The cost of living between a tier 1 city in China and Hong Kong is vastly different. A one-bedroom apartment in City Centre in Shanghai may cost 6,000-8,000 RMB, while a similar apartment in Hong Kong costs on average 14,500 RMB (16,500 HKD). Apartments are also generally much smaller in Hong Kong compared to China.
However, you will save in other areas, notably in tax. In China, 30%+ on income tax is standard, whereas in Hong Kong, the standard rate is 15%.
For other cost of living figures, the comparison website Numbeo can help you calculate your expenses.
Before moving to Hong Kong, you will need to close your account and open a Hong Kong account. Remember that even if you have a Bank of China or HSBC account, you can’t automatically transfer it to a Hong Kong account. Banks like HSBC will however help you transfer your RMB to HKD – but make sure you have your new employment contract, red work book, monthly pay stubs and proof that you’ve paid tax on every yuan that you want to transfer out of China.
RELATED: Making a career change
Family and pets
If you’re considering moving a family to Hong Kong, you’ll also have to consider schooling and childcare, so don’t forget to factor these elements into your cost calculations. And cat owners beware – if you own a cat in China and are planning to relocate with your beloved feline, the government will require your pet to be detained for up to 6 months.
A move to Hong Kong ideally shouldn’t be made hastily. If you’re transferring within an organisation or accepting a new job, make sure you enquire about relocation packages and support, as there will be plenty of knowledge and advice available.
If you are interested in relocating to Hong Kong, contact a Michael Page specialist to discuss the job current opportunities.
Other articles you may find interesting
If you’re moving from China to Hong Kong, you’ll need to:
- Ensure you have a valid working visa
- Do your research on cost of living and how much your lifestyle will cost in Hong Kong
- Organise a new bank account and close your Chinese bank account
- Consider your household – including pets