Immigration is one of the primary concerns for anybody hoping to start working in Hong Kong. Permanent employees will find it easy to get their Hong Kong work permit because they’ll receive “sponsorship” for their entire stay from their prospective employer. The Hong Kong work permit is dependent on this sponsorship because it confirms that you’ll be earning money during your stay in the country. Contracting in Hong Kong is more difficult because the work permit is tied to one employer, so you have to change it to suit each new contract. Thankfully, umbrella companies provide a convenient and effective solution to this issue.
The basic requirements for work permit sponsorship are the same in either case - a monthly salary of $40,000 HKD or more and a Bachelors or Masters degree. You should also show at least 2 reference letters from previous employers. The work permit process takes just 4 weeks.
What is a Hong Kong Umbrella Company?
Umbrella companies in Hong Kong “employ” contractors, but don’t make any decisions about your workload, clients or anything to do with your day to day operation. They simply process your payments by billing and collecting money from your clients, calculating your taxes and sending you a net wage. This is equivalent to the PAYE (pay as you earn) system employed by many companies, and it makes handling your tax in Hong Kong a lot simpler. The fact that they technically become your employer helps you get your working visa in Hong Kong with minimal fuss.
You can also, if you sign a waiver to state you are solely responsible for your Hong Kong taxes, be paid your full gross salary and then pay your own tax. This allows you a bit more flexibility because you can, for instance, earn interest on the tax money up until the date you need to pay it.
How Can Umbrella Companies Help You Get a Hong Kong Work Permit?
As your permanent employer, umbrella companies are able to sponsor you for your Hong Kong work permit provided they’re on the register of approved sponsors. Many different companies offer this service, because it makes contracting in Hong Kong infinitely simpler and saves you the hassle of continuous paperwork. Instead of changing your work permit every time you get a new contract, you can just work how you ordinarily would under the same permit. They protect you from the bureaucratic “rain” of legal compliance with the Hong Kong immigration authorities. They can even deal with the Hong Kong Embassy directly.
Through their service you may be able to use a business visa to get started quickly and then transition to a work visa in Hong Kong. It depends on your specific Hong Kong visa requirements. Be aware you may have to register for a residence permit in Hong Kong.
Can Umbrella Companies Also Assist You with Hong Kong Taxation?
Some umbrella companies are specialists in the Hong Kong tax system. They constantly stay up to date with the legislation and ensure that you get to keep the biggest proportion of your earnings possible. The PAYE system is ideal for most workers because you don’t have to complete any paperwork (aside from submitting your timesheets to the umbrella company) or worry about your taxes in any way (you’ll receive documentation for your records, though). You have a team of experts ensuring that you’re paid promptly and the various requirements for tax in Hong Kong are met.
How We Help You with Contracting in Hong Kong
We work closely with numerous umbrella companies in Hong Kong and we have a thorough knowledge of the different services they provide - especially regarding immigration to Hong Kong. If you’re a business analyst, IT project manager, software developer, tester, telecommunications contractor or an oil and gas worker, we can help you get sponsorship for your work permit and keep more of your earnings by setting you up with an umbrella company. We’ll also answer any questions you have about Hong Kong visas or the country’s tax law, and we’ll contact the experts directly to guarantee 100 percent accurate advice. This all comes at no charge whatsoever to you and you’re not obligated to take on the services of any company. We’re just here to make your move as stress-free as possible.