Hong Kong has been historically welcoming to foreign-born persons with 2,880,000 immigrants living in the country as of 2017 (1). The country is a favored choice among expats owing to a delightful blend of culture and modernism. Here are tips on moving to Hong Kong, to ease the process of relocation for you.
Get Your Paperwork Sorted
Once you have finalized Hong Kong as your destination of choice prioritize and get your paperwork in place as you need to have a visa to be eligible to work. If you’re moving with your family it is mandatory for everyone above 18 years to have a visa. Thankfully, the law of the land stipulates that only one work visa is required per household. Hong Kong requires all residents aged 11 and above to hold a smart identity card which must be applied for within 30 days of arrival(2).
Getting an Accommodation
Hong Kong has been reported to be one of the most expensive cities to live in the world and accommodation is expected to take a lion’s share of your monthly expenses. Supporting evidence of the high rental cost is the Economist Intelligence Unit survey that ranks Hong Kong as one of the ten most expensive cities to live in the world.
To reduce your rental burden, you might want to factor in accommodation cost when you’re negotiating a salary. Also when you arrive the city, you should go through an expat agency as opposed to a local agency when looking for an accommodation, according to expats who have lived in Hong Kong at some point(3).
Paying Your Taxes
Hong Kong makes up for its high cost of living by charging some of the lowest taxes in the world(4). Firstly, Hong Kong charges a progressive salary tax, and it does not charge taxes on income earned outside of its borders. Moreover residents of Hong Kong are not required to pay tax on investment gains. It would be best to work with a tax advisor to make the process of filing your taxes less cumbersome.
Putting Your Kids in School
If you’re planning to move with your family, it would be advisable to have schooling sorted so that you can make an informed decision on where to stay. Hong Kong is counted among one of the most expensive places for schooling and before making the move you would want to factor schooling costs into your salary negotiation.
Settling Into the Culture
We have previously covered the topic of how expats can absorb the culture of their new home here on the blog. Specifically speaking, Hong Kong is not only defined by the sheen of its modern skyscrapers but also by its enriching heritage of ancient Chinese culture. Expats in Hong Kong can absorb the cities culture through various modern day clubs or by visiting museums, attending the opera or learning more about cultural elements like ‘feng shui’ and ‘tai chi’.
Sending money home
After settling into your new life in Hong Kong, you may need to send money to your family back home. For all your remittance requirements you can count on Xpress Money’s affordable and accessible money transfer services spread across 160000 agent locations in 160 countries.