Applying for a Working Holiday Visa for Hong Kong

Working Holiday Visa for Hong Kong
Updated 2022-10-02 13:49

A Working Holiday Visa in Hong Kong can be easy, relaxing, fun, and educational! Indeed, the Working Holiday Program (WHV) is attracting more and more young students and professionals every year. If you want to participate, Hong Kong is one of the most popular destinations. Indeed, the French have had the possibility to go to Hong Kong under the WHV program since July 2013. Thanks to this program, you will be able to enjoy, for a maximum period of one year, the many opportunities awaiting you, as well as a very active and surprising environment and lifestyle.

Although it is mostly known as a shopper's paradise, Hong Kong is much more than that. Visitors will be able to experience Western life and Chinese customs at the same time, sample tasty local dishes and food from around the world, enjoy the harbor views and breath-taking skylines, celebrate Eastern and Western festivals with locals, discover the nightlife and even watch sports competitions and visit the city's film sets...

How to be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Hong Kong?

To qualify for the WHV program in Hong Kong, the following conditions must be met:

1. Your nationality

The participating countries are Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK.

2. Your age

Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 at the time of their visa application. You can, therefore, apply for a WHV in Hong Kong until you are 31 years old!

Good to know:

Applicants are not allowed to bring their spouses or any other dependents to Hong Kong. If an applicant wants to go with someone, that person will have to apply for a separate visa.

3. Having a valid passport

You must hold a passport that will be valid for the duration of your stay (i.e., for a minimum of one year) and which is, of course, issued by one of the countries that have signed the WHV agreement with the Hong Kong government.

It is worth noting that when you arrive in the country and go through immigration, you will need to present the same passport you presented when you applied for the working holiday visa.

You should also ensure that there are enough blank pages in your passport for the embassy to put your visa in and for the authorities to stamp it when you arrive in the country.

4. Having sufficient funds

It is essential that you have enough money to live on when you arrive in Hong Kong, and for this reason, the authorities will want to ensure that you have sufficient funds in your bank account.

Therefore, you must provide proof of sufficient funds (HK$25,000 or approximately €2,500) to support yourself during your entire stay in the form of a bank statement. It is important that this proof of funds is provided in English when you apply for the visa.

5. Having a health insurance policy

Accidents and illnesses always happen when you least expect them, so it is essential that you are prepared for anything when you are abroad. It should also be noted that medical costs in Hong Kong are usually much higher than in Europe. Therefore, you must take out health insurance, including maternity, hospitalization and repatriation.

6. Duration of the period of validity

Once you have received your visa, you will have three months to travel to Hong Kong — the working holiday permit will allow you to work and travel throughout the country for one year!

7. Participation and the quota per country

An essential condition of the visa is that you have never participated in the WHV program in Hong Kong. However, if you have participated in any other WHV program anywhere else in the world, this will not be a problem.

For the WHV in Hong Kong, the quota of places per country is as follows:

  • Australia – 5000 places per year
  • Austria – 100 places per year
  • Canada – 200 places per year
  • France – 750 places per year
  • Germany – 300 places per year
  • The Netherlands – 100 places per year
  • Hungary – 200 places per year
  • Ireland – 200 places per year
  • Japan – 1500 places per year
  • South Korea – 1000 places per year
  • New Zealand – 100 places per year
  • Sweden – 500 places per year
  • The UK – 1000 places per year

Good to know:

Each new quota is updated on January 1st every year. As a precaution, you are advised to apply at the beginning of the year to ensure you have a spot!

8. The airline tickets

You will need to buy return air tickets or show financial proof (proof of funds that you have enough money to buy them).

9. Visa fees

The fees for your visa application will differ depending on where you apply. Basically, if you apply at a visa center in France, you will have to pay:

  • The service fee, which is around 86 euros
  • Approximately 8 euros, which will go to the Chinese consulate (their commission)
  • Approximately 25 euros (which is equivalent to about 230 HK dollars) for the immigration visa fee.

If you apply at immigration in Hong Kong, you will only have to pay the visa fee, which is HK$230 (about €25).

When you apply, payment has to be made with your credit card.

Good to know:

An applicant's main purpose must be to stay in Hong Kong without the intention of finding permanent employment (the work will only be used to finance your stay).

What are the procedures for applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Hong Kong?

To apply for the WHV, you are required to present the following documents to the Hong Kong Embassy or Consulate:

  • your passport (valid for the entire duration of your stay) and a photocopy of the identification page
  • a completed and signed WHV ID(E) 940A application form
  • a passport-size photo (to be stuck on the form)
  • a bank statement or official letter from your bank stating that you have HK$25,000 in your bank account
  • a copy of your return tickets (or financial proof)
  • proof of health insurance
  • the applicable fee (25 euros if applying from France and approximately 15 euros if applying from Hong Kong).


All the required documents must be provided in English. You can have them translated by a translator approved by a court or a court of appeal.

Things to consider before moving to Hong Kong on a WHV

1. The cost of living in Hong Kong

It is essential that you know the cost of living before you travel to a country so that you have an idea of the expenses you will incur.

The following table will give you an idea of the cost of living in Hong Kong - (source Numbeo; as of August 2022):

Currency: US Dollars (USD)


1-bedroom flat (in the city center)


1-bedroom flat (outside the city center)


3-bedroom flat (city center)


3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)



Water, electricity, air conditioning, heating, waste collection for an 85m² apartment


Internet (60 Mbps or more, ADSL/cable, unlimited data)



1 ticket (one way) for local transport


Monthly pass for local transport



Rice (1 kg)


Milk (1 L)


12 eggs (normal size)


Bread (500 g)


Chicken (1 kg)


Red meat (1 kg)


Oranges (1 kg)


Bananas (1 kg)


Apples (1 kg)


Potatoes (1 kg)


Onions (1 kg)


Water (1.5 L)


Wine (mid-range bottle)


Local beer (0.5 L)


Imported beer (0.33 L)


Cigarettes (pack of 20)



Movie theatre - 1 seat


Sports club - monthly cost for 1 person


2. Looking for work in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the countries with the lowest unemployment rate in the world — 4%! So, you can be confident that with a little research and conviction, you will find a job in Hong Kong quickly. Perhaps even before you arrive in Hong Kong!

If you are fluent in English and a second language (if you are bilingual or trilingual), this could be the perfect solution: you could give language lessons on the spot.

But if you don't feel like teaching, we recommend you to check websites such as SVA Recruitment, Jobs DB, Monster Hong Kong, Craiglist Hong Kong and Recruit Hong Kong. Don't forget to update your CV and search on the LinkedIn network!

Good to know:

Once in Hong Kong, you will be allowed to work for a maximum period of 6 months for the same employer. You will also be able to study for a maximum of 6 months provided you enroll on a single course.

3. Looking for accommodation in Hong Kong

Searching for accommodation is essential before you go to Hong Kong. It will always be reassuring and comforting to leave your country and walk out of the airport knowing that you have somewhere to go to rest and feel safe. As with everything in the 21st century, your accommodation search in Hong Kong will probably start online.

These websites are really great for getting an idea of what's available and what the market price is:

  • Hong Kong Homes
  • Airbnb
  • Square Foot
  • Craigslist
  • Spacious
  • Savills

4. Luggage, equipment and medicines you can bring to Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a very humid country, so it is recommended that you bring cotton clothes that will keep you as comfortable as possible. Shorts, skirts or summer dresses will be excellent for hot days. You will need flip-flops, sandals and comfortable walking shoes. Don't forget your hat and sunglasses for walks in Hong Kong's beautiful parks!

We also recommend that you pack a first aid kit for emergencies, but be careful! Before doing so, take a look at the Hong Kong Customs website to make sure you are allowed to enter the country with the items you want to bring back.

For the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Customs and Excise website, click here.

Leaving for Hong Kong

As a general rule, your visa should be delivered within two weeks if your application is complete at the time of submission to the embassy or consulate. Once you have your visa, you must fly to Hong Kong within three months from the date of issue.

This multiple-entry visa will be valid for one year from your arrival date. You will be able to enter and leave Hong Kong multiple times.

The WHV allows you to work for 6 months for different employers in Hong Kong. However, you are not allowed to work for more than 6 months.

Good to know:

The WHV in Hong Kong does not allow you to stay or work outside the Special Administrative Region. To go to mainland China, you will need to apply for a tourist or work visa. You can even apply from Hong Kong.

Places to see in Hong Kong during your working holiday

Here are the top 3 must-sees during your stay in Hong Kong.

1. The Tian Tan Buddha Statue

Overlooking Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, also known as the "Big Buddha", is 34 meters tall and was built in 1993. It is one of the largest Buddha statues of its kind in the world, and its construction took 12 years. Its size is staggering, both from near and far. Surrounded by lush green forest and overlooking the ocean and islands, you won't regret making the trip.

2. Temple Street Night Market

If you love to bargain, a trip to the Temple Street Night Market is another must-do during your stay in Hong Kong. Located in Kowloon, the night market is the perfect place to discover eclectic dishes and, most importantly, get a good deal!

3. Hong Kong Park

Located in the center of Hong Kong, this beautiful park is a real oasis in the jungle of skyscrapers — if you're looking for a peaceful place, this is the place for you! Stretching along a hillside, this huge, lush park contains a small forest of mature trees, water features, and several important attractions. This beautiful park is home to over 80 species of birds, some more beautiful than others — an unforgettable walk!

Useful links:

Hong Kong Immigration Department - WHV

Hong Kong Immigration Department - Visa Application Form

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.