A 2022 Guide to Working Overseas for Hong Kong Residents

“If you’re in Hong Kong and finding an overseas job is top of mind with you right now, where do you start?”

In Hong Kong, one of the world’s most densely populated countries, the ongoing upheavals of the COVID pandemic and recent political developments have resulted in many residents looking closely at the prospect of working overseas. At least for a while.

For many others, international job opportunities have always been a personal career goal. The opportunity to experience a new culture and add international work experience to your CV can significantly enhance your future employment prospects and enrich your life too.

So if you’re in Hong Kong and finding an overseas job is top of mind with you right now, where do you start?


Select your preferred overseas work destination(s)

In addition to a favourite foreign country, there are so many factors involved here; everything from straightforward visa requirements to language barriers to the cost-of-living in the country of your choice.

Perhaps the first thing to do is to narrow down your choice according to:

  1. where you would like to live?
  2. what position and what type of company – in what country – will best serve your career interests in the long run?
  • where will your skills and qualifications be most relevant and most highly valued?

There’s good cause to be optimistic about securing your dream job overseas too. First, Hong Kong’s universities are well-regarded internationally, and many professional bodies in Hong Kong have affiliate organisations in countries all over the world.


Plenty of overseas job opportunities for Hong Kong professionals

Second, whilst the pandemic has primarily been a healthcare crisis it has nonetheless wrought significant disruption to organisations and their workforces worldwide. As 2022 unfolds and COVID recedes, we are witnessing a significant increase in economic activity and a subsequent surge in global demand for talent.

This means there are currently plenty of job openings available in a multitude of countries all over the world for workers and professionals from Hong Kong.

Next, you need to focus on what job opportunities are available in the country of your choice.


Do your research to ascertain the right overseas job, and what’s the right fit, for you

Checking job boards in other countries and investigating the marketplace will show you the types of jobs available for professionals in the destination of your choice. It will also serve to highlight any gaps in your experience or skill set that you may need to address before you leave.

If you currently work for a multinational company, you could request an overseas transfer or secondment. Or, if your organisation has plans to expand internationally, why not consider putting your name forward to be part of an overseas team? This way, the company will often organise all the necessary visas and work permits for you.


Register with a global recruitment company to find your ideal overseas job

Another option is to register with a global recruitment company. Or with a number of them. They can help you connect with employers all over the world – and by making contact with an overseas recruitment specialist, you will have a better idea of everything you need to do to secure overseas employment.


Visa requirements for working overseas for Hong Kong residents

If you’re aiming to work overseas, you need to be fully aware of all the relevant visa requirements and any conditions foreigners must meet in order to work in the country of your choice.

It’s worth noting that the HKSAR government does not provide visas for overseas travel. To obtain the latest information and apply for a visa, you’ll need to contact the consulate of the country you intend to work in. There are a large number of consulates in Hong Kong, so it may be worthwhile to try to set up an appointment or two. Building personal relationships and receiving tips, advice and guidance from consulate staff can help to significantly streamline the process, with minimal delays.


Understand your financial framework when working overseas

Overseas employment is very exciting but make sure you’re aware of all the financial realities.

Some countries are more affordable than Hong Kong. Others have a higher cost of living so you could find that living and working overseas leaves you short, especially if you land a job that’s not the same level as your previous role in Hong Kong.

Pay particular attention to basic expenses like rent or housing costs, private schools or the cost of running a car, which can be very high in destinations popular with Hong Kong expats.

Make sure too that you have some savings to fall back on if you need to.

But above all else, go for it!

Hong Kong residents are well regarded all over the world for their work ethic, qualifications and  their ability to fit in and make a real contribution. With proper research and preparation your dream overseas job could be just around the corner. Or around the other side of the world. Don’t wait! Especially as demand for top talent globally is at an all-time high.


Like to know more about the international employment market for your field? Or are you thinking of working overseas and need some advice, guidance or assistance? Then don’t hesitate to contact CXC. CXC are global recruitment specialists across a wide range of industry sectors and have a large number of corporate clients all over the world keen to engage with Hong Kong professionals. Let us help you land your dream international job.