The #1 Ultimate Guide To Become A Digital Nomad In Hong Kong

View of Hong Kong - Digital nomad in Hong Kong Ling app

Has the thought of being a digital nomad in Hong Kong ever crossed your mind? I don’t blame you! With its great wifi connectivity, modern infrastructure, and many cool cafes and co-working spaces to choose from, Hong Kong is for sure, everything a remote worker could ever ask for! 

But wait! Before you go ahead and book that flight ticket or hostel, read this article to find out everything you need to know about one of Asia’s most popular cities. And while you’re add it, why not learn some simple Cantonese phrases that you can get by with?

Let’s get started!

A pic of a passport with stamps - Digital Nomad in Hong Kong

Visa Requirements For A Digital Nomad In Hong Kong 

Depending on your nationality, you may be able to stay in Hong Kong visa-free for 7 to 180 days. So, if you’re looking to work remotely from Hong Kong for a couple of days, visiting Hong Kong on visa exemption would be probably enough. 

However, if you’re looking for a more extended stay, you might have to look into the other visa options that Hong Kong offers. While Hong Kong doesn’t offer a specific type of visa catering to digital nomads like many European countries, you can apply for either the Investment As Entrepreneurs Visa or the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme Visa, if you want to work remotely from Hong Kong as a long-term digital nomad. 

Investment As Entrepreneurs Visa 

If you want to stay in Hong Kong in exchange for establishing or joining a business as an entrepreneur under the General Employment Policy, this may be the visa for you! It’s also suitable if you’re an investor who invests a minimum of HKD30,000,000 (USD3,850,000) in the region. 

Here are the basic requirements for this visa:

  • Age 18 or above.
  • Good educational background or professional qualifications.
  • Have a business plan demonstrating your intention to establish or join a business in Hong Kong.
  • Plan to invest a substantial amount of capital into the business.
  • Possess relevant experience or skills related to the proposed business.
  • The business should be able to contribute substantially to Hong Kong’s economy.
  • Must not have any adverse records, such as criminal convictions.

However, realistically speaking, this might not be the most viable visa for aspiring long-term digital nomads in Hong Kong due to the demanding financial requirements. I mean, which digital nomad is going to have a million dollars just casually lying around?! 

But fret not, as there is a second potential option available. 

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme Visa

If you’re a highly skilled individual who wants to help boost Hong Kong’s economy, this visa is for you. What’s cool is that you don’t need a job offer beforehand, either! All you need to do is meet certain criteria and compete with other aspiring candidates for the limited available slots.

You’d also have to pass two tests: the General Points Test and the Achievement-based Points Test. These tests will evaluate your education, work experience, language skills, age, and other factors. In short, they’re just there to ensure you’re a good fit for Hong Kong!

Here are the basic requirements for this visa: 

  • Age 18 or above.
  • Good educational background, usually a first degree from a recognized university.
  • Relevant work experience in a senior role or exceptional skills in your field.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and/or Chinese.
  • No criminal record or adverse immigration record in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
  • Intention to contribute to the economy of Hong Kong through your skills and experience.
  • Fulfill one of the points-based tests, scoring a minimum number of points based on factors like age, academic/professional qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and family background.

If you’re successful, you can bring your spouse, partner, or kids under 18 (as long as they’re not married) with you! However, you must also prove that you can financially support your dependents without public assistance from the state. 

A pic of a nice room - Digital Nomad in Hong Kong

Accommodation Options In Hong Kong 

Short-Term Stay

If you want to save money, Couchsurfing is a good choice. It’s completely free, making it the cheapest option. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with locals who can probably tell you where you can get the best dim sum in town. 

However, if you find yourself wanting a bit more privacy and autonomy, you can consider looking into Airbnbs and hostels instead. While they may be pricier, typically starting from at least around USD50 per night, they give you the comfort of having your own space.

For Airbnbs, you can choose between sharing a room with others or renting an entire unit, depending on your preferences. On the other hand, hostels often provide communal spaces like co-working spaces and kitchens where you can meet and interact with fellow travelers.

Ultimately, the choice between Couchsurfing, Airbnb, or hostels all boils down to your personal preferences and budget. With numerous options available, I’m sure you’d be able to find the perfect accommodation to make your stay in Hong Kong a great one. 

Long-Term Stay

If you’re looking to stay in Hong Kong long-term, browsing local listings would be a more suitable choice for you. Websites like HongKongAsiaXpatSquarefoot, and Geoexpat can connect you with real estate agents and available properties. 

Whether you’re looking to stay for a couple of months or a whole year, local listings should have what you’re looking for. Rentals also typically require a security deposit along with the first month’s rent, often for a fixed term initially, which can then transition to a month-to-month arrangement.

While long-term stay options like local listings may require more effort in searching and negotiation, the potential for significant savings makes it a worthwhile investment. By being proactive, you can secure comfortable and affordable accommodation that perfectly suits your preferences and budget, enhancing your stay in Hong Kong.

If you want to learn more about how to rent an apartment in Hong Kong, check out our guide on renting an apartment in Cantonese.

A pic of Hong Kong streets

How Do You Say Digital Nomad In Cantonese?

In Cantonese, “digital nomad” can be translated as 數碼遊牧工作者 (sou3 maa5 jau4 muk6 gung1 zok3).

Easy Phrases For Digital Nomad In Cantonese

Here are some simple Cantonese phrases related to being a digital nomad.

English TranslationCantonese PhrasePronunciation
I am a digital nomad.我是數碼遊牧工作者。ngo5 si6 sou3 maa5 jau4 muk6 gung1 zok3.
I work and travel around the world.我在世界各地工作和旅行。ngo5 zoi6 sai3 gaai1 gok3 dei6 gung1 zok3 kap6 leoi5 hang4.
I like working in co-working spaces.我喜歡在合作工作空間工作。ngo5 hei2 fun1 zoi6 hap6 zou6 gung1 zok3 hung1 gaan1 gung1 zok3.
My work schedule is flexible.我的工作時間很彈性。ngo5 di1 gung1 zok3 si4 gaan3 han2 daan6 sing3.
I found a suitable workspace in Hong Kong.我在香港找到了合適的工作空間。ngo5 zoi6 hoeng1 gong2 zaau2 dou6 liu5 hok3 hou2 si6 gung1 zok3 hung1 gaan1.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Nomads In Hong Kong

1. Is Hong Kong Good For Digital Nomads?

With its high broadband connectivity, modern infrastructure, and countless remote working spots with breathtaking views, Hong Kong makes a great home for digital nomads.

2. Can I Work Remotely In Hong Kong?

Whether you’re a national, resident, or hold a valid employment visa for Hong Kong, remote work is a viable option. Even those with a Hong Kong permanent identity card can freely take up remote positions for foreign entities. For those not meeting these criteria, exploring visa options is the next step.

3. What Is The Tax On Digital Nomads In Hong Kong?

While many digital nomads are drawn to Hong Kong for its 0% offshore tax, it’s important to note that the 0% capital gain can also work to your advantage with the right investment strategy, potentially boosting your earnings.

Wrapping up

Of course, this article only covers some things about being a digital nomad in Hong Kong. There’s still lots to know about, like how to use public transportation to get around Hong Kong, the most commonly used apps for things like payment and food delivery services, and more. It’s up to you to dive deeper into your research and uncover these valuable insights. If you want to brush up on your Cantonese before going to Hong Kong, you should try the Ling app! Knowing the local language will make your life a thousand times easier.

All the best, aspiring digital nomads!

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