Information for Overseas Staff
Frequently Asked Questions for New Appointees from Overseas
These Frequently Asked Questions are prepared by the Human Resources Office (HRO) of Lingnan University for our new appointees coming from overseas. They cover some of the common questions you may have in mind when you prepare for taking up residence in Hong Kong. You are also most welcome to contact us if you need further assistance.
|Q1.||How do I apply for an employment visa? Do I need to apply for visa at the Chinese Consulate General Office in my own country?|
HRO will provide you with a Visa Application Form (ID990A) and the relevant Guidebook (ID(E)991). You can also download the documents from the website of the Immigration Department at:
For the ease of your completion of the Visa Application Form, you are advised to study the Guidebook before completing the form. You have to return the completed form to HRO together with the necessary supporting documents listed in the Guidebook. Upon receipt of the above, the University will lodge on your behalf your work visa application in Hong Kong.
|Q2. ||My spouse and dependant children will be accompanying me to Hong Kong. Do they need to apply for visa? How?|
It depends on how long your spouse and dependant children will be staying in Hong Kong. If they come to Hong Kong for short visit only, entry visa may not be compulsory. You may first check the visa requirements for foreign nationals, in particular the visa-free period for visit at:
If they will stay with you and take up residence in Hong Kong, you may apply to bring in your spouse and unmarried dependant children under the age of 18 to Hong Kong according to the prevailing policy. To apply, please complete the relevant section(s) in the aforementioned Visa Application Form (ID990A).
Unlike your visa application which is sponsored by the University, you will be the sponsor of your dependant visa applications.
|Q3.||If my wife's passport is in her maiden name instead of her married name, is it necessary to change her name in the passport when applying for visa?|
|A3.||It is NOT necessary to change your wife's name in the passport to reflect her married name.|
|Q4.||Can I land in Hong Kong before my employment starts? Will my employment visa be valid only for the employment period?|
|A4.||Generally, it depends on the situation when the employment visa is obtained. If your visa application has been approved, HRO will collect the entry permit (i.e. the visa) and send it to you by post. On the entry permit, a specific date (normally 3 months after the entry permit issue date) will be printed on it advising you of the last day before which you can land in Hong Kong on the basis of the permit. You can paste the self-adhesive entry permit in your travel document. Upon your arrival, the Immigration Officer at Hong Kong airport will stamp a visa expiry date in your passport. Normally, the visa expiry date will be either a year after your date of entry or your appointment end date, whichever comes first. If necessary, you are supposed to renew your visa on or before the visa expiry date.|
|There is a clause on the visa label saying "Good for a single journey to Hong Kong". Does it mean that it is not allowed for multiple entries into Hong Kong?|
|A5.||The visa/entry permit label is for your first-time entry to Hong Kong. Immigration Officer at the Hong Kong Airport will examine the visa label and indicate a visa expiry date in your passport. You are free to travel outside and re-enter Hong Kong anytime before the visa expiry date.|
|Q6.||How can I renew my employment visa in Hong Kong?|
|A6.||Applications for renewal of employment visa will normally be accepted within 4 weeks before your limit of stay expires. To submit an application, you have to obtain a support letter from HRO and complete the Application Form for an Extension of Stay (ID91), which is downloadable at:|
The application has to be submitted at the Immigration Department in Wan Chai, or any one of the Immigration branch offices. Please refer to the Guidance Notes attached to the application form for details.
|Q7.||If I need to renew my passport during my stay in Hong Kong, what do I need to do?|
|A7.||You can contact your Consulate about the procedures for the renewal of passport. The contact information (with telephone, fax no. and address) of individual Consulates can be browsed at: |
|Q8.||Do I need to apply for a Hong Kong identity card?|
|A8.||All persons who have been permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days are required to apply for an Identity Card within 30 days of arrival. Appointment booking services and detailed information are available at: |
|Q9.||How can I apply for a visa to the Mainland China?|
|A9.||A visa for Mainland China is required for overseas passport holders when traveling to the Chinese Mainland. There are different ways to apply for the visa:|
1. Apply at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in your country of residence or approach an Embassy (Consulate) of PRC in a neighboring country; or
2. Apply at an overseas China Travel Service (CTS) branch in your country of residence; or
3. A list of all CTS branches with its opening hours and contacts is available at:
You can obtain more relevant information about visa for Mainland China at: http://www.ctshk.com/english/useful/chinesevisa.htm.
|Q10.||Are there any specific immunizations that are required for entry into Hong Kong for employment?|
|A10.||There is no particular immunization required for entry into Hong Kong for employment.|
|Q1.||What is the maximum reimbursement entitlement of the passage allowance for me?|
|A1.||The passage allowance will cover a single incoming economy class airfare between your place of residence and Hong Kong. Our Comptroller's Office (CO) will obtain a quotation as reference for the maximum entitlement of your passage allowance. HRO will let you know of the amount in due course. Please note that you will personally be responsible for any costs in excess of the airfare quoted.|
|Q2.||What is the maximum reimbursement amount of baggage allowance?|
|A2.||Baggage allowance, if eligible, is intended to subsidize your moving of personal effects to Hong Kong. The amount of baggage allowance will be quoted to you in accordance with the prevailing regulations and respective rate of allowance between Hong Kong and your permanent place of residence. The baggage allowance is not a relocation allowance and you will be responsible for any costs in excess of the allowance quoted. Reimbursement for baggage allowance up to the maximum allowance may be made on production of receipted bills. The cost of packing, packing cases and insurance of personal effects within certain limitations may be accepted within the maximum allowance at unaccompanied baggage rates, but customs duty and storage charges (other than those incurred as a result of unavoidable transshipment) are not eligible items for the purpose of the allowance.|
|Q3.||How soon can I expect reimbursement of the Passage and Baggage allowances?|
|A3.||Claim for reimbursement can be made at the Comptroller's Office by presenting the original official receipts and ticket stubs of the boarding pass. You are advised to make the arrangement within 3 months after your commencement of duty at the University. Reimbursement will be arranged by issuing cheque or crediting to your bank account direct, normally within 15 working days after the claim reached the payment section. If you would like to receive a cheque in foreign currency, additional 2 days are required.|
|Q1.||Where can I get the taxi at the airport? What kind of taxi should I take going to Lingnan?|
|A1.||Taxi station can be reached by the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall. For location maps and detailed information, you can visit the website of the International Airport at: |
There are three types of taxis in Hong Kong: Urban taxis (red), New Territories taxis (green) and Lantau taxis (blue). The fares of various types of taxis are different. You may acquaint yourself with the taxis in Hong Kong at:
http://www.td.gov.hk/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/taxi/index.htm; and http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/trip-planner/transport-taxis.html.
Since Lingnan University is located in the New Territories, you can get a green one when you are traveling from the airport to Lingnan. It takes around 45 minutes.
|Q2.||Is it necessary to pay tips to taxi driver?|
|A2.||It is not necessary to pay tips to the taxi driver but it is a custom in Hong Kong that the taxi driver will round up the fare to the nearest dollar. Please note that there are extra charges for luggage, tunnel fees, etc., all of which are clearly displayed in the taxi.|
Apart from taxi, is there any other transportation from Lingnan to the downtown?
Yes, there are other convenient modes of transportation from Lingnan.
Buses – in front of the main entrance of Lingnan, there is a bus-stop and the following buses running between Tuen Mun and the city centre in Kowloon are available.
67X - Siu Hong Court (Tuen Mun) to Mongkok East Railway station
67M - Siu Hong Court (Tuen Mun) to Kwai Fong Railway station
For point-to-point route search, you are recommended to visit the website of Kowloon Motor Bus Company at:
West Rail – The nearest West Rail Station to Lingnan is the Siu Hong Station of the West Rail line. It takes less than 10 minutes' walk from the station (Exit F - Lingnan University) to Lingnan or you can take the shuttle bus No. K51 (to Fu Tai) at the Siu Hong Station to Lingnan. Please visit the website of MTR at:
http://www.mtr.com.hk/ for more information.
What is the tenancy procedure in Hong Kong?
Property agents in Hong Kong will offer a list of suitable properties available for leasing and they are ready to take clients to view the properties. Once the lease is made, a downpayment (normally equivalent to three month's rent) and the agent's fee (commonly equal to a month's rent) will be required. There will also be stamp duty and legal fees that is shared between the tenant and landlord.
The Estate Agent Authority of Hong Kong has published a monograph regarding Hong Kong Domestic Tenancy at:
It contains useful information about the tenancy procedure and practice in Hong Kong such as the common provisions in tenancy agreement and implied covenants of the tenant. You are recommended to refer to the monograph if you wish to rent an accommodation in Hong Kong.
I am looking for short-term accommodation. Is there guest room available on campus for me or could you recommend some hotels near the University?
Yes, there are small number of furnished guest rooms available on the campus at reasonable rates for short-term accommodation:
Since the number of rooms is limited, you may check the availability with us in advance by informing us of your expected arrival date and duration of stay.
Meanwhile, there are two hotels near the University and you can visit their respective websites for further information:
Harbour Plaza Resort City:
Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel:
|What is Non-accountable Housing Allowance?|
The Non-accountable Housing Allowance (NHA) is provided to eligible staff members as a form of subsidy which helps to ease their financial burdens on housing and related expenses. It is non-accountable, i.e. staff members receiving the allowance do not have to report to the University on the actual usage of the allowance.
Who are eligible for NHA?
|The following staff members will be eligible to apply for NHA:|
(a) Academic staff at or above the rank of Assistant Professor; and
(b) Non-academic staff at or above the rank of Associate Director.
|Are there any conditions which I have to observe?|
|The following conditions have to be met by the staff member before NHA can be granted: (a) The appointee/spouse is not receiving any of the local public housing benefits; (b) The spouse of the appointee is not receiving housing benefits from a public/private employer; (c) The appointee/spouse has not previously received housing assistance for an aggregate period from schemes which provide assistance for a specified entitlement period (e.g. 120 months) for acquiring/renting an accommodation in Hong Kong; and (d) Under the "no double benefits rule", a staff member will not be eligible for the NHA if his/her spouse is also entitled to housing benefits under his/her terms of employment with his/her employer.|
|How much allowance can I get? And for how long?|
Eligible staff members shall be provided with NHA according to the following rates:
The above rates of allowance are subject to reviews by the University when deemed necessary. Adjusted new rates will be adopted upon renewal of contract, if applicable.
The provision of NHA to a staff member will be confined to the duration of each contract only. If a staff member is granted NHA under different contracts, the maximum accumulated total period of the benefits cannot exceed a total of 120 months.
|When can I start to draw the allowance?|
A staff member can apply to draw the allowance at any time with effect from the commencement date of employment, as long as he/she fulfills the eligibility conditions.
|Can I suspend the allowance to suit my changing needs?|
Yes, you can suspend the allowance at any time, but please give the University at least 14-day prior notice.
|What are the procedures for application for the allowance?|
|All you have to do is to fill in an application form, which is available at HRO or the HRO Intranet.|
|Q1.||Where should I take the medical examination? Before my arrival in Hong Kong or in Hong Kong?|
|A1.||It is up to you and it should be better taken before the commencement date of your contract. You may choose to take the medical examination either at your country of residence or in Hong Kong. For the former, you have to request the attending doctor to complete and return to us the Medical Examination Report by fax. A reimbursement of up to HK$190.- will be made to you on production of the receipt. For the latter, you can attend for a medical examination at one of the designated clinics in Hong Kong and we will provide you with a letter which contains the procedures and relevant information such as the addresses and office hours of the clinics.|
|My spouse and dependant children will come to Hong Kong with me. Do they need to attend for a medical examination?|
No, they are not required to take the medical examination.
|Q1.||What is Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme in Hong Kong? Do I need to contribute to it?|
|A1.||The Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme is a retirement protection scheme for the entire working population in Hong Kong. Except for exempted persons under the MPF Scheme Ordinance, employees and the self-employed aged between 18 and 65 are required to join MPF scheme. The employee is required to contribute 5% of the monthly relevant income, capped at HK$1,000.- per month, and the employer has to match this amount. The contributions required to be made by the employer and employee will be paid to the trustee of the MPF scheme.|
|Q2.||Is it possible to be exempt from MPF Scheme?|
|A2.||Under the law, people from overseas who enter Hong Kong for employment for less than 13 months will be regarded as an exempt person. Work visa holders will continue to be exempt from joining MPF Scheme after the 13-month exemption period if they are covered by overseas retirement schemes.|
When can I withdraw the accrued benefits in MPF Scheme?
Generally speaking, scheme members can only claim for payment of their accrued benefits when they attain the retirement age of 65. However, under the following circumstances, accrued benefits will be payable before the attainment of the retirement age:
(1) Permanent departure from Hong Kong;
(2) Early retirement and attainment of the age of 60;
(3) Total incapacity; and
What percentage of my salary will be taxable?
|The salaries tax is imposed on all income (including salaries, allowances, gratuities, etc.) arising in or derived from Hong Kong from an office or employment or any pension. Salaries Tax is determined on a sliding scale according to a taxpayer's net chargeable income which is computed by deducting from his net assessable income allowable approved charitable donations and personal allowances. For details, you can click the link of the Inland Revenue Department at: |
|Q1.||What is the weather like in Hong Kong?|
|A1.||Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 26-33 degree Celsius in summer and 14-20 degree Celsius in winter (occasionally, the temperature may drop to below 10 degree Celsius).|
Will I be expected to pay tips in restaurants?
|Most restaurants will levy a 10 per cent service charge but waiters may expect you to give some loose change. Tipping is left to your discretion in restaurants that do not add a service charge.|
What is the voltage in Hong Kong?
|Voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts, so you may need an adaptor for your appliances and electrical equipment that require higher/lower voltage. On the other hand, the majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-type plug. You can buy some inexpensive adaptors for your equipment when you arrive in Hong Kong.|
Is there any English language TV channel in Hong Kong?
There are two companies, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and Asia Television Limited (ATV), providing domestic free television programme service in Hong Kong. Each of them provides one Chinese channel and one English language channel. To get some ideas about the TV programming, you may surf the website of TVB and ATV at:
What is the exchange rate between Hong Kong and US dollar? Are there facilities for me to exchange money at the airport?
The unit of currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar, which is pegged to the United States Dollar at the approximate exchange rate of HK$7.8 to US$1 and it fluctuates slightly from time to time. Foreign currencies can be easily exchanged at the airport upon arrival, or at banks, tourist hotels, and authorized currency-exchangers. In Hong Kong, bank notes issued by three large banks have denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. There are coins for $10, $5, $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents, and 10 cents.
Apart from bank notes and coins, octopus card which is a convenient electronic money card, can be used in all major public transportation systems. It can also be used in many other places, such as convenience shops, fast food restaurants, carparks, recreational facilities and some supermarkets. Octopus card can be purchased from ticket offices of the Mass Transit Railway stations, convenience stores, and some drug stores and supermarkets.
General Hong Kong Information
Hong Kong International Airport
Hotels in Hong Kong
Mass Transit Railway Corporation
Citybus & New World First Bus
Yellow Page Location Search
(An interactive map of Hong Kong)
24-hour emergency number
General police enquiries
+852 2527 7177
+852 2929 2222
Hong Kong Immigration Department (24 hours)
+852 2824 6111
Department of Health
+852 2961 8989
Telephone directory assistance (English)
The above captures some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). It is only for general reference and does not represent any offer of appointment/benefits. Should you have other questions or any views or suggestions about these FAQs, please let us know on (852) 2616 8962 or e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org.