Independent media professionals often occupy a round-pegs-in-square-holes situation when it comes to being able to practice their trade in Hong Kong and this question discusses how they might go about being able to do so.
My partner and I are media professionals from Canada. We have 10 years experience each in our respective fields. I am a journalist and my partner is a producer and cameraman.
We are really keen to explore employment opportunities in Hong Kong, but jobs in our field are very rarely advertised. Is it possible to acquire a visa to allow us to work as freelancers until we secure a job offer?
There is no such animal as an ‘interim’ or ‘specialist freelance’ visa in Hong Kong: only a sponsored employment visa based upon a job offer or an investment visa where you have to ‘invest’ and demonstrate that you can make a ‘substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong’.
In your situation, therefore, it appears as you’d need to apply and qualify for an investment visa.
This is visa type that some people are prepared to use to ‘buy time’ until a job offer materializes but, frankly speaking, it’s quite a challenging exercise which you might find too burdensome just to ‘buy time’.
Moreover, if you do get an investment visa approved, it will effectively legitimize a ‘freelance status’ that you may, in the end, find more conducive to your objectives for your time in the HKSAR that working for a single employer.
I have produced a series of videos of a presentation I gave previously which sets out what’s involved in such an investment visa application and how to go about applying for one without any professional help.