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visa agency hong kong

We didn’t plan to visit Hong Kong. But…

…getting a tourist visa agency hong kong for China is quite easy, but for a working visa and residence permit, you need a bit of time, patience and help of local agent, once you are in the country.

The Chinese visa laws are complicated and obscure even for the local specialists in the feild. Foreign employers have to leave China, cross the border just for couple of days, receive Z visa, then they can return back to mainland and get work permit. It’s easier to cross border to Hong Kong. ( Despite the fact that Hong Kong now is special administrative region(SAR) of China (PRC), border still exists).

Hong Kong (HK) is located on China’s south coast, and it borders on the north with Shenzhen city of Guangdong province. If you want to be better oriented, you need to understand that the HK area consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories and over 200 islands. The biggest of them is Lantau Island. The northern part of Hong Kong Island together with Kowloon forms the core urban area of Hong Kong.

We had been (had to go to) in Hong Kong twice and spent there about 7 days in total. Our impression was different on each of this visits. Of course it depended on a hotel that we’ve stayed in and places we’ve visited. Honk Kong is known as expensive city. A price of hotels and hostels inappropriately high, but it quite depends on location.

When I did a research in internet sites, I saw many terrible comments about hostels and inexpensive hotels in the center of the city. I decided to reserve one remote hotel far from the center of interests and our visa agency (Tsim Sha Tsui area). The hotel was in the area called Tsuen Wan (new territories). The internet sites showed, that it is good level hotel with relatively low price. It appeared to be a good decision: spacious room, swimming pool and sauna after long trip inside and outside the city can improve any damaged impression. But it required additional expense for road to the center of the city. Hong Kong’s transportation network is highly developed. To avoid traffic jam, it is better to use subway (MTR). A big plus is a complimentary shuttle bus, that runs between the hotel and Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.

On our second arrival, we wanted to be closer to the visa agency, so we reserved room in a hostel in Kowloon. I think it was worst room that we saw in our life. Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. The streets in that area were so overcrowded that we could move only in same direction with other people. We advise you not to try to move against the flow, because if you do, then in one minute you will stumble on 1000 people.

The room was like small carton box, without windows, that reminded a terrible movie… The funny thing is, that inspite of the fact that the room size was just quarter of the Royal View hotel room, it didn’t save much money. Location – this is wat we were paying for here.

During our stays in Hong Kong, we’ve managed to visit Hong Kong park, Flagstaff House Tea Ware Museum and Ocean Park. In Kowloon we’ve visited seafront, Avenue of Stars and Ladies Market. Two days we spent in Sai Kung district and one on Lamma Island. Both Sai Kung and Lamma made a big impression on us, and they both worth a separate post to be written about them.

Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park is like small beautiful island of the nature, a breath of freash air inside the urban area of Hong Kong. In the park you can find a number of old garrison buildings built between 1842 and 1910. They are the remains of mighty Great British Empire rule.

At the center of the Park is located an artificial lake and a waterfall. There’s a flowing water running through the park, which has been employed as a thematic motif to link the different features of the park by waterfalls, streams, ponds and cliffs from artificial rocks.

The Museum of Tea Ware is located within the park. The museum includes samples of the teapots from different provinces and other different tea ware as they evolved with time. More interesting for us were examples of different kind of tea and explanations about history and ways of making tea. If you are a fan of Chinese Tea, you must visit the Tea Ware Museum in Hong Kong.

Note: You can get to the park by MTR, Admiralty station exit C1.

On the next day we’ve visited the Ocean Park. It is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island and you will need to reserve a full day for visiting it. You can buy the tickets in many places, including “Seven Eleven” and other small stores, but the prices may be different – from 250 to 350HK$. It is better to buy the tickets at metro stations, because there they are cheaper. Transportation to the park is very well organized. From Admiralty metro station you need to follow to signs and take a bus number 629. Price of the bus is about 10 HG$ per person.

The park is separated by a large mountain into two areas, The Summit (Headland) and The Waterfront (Lowland) respectively. The areas can be reached by cable car with spectacular views of the nearby islands and the sea. The great aquarium was good, the dolphin/sea-lion show was great too and we only tried some of the rides, because the queues to them seamed endless.

Avenue of Stars

The sea-front Avenue of Stars is like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The stars with names and handprints of Hong Kong’s actors and singers are embedded in the sidewalks of Kowloon’s promenade: Jackie Chan and Jet Li, Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung and many many others. They are all a famous people, but I admit, there were a lot of Chinese names, that we saw for the first time in our life. At the beginning of the Avenue stands life-size statue of kung fu action legend Bruce Lee. We couldn’t resist to take a photo there.

On the other side of Victoria Harbour we saw the famous skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, it’s probably best scenic spot in the city. Each night all the skyscrapers come to life with an incredible lase and light show.

Oh yes, and don’t forget to visit the Starbucks, which is nicely located on the promenade with view on the harbour.

Ladies’ Market

Almost every travel guide advises you to visit the Ladies’ Market for cheap shopping. It may be indeed an interesting experience. It is a long street full of many things, sometimes, if not to say “mostly”, of a very low quality. But here you can find very beautiful traditional Chinese souvenirs and test your bargain muscles. On the sides of the street behind a market stalls we’ve found many good small restaurants of different kinds of food (Japanese, Korean, Chinese etc.). They are cheap and really delicious. So if you are tired of shopping, you allays can escape to one of them.

The culture shock… again.

When we crossed the border again, back to mainland, our friend – “culture shock” waited for us there. It is hard to describe this feeling. It felt like we left the organized, clean, silent house and stepped right into the noisy market, full of smells of bad cigarettes, toilets and dust. At this moment we felt how strong is still the difference between life in Hong Kong and mainland China.

It came to my attention recently that a few travellers have had problems and issues getting visas for China. Everyone wants to visit the world’s most populated country so I’m here with my latest visa advice for China!! I’m heading to China again soon for my 6th visit and I want to explain an easy and simple way for you travellers to get your China Visa – it’s easy! All you need to do is… get yourself to HONG KONG!

In terms of defining a country, as far as I’m concerned Hong Kong is one. It has its own currency, flag, visa regulations and national football team. It was also British for a while, and that ended back in 1997. These days, lots of nationalities can get to Hong Kong without a Visa. You will get a stamp on arrival at the airport. If you arrive on a UK passport you can stay for 180 days no problem! A lot of nationalities also get a 90 day entry stamp – check with your embassy.

Hong Kong borders China, and there are about 5-6 different border entry points. I have passed through 4 of them in the last 12 months. But before you get there you will need a valid China Visa, unless you are Chinese or a nationality that doesn’t require one (possibly Cuba or other ‘Communist’ countries – check with your embassy).

There are literally hundreds of places in Hong Kong to get a China Visa and as far as I can tell, being in Hong Kong is by far and away the easiest and best way to get your visa for China, outside your home country, which as global nomads we are scarcely in.

So in Hong Kong… if you walk around Tsim Sha Tsui (particularly near the notorious Chung King Mansions on Nathan Road) people will just shout “China visa” at you and certainly they will sort you out very easily with a China Visa but most likely they will charge for the service and get you a single entry visa only. These guys that roam the streets of TST selling visas and the like are good if you need one quickly – make sure everything is valid when you’re with them – office, proper forms etc. (the form on the photo below is the front page of the current real China Visa Application). But you’re better to find an agency yourself, read on…
These days, I get double or multiple entry visas for China. But my first ever China Visa was a single entry, so do that for starters unless you are planning two trips. So where should I get the Visa done? Well as I mentioned there are countless agencies that do them in Hong Kong (and although it might be cheaper to go to the Embassy – DON’T). Use an agency. You’ll get your Visa easily, no problem, on time and can collect even after normal closing hours. They will even help you fill in the form and if you don’t have the things you need they will tell you what to do. These agencies often open all day Saturday, weekday nights and some even a half or part day Sunday. Yes, I know agencies charge a bit more and I’m a budget traveller but I also believe that “time is money” and these agencies are fast and helpful so they save you time. An agency I have used recently is and recommend is: China Travel Service (Hong Kong)

I recommend it – they have a lot of branches but believe me just turn up in Tsim Sha Tsui or Mong Kok and wander round the streets and you will see a place doing China Visas.

The link above contains all the information you will need, but I’ll shorten it for you here to make it easy, these are the things you need:

1. A valid passport with more than 6 months and 2 empty pages left in it

2. One passport photo

3. A completed Application Form, the key points are:

– They will ask for entrance point – always put Shenzhen as that way they know you are crossing the border on foot – which you will do if you go HK – China. I’ve always put Shenzhen. Thousands of tourists and business travellers pass the Hong Kong to Shenzhen border every day.

– They will ask for for expected date of travel – just make this up if you don’t know when you are heading – you will have three months (I think) from the date printed on the visa to enter. No big deal this question.

– There is a section for hotel/where you are staying. I normally just write a hotel name in the city I’m visiting on that trip, or write – staying with friends. On none of my 4 recent trips have I actually stayed in the place I wrote on the form. They never check. If they do then you will need to book a hostel or hotel online and print it to show them (I’ve never heard of this actually happening though).

– Do you have Medical Insurance? Just write ‘No’ in the box. Trust me!

– Type of Visa – I advise if this is your first time to get a SINGLE ENTRY. It’s no risk as there is a slight chance that they may not give you a DOUBLE ENTRY straight away. Once you have your single or double entries, next up apply for a multiple entry (I’m lucky at present that I have a valid HK ID card so a multiple entry is no problem)

4. Payment (this varies depending on nationality – a single entry can be between 350 – 500 Hong Kong Dollars (less than £40 or $50 US)

5. Attend in person to hand in the form and voila!!

You also have the option of collecting it in a rush in ONE working day (for an extra cost), 2-3 working days (extra cost) or just what I do – regular 4 – 7 working days (the normal price).

SO there you have it folks! It’s easy to get a China Visa in Hong Kong. What are you waiting for? Get out there and see it!! China is an amazing country and to be honest it’s one you should never neglect. I’ve been 6 times and counting! Here’s 3 top photo highlights so far to get you in the mood to do China!!

Globalization has led to a seemingly endless trend of migration of people around the world. This includes the international movement of highly skilled workers, including specialists, researchers, business executives, managers and intra-company transferees.

Much of the motivation on the part of these professionals is the allure of the economic opportunities abroad that are greater than those available in their home countries. As a result of this migration dynamic, the countries on the receiving end of the movement of these people experience the benefits of innovation stimulation, a greater pool of skilled human capital and the exchange of intellectual dynamism. These migrants also bring new money into the country with them.

Consequently, the national immigration agencies of developed economies find themselves in a battle to attract talent to their shores and have implemented migration programmes which facilitate the admission of these skills into their countries. This includes making it much easier for foreign students to remain behind upon the completion of their formal education and take up employment or establishes or join in businesses.

Hong Kong is no exception. In the 2003 Report of the Task Force on Population it was stated that “Hong Kong must have the capacity to draw on the best and the brightest in the region and world-wide, including the populous and fast-developing Mainland”.

In the Chief Executive’s 2005 Policy Address, Mr Donald Tsang made it very clear:

“Like other world cities, Hong Kong must attract talent from around the world… the larger the pool of talent, the easier it is for a place to attract investment, thereby promoting economic development and increasing employment”.

This notwithstanding, Hong Kong has a number of “pull factors” which work to entice the highly skilled, well educated and consummately professional to live and settle in the HKSAR. These include excellent employment opportunities, good pay, a low tax rate and relatively simple and efficient visa application procedures. Geography, climate and cuisine also play a part too! Moreover, Hong Kong has world class telecommunications, easy travel, excellent security and long-established racial tolerance.

Admission of highly skilled immigrants has always been part of the fabric of Hong Kong society. Whilst the dynamic towards Mainland talent has, obviously, developed positively since 1997 under the One Country, Two Systems arrangements of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the immigration policy on entry for employment of foreign professionals, which is known as the General Employment Policy, has been in place for more than half a century.

Employment visas are issued to professionals “who possess special skills, knowledge, or experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong”. Investment visas are issued to those who are in a position to make a “substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong”. “Quality Migrants” and “Mainland Talents and Professionals” each have their own immigration programmes designed specifically with them in mind. Moreover, anyone graduating from a Hong Kong tertiary education institute is now effectively granted an employment visa post graduation almost as ‘of right’ under the “Immigration Arrangements for Non-Local Graduates”.

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