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Moving to Hong Kong: An Important Relocation Checklist

The expat community thrives here in Hong Kong, with a vibrant social scene that rivals heavyweights like New York and London. Moving to Hong Kong is growing in popularity. We have come up with some key questions asked before you make the move, around working and living in Hong Kong.

“Is it easy to get settled in in Hong Kong?”

Finding the home that suits you is relatively straight-forward, if you know where to look. There are plenty of options around to suit expat needs. Hong Kong Island provides a central location but can be astronomically expensive. Trying further away from Central on HK Island or Kowloon will give you better prices, and more space.

Using a flatshare site like EasyRoomMate can save you significant amount time and money when looking for your first home in Hong Kong. This is also a great way to make new friends when relocating.

Many expatriates begin their move to Hong Kong living in short term accommodation. The cost of this is significantly higher – expect to pay $10,000 to $20,000 for a small apartment.  Some providers, such as comparison site Move and Stay, offer more affordable short term accommodation options.

IKEA and plenty of other furniture options are at your disposal, for those that want to get decorate their new home.

Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to look around. Read our where to live guide for more.

“Does Hong Kong induce culture shock?”

Because of Hong Kong’s mixed East/West history and present, culture shock is not as present an issue as many places in the East. Those who live in Hong Kong have the unique option to embrace as opulent a Western lifestyle as they like, or on the other hand adopt as much of the rich local culture on offer. You just need to know where to go.

“What is the primary culture difference when doing business in Hong Kong?”

Guanxi, or the development of interpersonal relationships is still very important in Hong Kong- even today. The exchange of business cards is an integral part of the business process and is seen as an exchange of gifts- especially amongst the Chinese. It may be taken as an offence if you do not provide a business card in exchange for your acquaintance’s card.

In general, as long as one holds an acceptable level of respect then there is little to be concerned about on a business level.

“How do I find a Job in HK?”

Hong Kong is a great place to move to.

The Hong Kong Government is looking at ways to get foreign talent to live and work in Hong Kong

There are many routes to finding work here. Consult are working guide to discover more on finding a job in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Government has outlined a shortfall in skilled employment, predicted to be 14,000 by 2018. With this on the horizon, attracting foreign talent has become a priority for Hong Kong, especially with rival Singapore progressing as rapidly as it is.

“How simple is the visa process?”

The visa application process is generally quite straightforward and your employer will normally take care of most of the heavy lifting. Find out more about visas and immigration in Hong Kong.

“Is there anything I should bring that Hong Kong doesn’t have?”

Hong Kong is likely to have just about everything that your home country has. The shopping opportunities are endless here. All of the high street favourites are here including H&M, IKEA, Zara – and about every designer imaginable!

“Will I make a good living here?”

The standard of living in Hong Kong is generally pretty high for most. Salaries will tend to be a little lower in most cases than salaries in European or American hubs, but you will pay significantly less tax in Hong Kong. This means that although your salary offer is lower, you may end up having substantially higher disposable income than elsewhere. Read our income tax guide for more.

4 Responses to Moving to Hong Kong: An Important Relocation Checklist

  1. Jess April 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Really good article, I especially found the information about accommodation useful, as have been a bit worried about it. I realise, as in many big cities, that it might be a bit pricey, but at least I will arrive to Hong Kong prepared.

  2. William April 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Great article, very informative. Thanks for sharing! Will

  3. Nathan May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Is there any US based organization that help people with visa’s, job hunting and finding an apartment? And is a job specialization required to enter Hong Kong because i don’t have one. All i have is a high school diploma and five years of working at a Walmart. Also does any one know anything about the taoist temples that are in Hong Kong?

  4. Geofoodie May 28, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    This information is useful and important, but I might add puts a very positive spin on things. It can be quite difficult for trailing spouses to find employment in their chosen career. People need to be realistic about this aspect of expat life.

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