Moving to Hong Kong Checklist

Moving to Hong Kong, one of the world’s most exciting and modern cities, can be really exciting and life-changing. Surely, you know some information about this place, like it’s a modern technology place with Chinese spirit and multi-cultural environment, but if you’re going to live and work there, you may want to make a small checklist. Some questions like – what are visa requirements, where should I live, where can I get moving services, or will I have to learn Chinese, should be answered and put on your checklist before you move. But, don’t be nervous, we’ve prepared some answers for you, so take some time and get useful information! 

moving to hong kong street view
Are you used to big apartments? Well, they are rare in Hong Kong. If you still want to rent a big one, prepare for big prices too.

Prepare your visa and work permits

Moving to Hong Kong must be very exciting! But don’t lose yourself in that euphoric mood. Think about the important things that await you. And among them, the most important is – visa. Before applying for a visa, check if your passport is valid. The process of getting a visa might last several months, so plan everything ahead of time. Don’t leave everything for the last day. You may wonder – what are Hong Kong visa requirements? Before relocating to Hong Kong, it’s highly recommended to take the early application.

If you want to work in Hong Kong, both you and your employer will have to complete application forms to obtain a visa. You need only one visa per household, so this means, that if you have a partner, he/she will be able to go with you, without applying for another visa. If you get the Hong Kong visa, the second most important thing is that you will have to register for a smart identity card. Once you go there, you will need to take immigration information that confirms your identity. Things like e-Certificates can be used for online identity verification. There is no fee to obtain an ID card which is great but make sure you take it all the time with you.  

Choose the area that fits your budget

Hong Kong is big. Really big. And not all areas offer the same accommodation and prices. If you want to find an area that fits your budget, you can check prices on smartphone applications, because people in Hong Kong are finding and buying almost everything online. So, before moving to Hong Kong, here are some info about its districts. Consider them before hiring a Hong Kong moving company to relocate you to your new home.

Hong Kong is divided into 3 parts: New Territories, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong island the historical and economic center and most expensive part of renting an apartment. But besides that fact, most expats actually live there. If you want something more affordable, think about living in Kowloon or New Territories. You can find bigger apartments, lower prices and you can have the luxury to own a car! One more thing, Kowloon is cheaper than HK Island and you can feel the real Asian spirit! 

People looking at documents.
Early applying for the visa is highly recommended and the cost is HK$190 per visa.

Pick the right type of housing for you.  

If you’re thinking about relocating to Hong Kong, housing is one of the most important things to consider. As Hong Kong is a multi-cultural city with a population of over 7,448,900, you can find various types of housing and accommodation. And of course the competitive market. Most expats live in apartments in Hong Kong Island, where the average rent is about $5600 per month for a bigger apartment in the center of the city. But if this is too much for your budget – you can share rent with a roommate. Sharing is very popular in Hong Kong when it’s about housing.  

Hong Kong skyscraper
Best tip for all of you to consider is trying to learn Chinese as soon as possible!

Before moving to Hong Kong, you may want to know one of the biggest complaints about Hong Kong renting is that apartments are often too small. So, you can’t compare a small apartment in America and a small apartment in Hong Kong. A most common type of apartments are Chinese-style apartments, new apartments, residential complex, mansions, and forget about big apartments that fit every budget. Small and expensive apartments are a normal thing in Hong Kong.

If you want to experience Chinese spirit try some of the apartments in a Chinese style, located  along the harbor side of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. New apartments blocks are made in the 1990s and they’re like standard housing in Hong Kong. You can find them at good prices, besides they look luxurious with swimming pools and gyms. 

Moving to Hong Kong: Get some healthcare info

One of the most important things when it comes to relocating to Hong Kong is healthcare information. Lucky for you, the healthcare system in Hong Kong is really affordable and accessible to anyone, which is great for expats. Here, we speak about both private and public healthcare systems. The government of Hong Kong offers low-cost healthcare services that fit every budget. So, as long as you have a valid visa and ID card, you can get healthcare services.

Before moving to Hong Kong, you can do what most expats decide to do – to get private health insurance. With insurance like this, you can get multi-lingual stuff and cut waiting times. But, the thing we surely recommend – you should visit your dentist before moving. In Hong Kong, only students and civil servants can get free dental care. So, you will need private insurance.  

 Try learning Chinese

Moving to Hong Kong as a native English speaker is of great help, but knowing some Chinese is a big plus! Have you thought of learning Chinese? You can even practice it with your international movers when to come to pick up your items. Although Chinese is considered one of the hardest languages to learn in the world, nothing is impossible if you have the will. The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, but Hong Kongers speak Cantonese. It’s a southern dialect of Chinese originating in the Guangdong region. While Mandarin the official dialect of China, is used through the country for government communication. So, if you want to speak Chinese in Hong Kong, start learning Cantonese, because citizens won’t be able to understand you. 

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I was hoping to avoid the struggles of having to relocate altogether, but with ReloSmart Movers by my side, I’m glad I didn’t. The team did an incredible job – they arrived on time and handled everything perfectly!

David R.