February 02, 2023

Hong Kong Expands Pilot Scheme to Facilitate Short-term Visitors without Needing an Employment Visa


The Pilot Scheme on Immigration Facilitation for Visitors Participating in Short-term Activities in Designated Sectors (the Scheme) has been expanded to cover two new designated sectors and 50 authorised host organisations with effect from 1 February 2023. 

Under the Scheme, eligible visitors will not need to apply for an employment visa/entry permit to undertake specified short-term activities in Hong Kong. The duration of participation in the specified short-term activities is up to 14 consecutive calendar days, counting from the day when the eligible visitor starts to participate in the specified short-term activity, for each period of permitted stay as a visitor (i.e. upon each arrival in Hong Kong). 

There is no cap on the number of designated short-term activities the eligible visitors may participate in during the 14-day period.

Who are Eligible Visitors?

Eligible visitors include:

  1. nationals of countries who may visit Hong Kong visa-free (visa-free nationals);
  2. persons who require a visa or entry permit to enter Hong Kong for visit; and 
  3. Mainland, Macao and Taiwan residents.

If the eligible visitors are not visa-free nationals, they must obtain visit visas/entry permits before coming to the HKSAR.

If the eligible visitors are Mainland residents, they are required to apply for travel documents and exit endorsements corresponding to their nature of coming to Hong Kong from the relevant Mainland authorities in accordance with the prevailing requirements.

The above participants must be endorsed by the authorised host organisations by way of invitation letters.

What are Invitation Letters?

Invitation letters should be issued by authorised host organisations to eligible visitors, specifying the scope of the specified short-term activities and the role of the eligible visitors.

Invitation letters should not be treated as:

  • guarantee that the eligible visitors' application for visit visa or entry permit (if applicable) will be approved;
  • visa or entry permit letters issued by the Immigration Department for entering into Hong Kong; and 
  • guarantee that the eligible visitor will be granted permission to land in Hong Kong. 

All eligible visitors are subject to immigration examination on arrival in Hong Kong and will need to meet the criteria for entry for visit and other normal immigration requirements.

What are the Designated Sectors?

The 12 designated sectors include:

  • Medical and healthcare
  • Higher education
  • Arts and culture
  • Sports
  • Heritage
  • Creative industries
  • Innovation and technology
  • The Hong Kong Laureate Forum
  • Aviation
  • International/mega events
  • Finance* 
  • Development and Construction*

* Additional sectors with effect from 1 February 2023. 

Who are the Authorised Host Organisations? The list of authorised host organisations and scope of facilitation under the Scheme can be found here, and may be subject to change from time to time. 
Duration of the Scheme Two years from 1 June 2022. 


See here for the government's press release on the expanded scope of facilitation and here for the Immigration Department's website with details of the Scheme. 

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