Hong Kong Sideline Visa - How to work a second job on a work visa

Hong Kong Sideline Visa - How to work a second job on a work visa

If you are employed in Hong Kong on a work visa you may have wondered whether you are allowed to take up other employment on a part-time basis. The answer is yes, BUT ONLY upon approval by immigration for a visa which is referred to as a sideline visa and is an addition to your main work visa. I personally went through this process very recently and have succeeded in attaining one so I would like to make it easy for others to find the answers and advice that I sought out for myself across multiple websites. For whatever reason the Hong Kong government has chosen not to list it at all on their website as even being an option.

Q: If I am on a work visa in Hong Kong does that mean I can work part time for another company?
A: NO. Your work visa only allows you to work in Hong Kong for the company that sponsored your visa. However, you can apply for the sideline visa which is in addition to your regular work visa and allows you to take up part time work after approval from immigration.

Q: Does anyone in Hong Kong do part time jobs on the side illegally?
A: Absolutely, you will probably meet many people doing just that but you should know that you risk real consequences such as deportation or jail time if you are caught.

Q: Will Hong Kong Immigration approve me for a sideline visa?
A: Most likely, assuming you have approval from both companies and the positions are related. The normal rules for a work visa will still also apply in that you're not going to get a sideline visa for delivering pizza because a local can do that job already.

Q: Do I have to fill out the application form again even for a sideline visa?
A: Yes you must fill out another application form but this time write "Sideline" at the top of the form. Also, your original employer is still regarded as your sponsor.

Q: What happens if I cease employment at my main company? Will my part time work still be valid?
A: No, your part time work is linked to your work visa with your main employer and if that ceases then so too does your sideline employment.

Q: What documents are required?
#1. Completed Application form ID91. The exact same application form that you would use to renew your work visa along with the same supporting documents. The only difference will be that you will hand write "Sideline" at the top of the application form.
Supporting documents include:

  • "Original and photocopy of the applicant’s valid travel document and, where applicable, his/her previous travel document page showing the latest visa/entry permit label/arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR"
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s Hong Kong identity card

#2. A letter from your current company stating that they know and approve of you taking on sideline work with the following company and that they have no objections to it. They will want you to include the start and end dates of this employment so if you are in doubt then you can make it last as long as your current work visa.

#3. A letter or contract from your part time company which outlines your remuneration package and period of employment. Be careful about not putting a start date that is too early and also an end date that goes beyond your current work visa. While they may still go through with an open-ended one, know that they could use it as an excuse to deny you or make you alter the dates later anyways.

#4. Business Registration Certificate
This Certificate is from your part time company and they may or may not ask for you to produce this. I believe I was asked to produce this as the company I was doing the sideline work with was small and not well known. Whether you would want to include this at the beginning is up to you as I am not sure every applicant is required to do so.

Some extra tips that I had to learn the hard way:

  • Make sure the letters from each of your employers are written on company letterhead and look official. A typed up document with a signature at the bottom is not going to cut it.
  • There should be a contact name and number on each of the letters for immigration to contact if they need to.
  • Make sure your start and end dates are correct and do not conflict with the validity of your work visa.
  • Good luck!

I genuinely hope I will have helped at least one person by posting this short guide as it would have helped me immensely when I was beginning the process.

Below are some of the websites and forums I used as resources to help me along the way. 

Hong Kong Government Immigration Department, Visas

Geoexpat Forum posts

Hong Kong Visa Geeza

PLEASE do your own due diligence and double check to make sure any information posted here is correct before undertaking any decisions. Just because I have succeeded in applying for the sideline visa does not mean you will succeed and you should not expect me to be an authoritative voice on the matter. Also, this info was up to date as of January 2020 and may have changed by the time you read this.


  1. Hi there.
    How long it took you to get it approved ?

    thanks a lot

    1. Less than a month for my approval but I didn't write down the exact dates unfortunately. Hope something I wrote has helped a little.

  2. Hi, who should to apply for sideline visa?New employer or by yourself?

    1. Hi, I applied by myself but I think the company could also apply on your behalf if they wanted. They might not want to go through the process just for a part time position so most likely your responsibility.

  3. Thanks a lot! It really helps!

  4. Hi
    Once we have all the required documents ready, should we go to the immigration department directly? Or we should make an appointment beforehand?

    Thanks a lot

  5. Hi there,

    I have all the aforementioned documents ready to hand over to the immigration department. But should I make an appointment before I go there? Or I can go the department directly?

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Sorry for replying so late. I don't believe you can make an appointment for this and need to go there directly (I would suggest going before they even open in the morning to get a ticket).
      If you've already gone and submitted please let me know how it turned out. :)

  6. Hi! This post is so helpful :) Would I need the same type of visa if the part-time job is a freelance online job for a company based outside of Hong Kong? The job includes doing a few tasks online/month and is related to my main line of work (I work in education and the part-time job is creating materials online), but the employer is different than my main visa sponsor.

  7. Would you have info about starting a company under a sideline visa as a sole proprietor? Still get permission from visa holding employer but instead of working for another company start your own company as a second job?


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