Working in Hong Kong

-Academic Assessment and Registration with the Hong Kong Education Bureau
-Employment Visa
-Hong Kong Identity Card
-Medical Check-Up
-Police Record Check
-Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)
-Income Tax
Academic Assessment and Registration with the Hong Kong Education Bureau

As required by the HKSAR Education Ordinance, you must obtain approval from the Education Bureau (EDB) or Social Welfare Department to teach in any nurseries, kindergartens, primary or secondary schools in Hong Kong even if you are registered as a teacher in your home country.   Otherwise, you, as well as the school, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine and to imprisonment for 2 years.  

Before applying for registration, all non-local qualification holders must undergo a qualification assessment at the HK Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualification (HKCAAVQ). It is important that you have the following documents/ information which are required for assessment purpose. If any one of them is missing, please contact your school to obtain a copy:

  1. Passport Copy
  2. Graduation diploma(s) and official transcript(s) of all teacher training qualification(s);
  3. Documentary proof(s) of supervised teaching practice(s)/practicum issued by the granting body of the qualification with an official letterhead and stamp, including the following content:
  • the number of weeks and/or hours of the supervised teaching practice(s)/practicum;
  • the setting, i.e. kindergarten, primary or secondary schools, of the supervised teaching practice(s)/practicum;
  • the range(s)of age and grade of the students taught in the supervised teaching practices(s)/practicum (applicable to applicants who possess teacher training qualifications in pre-primary or primary education).
  1. Graduation diploma(s) and official transcript(s) of undergraduate and postgraduate qualification(s);
  2. If the document is written in a language other than English, a certified English translation must be provided complying with the following requirements:
  • the translation must be prepared by a notary office, a law firm, the relevant gaining body or consulate;
  • the translation must be on an official letterhead and bear the stamp or signature of the translator or translation service;
  • the translator must certify that the translation is a correct translation; and
  • the translation must not be prepared by the applicant, or any member of his/her family or any person interested in the outcome of the application.


The HKCAAVQ & EDB requires the above information to be EXPLICITLY spelled out (i.e. printed on a formal documentation) and MUST BE ORIGINAL, or CERTIFIED TRUE COPY.  Otherwise, you will NEVER be able to register as a teacher, and your application will continue to be on pending stage. The HKCAAVQ needs to verify all documents when collecting the assessment results. Please bring ALL ORIGINAL COPIES or *CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES of all submitted documents to Hong Kong.

*All CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES should be certified by a notary office, a law firm, the relevant granting body/bodies or consulate.

After successful assessment from the HKCAAVQ, you will be given a registration form required by the Hong Kong Education Bureau.  However, the form cannot be submitted until you obtain the Hong Kong Identity card.

Even though our Organisation is a privately-owned organisation, and our salary scale and appraisal system are tailor-made to our needs, our income is governed and approved by the EDB.  The Department judges and approves our income based on the qualifications of our teaching staff.  Therefore, the registration process is necessary and required for all the staff.

Employment Visa

If you are not holding a permanent HKID card or a dependent visa, you should arrive with a valid Employment Visa – it is technically illegal to arrive to work without one. It takes at least 2 months for processing at the HK Immigration Department. So you need to submit the application as early as possible. We will help you to go through the whole process. You need to complete Form ID990A with photo affixed. Then send the completed form (signed) to us with the following documents:

  1. Passport copy;
  2. Graduation diploma(s) and official transcript(s) of all your qualification(s);
  3. Reference letters or documentary proof of your working experiences. If you are working, reference letter from your current employer is a must.

If you are just graduated and have not yet received the diploma, a letter from your Dean stating you will complete and obtain the degree by June/July will be acceptable in supporting your application.  Please also include a copy of your practical teaching training.  This is viewed as a “reference letter”. 


Hong Kong Identity Card

One of your first errands in Hong Kong will be a visit to the Immigration Office (take the MTR to Wanchai station, and follow the signs). It opens during regular business hours, but you may have to arrive earlier to queue up to ensure that you can get in.  Anyone who enters Hong Kong with the intention of staying for more than 180 days must register for a Hong Kong Identity Card within 30 days of arrival.  You are required by law to carry your identity card (or your passport until you receive one) at all times.  You will be provided with information and an application form at the Immigration Office. 


Medical Check-Up

All new teachers must have a medical check-up and send the report to Human Resources Offcer by Email, fax or post before arrival. The check-up should include:

  1. Blood test for Complete Blood Count, Hepatitis B surface antigen & antibody.
  2. Urine test for Uric acid, Urinalysis & Microscopy
  3. Chest X-Ray (only Doctor’s report, no need to submit the hardcopy to the School)

Please request the doctor to certify you are fit for employment.


Police Record Check

The Sexual Conviction Record Check (SCRC) has been implemented by the Hong Kong Police on 1 December 2011. All our new employees who are recruited locally are requested to provide the record. You may browse at the following website for details and application of the record check

For the first-time Appointee from overseas, you should provide to the School a satisfactory police check/criminal records check which shall include a "police clearance certificate" (or such other document of the same legal value) issued by your place of residence in the five (5) years immediately before the Commencement Date to confirm that you has no criminal record.


Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)

It is a system of retirement protection. It is a statutory requirement under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (MPFSO) (Cap. 485) that all employees in Hong Kong have to enrol in an MPF scheme.

How much will I need to contribute to the MPF scheme?
The mandatory contribution rate for both the employer and the employee prescribed in the prevailing provisions of the MPFSO is 5% of the employee's income (excluding Special Allowance), subject to the maximum level of income of HK$30,000 per month.

Can I be exempt from the MPFSO?
An non Hong Kong Permanent Resident employee can be exempt from the provisions of the MPFSO under certain circumstances which include, inter alia, the following:

  • permission is given for the person to land or remain in Hong Kong for the purposes of employment under the conditions of stay imposed in accordance with section 11 of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115); and
  • the period during which the person is given permission to remain in Hong Kong does not exceed 13 months; or
  • the person is a member of a provident, pension, retirement or superannuation scheme established outside Hong Kong. (Such schemes include personal retirement scheme as well as national retirement scheme. It does not matter whether or not the member is making contributions to the overseas scheme when the person is employed in Hong Kong.)

Are the contributions made by an employee to a MPF scheme deductible under Salaries Tax?
Employee can claim a tax deduction under Salaries Tax for the mandatory contributions that he makes to a MPF scheme. The maximum amount deductible for each year of assessment is $18,000. However, any voluntary contributions made by him are not deductible.

In what currency will benefits be computed and paid?
Benefits will be computed and paid in Hong Kong Dollars.

When can I get the money contributed into the MPF?
Circumstances under which an employee is entitled to withdraw the total amount of accrued benefits in a lump sum are:

  • at the retirement age of 65
  • at the age of 60 or above on permanently ceasing employment or self-employment
  • on leaving Hong Kong permanently (with proof of permission to reside in another place) **
  • when suffering from total incapacity (medical certificate by a registered medical practitioner must be provided as proof)
  • at death
  • if there is a small balance of not exceeding HK$5000 (with no mandatory contributions required during the previous 12 months, no accrued benefits in any other registered scheme and no intention of any employment in the foreseeable future).

** you can only exercise this ONE time.  

How long does it take for me to receive my benefits derived from the MPF scheme once I notify the employer’s MPF trustee (as of 2015-16, AIA-JF is the school’s MPF trustee) about my permanent departure from Hong Kong?
According to our account representative, the process will take at least 1 month after you finished the employment (the last contribution) since AIA-JF must notify the MPFA about your departure and obtain their approval.  The cheque will be written in your name, and it will be in Hong Kong Dollars.  Currently, the AIA-JF only provides a free-of-charge service to send the cheque within Hong Kong.  Therefore, there will be a service charge for Telegraphic Transfer over to your oversea account.  Therefore, there will be a currency conversion (from HK$ to the currency of the country where your bank account is) during this transaction, plus the service fee you will be charged.


Income Tax

The income tax rate in Hong Kong is a progressive one. The highest tax rate is 17%. The school will not withhold the tax on your behalf. So, as a suggestion, put aside some money from your salary for your annual tax bill.

Salaries tax is levied on income resulting from employment in Hong Kong and includes wages, salary, leave pay and any fee, gratuity, or allowances. The tax year runs from April 1 to the following March 31. The school will NOT withhold any of your salary for this tax purpose. Your income will be assessed by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), and the Department will send you the details and request for payment schedule directly to your home address.

A requirement by the Inland Revenue’s Ordinance is that, the employeris required to submit an income tax report called the “Employer’s Return of Remuneration and Pension” for each of her employees to the IRD by the end of April each year. A copy of this report will be given to you for your reference.  Meanwhile, IRD will send you a form for completion.  You have one month in which to complete the Return.  Later in the year you will receive an assessment notice from the Inland Revenue Department giving the amount of tax you owe.Tax is payable in two instalments – 75% around January/February and 25% around March/April.After the first payment the Salaries Tax is levied in advance (Provisional Tax).

In conclusion, we strongly suggest that you set aside around 15%-20% of your monthly salary for such a purpose.  You are required to produce a receipt showing payment of your taxes before you are issued with your final pay cheque, upon leaving our employment.