Chess Blog

Moving to Hong Kong

Furniture stores are limited

Unlike in Australia, where it seems there's a homewares store on every street corner, Hong Kong isn't known for it's mid-range furniture and even an IKEA can be difficult to locate. While it may be tempting to leave large items like couches and dining tables behind in Australia, many expats highly recommend bringing these big ticket items with you, as you'll be stretched to find anything as good as what's available in Australia for the same price.

Language lessons are essential

While most people speak English, having some Cantonese in your back pocket will come in handy at small restaurants, corner stores and even on public transport. Consider picking up lessons a few months before your move, as you'll find it easier to adjust when you arrive already knowing a phrase or two. We reckon as long as you can order dumplings and a bowl of noodles, then what else do you really need to know?

You'll need to have a job lined up

Unfortunately, moving to Hong Kong without a job waiting for you is nearly impossible, so make sure you've secured work for yourself in a field where you've got relevant qualifications. Your employer will need to submit an application to the government with your salary, remuneration package and other details and you'll only be eligible to resign contracts for up to two years at a time. Sadly, that means Hong Kong isn't the place to reinvent yourself.

Get a Hong Kong identity card

Your first port of call when you arrive in Hong Kong should be securing an identity card, which will make it far easier to navigate the government systems and even private institutions. Without an identity card, you can't open a bank account, obtain a driver's license or even secure electricity for your new apartment. It's free to get, but appointments can take up to a month to secure, so get in early!

You may not need a new bank account!

Some Australian banks, including Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB and Westpac have branches in Hong Kong, making the transition with your money a breeze. Popping into your local branch in Australia before you leave will help you sort out how to access your money through their Hong Kong branches and ATMs. If you're not with one of these banks, ask your bank about any relationships they may have with Hong Kong branches as most major banks are affiliated with at least one Hong Kong bank.

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