What are the different types of internships?

Internships can be paid or unpaid and may take various forms:

  • Part-time during the term;
  • Full-time during the term (you have to apply for study leave in such situation);
  • Full-time during a winter or summer break.

Am I eligible to undertake study/curriculum-related internships, part-time on-campus employment and/or summer employment?

Non-local students (undergraduates or taught postgraduates) of full time and locally-accredited programs at degree level or above, whose study period is not less than one academic year, may take up study/curriculum-related internships, part-time on-campus employment or summer employment.

Students must have a valid No-Objection-Letter (NOL) issued by the HK Immigration Department before starting any job. In the case of internships, they must also obtain endorsement from the School Office.

The internship duration is capped at one year, or one-third of the normal duration of the program, whichever is shorter. Is the duration cumulative of all internships?

Yes, it is the cumulative duration of all internships undertaken.

What is HKUST Internship Network (iNet)?

iNet is an integrated internship platform managed by HKUST Career Center. It serves as a "one-stop shop" for internship-seeking HKUST students to gain access to internship opportunities spanning across HK, Mainland China and overseas countries just at their finger tips. You may visit https://career.ust.hk/web/home.php for more career support provided by university.

Where can I get more information about the "No Objection Letter" (NOL)?

You can find more information about NOL from the FAQ of the HK Immigration Department website (http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/faq_ipoe.htm#e), including whether the NOL is valid for your whole academic program, whether it will still be valid after switching to another program, or whether you will get a replacement NOL if the original one has been lost or damaged.

I have not been issued any NOL from the Immigration Department. Am I allowed to take up voluntary or charity work without pay?

This kind of work is outside the scope of the relaxed employment restrictions for non-local students. You should seek prior approval from the HK Immigration Department. Your application will be assessed and determined case-by-case based on individual merits.


Where can I get the "No Objection Letter" (NOL)?

Non-local regular students will receive a No-Objection Letter (NOL) together with their student visa label. It is a letter from the Immigration Department confirming eligibility to engage in part-time on-campus employment at the University and summer employment. It has the same validity period as a student visa. In case of loss, reapplication will be necessary.

To engage in curriculum-related internships, you need to seek endorsement from the program Office and apply for a separate NOL from the HK Immigration Department (if applicable). The curriculum-related internships can be for up to one academic year, or one-third of the normal duration of the relevant full-time academic program, whichever is shorter.

I got an internship offer. What should I do to seek endorsement from the University?

If the internship is to be done during a regular term or the winter break, you should fill out NLSE Form A, attach a copy of the internship offer letter, and seek endorsement from the school. You will be notified in writing if your application is endorsed.

Can I start working on the internship while applying for an NOL from the Immigration Department?

No. You can only start your internship after you have been issued the NOL by the HK Immigration Department.

How to apply for the NOL from the Immigration Department after receiving the endorsement from university?  

The application should be submitted (by fax or mail) to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section or the Extension Section of the Hong Kong Immigration Department as appropriate together with

  • the internship employment contract/ proof;
  • the supporting letter signed by the School's designated officer or the Office of Postgraduate Studies (for RPGs only);
  • a copy of the travel document.

If the application is successful, the Immigration Department will issue the NOL to you.

My internship duration is from May 1 to August 31. Can I count the period from June 1 to August 31 as summer employment?

If you are offered one single contract for this internship, the entire period will be counted towards the internship duration, although a significant portion of this internship is to be done during June 1 to August 31. Nevertheless, if your employer offers you two separate contracts and one of them covers the period from June 1 and August 31, that contract (covering the summer months) may be counted as summer employment.


Are there any restrictions for summer employment?

Eligible students holding a valid NOL for taking up summer employment can take up employment as long as it falls within June 1 to August 31, both days inclusive. There are no restrictions on work locations and hours.

As a non-local student on student visa, can I set up a company or join in any business during my study program?

Under Regulation 2(3) of the Immigration Regulations, Cap. 115A, you shall NOT establish or join in any business during your study program. Such regulation is also articulated clearly in the NOL  which you received together with your student visa label.

What should I watch out for while searching for summer employment?

Although HK is a very safe city, you should always be cautious and alert so that you will not fall into some employment traps. As advised in a letter from the Education Bureau, you should consider the nature of the job, assess whether you are capable of doing it, and be mindful of being trapped by unreasonably big pay cheques. If in doubt, you can talk to our staff at Career Center to seek an objective opinion before making a decision. You can also look for more tips from these websites:

Part-time, summer jobs and employment protection tips

The Labour Department's "Guide for Students Seeking Summer Jobs"

I have an internship offer that falls between June 1 and August 31. Can I count it as summer employment?

You have the choice of treating it as an internship or summer employment. By counting it as summer employment, this employment period will not be counted towards the cumulative duration of your internships, which is capped at one year or one-third of your program duration, whichever is shorter.

What documents are needed for IANG application?

Application for IANG is processed on request only. Eligible non-local students who wish to apply for the IANG scheme should bring along the following documents:

  • Completed application form ID990A
  • Proof of graduation, e.g. copy of transcript/letter from the university(showing mode of study: full-time)
  • Copy of HKID
  • Copy of travel document, showing personal particulars and the latest visa/permit label
  • Consent from record-keeping authority (for PRC students)

Application for IANG can be submitted in person or by post to:

Receipt and Dispatch Unit
Hong Kong Immigration Department
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

When and how should I apply for "Provisional Award Certification Letter" as proof of graduation for the subsequent IANG application?

Normally speaking, submission of grades will be completed by the end of June. Application for IANG is processed on request only. Once all grades are announced (usually available towards the end of June), non-local students who wish to apply for IANG should apply for "Provisional Award Certification letter" online at the websites of the Academic Records and Registration, Academic Registry Office. The letter will be available upon request before mid-July.

Non-local students may bring relevant documents including the Provisional Award Certification Letter to the Immigration Department to apply for IANG. This process normally takes 2 weeks.

How long will I be granted unconditional stay once my IANG application is approved by Immigration Department?

Unconditional stay granted by Immigration Department (ImmD) for IANG applicants is basically 12 months or up to the time when their travel documents expire, whichever is earlier. It means that if a fresh graduate's travel document is only valid for 6 months and his/her IANG application is approved, ImmD would only grant 6 months' unconditional stay and extension would be needed when the travel document is renewed.