Visa for Hong Kong Visas for Hong Kong

Visas for Hong Kong: the different options available

There are a number of different options available for those who wish to obtain a visa to work in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). These range from working visas for professionals to visas for entrepreneurs and even for those with special talents. Let us take an in depth look at each type of visa and its requirements.

Contents

  • Visas for Hong Kong: the different options available
  • General Employment Policy (GEP) – Professionals
  • General Employment Policy – Entrepreneurs
  • Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)
  • Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)
  • Technology Talent Admission scheme (TechTAS)
  • Processing time
  • How INS can help you

General Employment Policy (GEP) – Professionals

This policy is applicable for residents from overseas, Taiwan and Macau. It however does not apply to mainland China passport holders, nor does it apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Nepal or Vietnam. Individuals who wish to work in Hong Kong can apply under the GEP across any available sector, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant has a clear criminal record and there is no security objection against them;
  • The applicant has a good educational background or in certain circumstances special technical qualifications or a proven track record of professional experience (supported through documentation);
  • The applicant has secured employment related to his/her field of expertise, work experience or academic qualifications;
  • There is an available job vacancy;
  • The compensation package, including income, medical, housing or any other benefit which may accrue is aligned with the standard market rate.

Chinese nationals who hold a People’s Republic of China passport who reside overseas and who wish to work in Hong Kong may apply for employment under the GEP if:

  • The applicant permanently resides overseas; or
  • The applicant has been residing in a country outside of the PRC for a continuous period of at least one year immediately before the application has been submitted and provided they submit the application from overseas.

General Employment Policy – Entrepreneurs

This policy is applicable for residents from overseas, Taiwan and Macau who intend on establishing or joining business activity in Hong Kong. Such persons may apply under ‘GEP for entrepreneurs’ provided they meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant has a good educational background or in certain circumstances special technical qualifications or a proven track record of professional experience (supported through documentation).
  • Such party is able to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong.

The special factors taken into consideration of each application are the following:

  • Business plan;
  • Initial sum of investment;
  • Introduction of new skills or technology;
  • Job creation;
  • Financial resources; and
  • Turnover.

Special consideration is granted to those entrepreneurs who wish to establish or join a start-up business supported by a government backed program.

Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)

The ASMTP is for professionals from the mainland who wish to work in Hong Kong. Under the ASMTP Chinese mainland residents can apply across any sector, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant has a good educational background or in certain circumstances special technical qualifications or a proven track record of professional experience (supported through documentation);
  • The applicant has secured employment related to his/her field of expertise, work experience or academic qualifications; and
  • The compensation package, including income, medical, housing or any other benefit which may accrue is aligned with the standard market rate.

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)

Individuals who are highly skilled or talented and who have not secured employment in Hong Kong but who are interested in the opportunity to work there may submit an application under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), with no restriction on any sector. Under this section there are 2 tests, both based on points, that an applicant may take;

  • General points test (GPT) – which is for highly skilled or talented persons. Under this test the relevant factors of assessment are the following:
    • Age;
    • Academic and/or professional qualifications;
    • Previous work experience;
    • Family background; and
    • Language proficiency.
  • Achievement based points test (APT): This is for talented individuals with previous achievements such as recipients of national/international awards or Nobel prize winners.

Technology Talent Admission scheme (TechTAS)

Under this scheme, talents in the technology industry may apply to work in the field of research & development (R&D) in Hong Kong under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS). The TechTAS is a three-year pilot program which enables Hong Kong based tech institutes/companies to apply for a quota and then acquire overseas talent to undertake R&D work for them. The institute/company who has received a quota from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) can sponsor an applicant to apply for an employment visa, within a six-month validity period.

The requirements for an application under the TechTAS are as follows:

  • A valid quota approved by the ITC, provided by the employing institute/company at the time of the application;
  • The applicant undertakes to primarily conduct R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, data analytics, biotechnology, financial technology or material science;
  • The applicant has graduated from a well-recognized university in the field of science, technology, engineering or math;
  • The compensation package the applicant is to receive is not lower than the standard market rate for similar jobs in Hong Kong; and
  • The applicant meets the specific parameters set out by the ITC, in the quota allotment letter, pertaining to the particular job position.

There are other Visa’s available, such as the ‘Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent residents (ASSG)’ or visas for family and dependents, which can be applied for if the particular case arises.

Processing time

In order to process the visa/entry permits it takes 4 weeks on average, however it can differentiate on a case to case basis. It is always recommended that you give yourself adequate time when applying for a new visa or extending your current visa.

How INS can help you

If you are interested in starting or expanding your business to Hong Kong, it could be a long and difficult process. Utilizing a PEO in Hong Kong, such as INS Global, could ensure a smooth, trouble free entry, allowing you to focus on the core of your business. For all your recruitment solutions under one roof.
Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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