Overview of Hong Kong Working & Investment Visas | Zebra Strategic Outsource Solution ltd

Overview of Hong Kong Working & Investment Visas

 

Acquiring working or investment visas in Hong Kong is notoriously hard as the city regularly fills opportunities with local experts. Yet, a proper and comprehensive investigation will help you to demonstrate that your employees are well-qualified for the job. And most importantly, the visa application handled within the city is free, which could be an advantage for scores of companies. In this article, you will find a handful of information helping you to apply for it for your business.

 

Six 6 types of Employment/ Investment Visas

There are six types of employment and investment visas in Hong Kong in total. Keep reading to find out the most suitable visa for your company.

 
 

(1) General Employment Policy (GEP)

Objectives

The GEP is a non-sector specific scheme for applicants who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and are not readily available in the HKSAR. This entry arrangement does not include Mainland Chinese residents, nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

Criteria

Factors favorable to the application of visas under the GEP:

  • No security objection
  • No known record of serious crime
  • A good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field OR in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence
  • A genuine job vacancy
  • A confirmed employment offer in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce
  • The remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR.

Overseas Chinese nationals holding People's Republic of China passports who meet the criteria stipulated above and normal immigration requirements may apply to enter the HKSAR for employment under the GEP if the applicant has permanent residence overseas; or the applicant has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application and that the application is submitted from overseas.

Quota

Quota-free 

Permanent Residence Eligibility

Persons admitted under the GEP who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

 
 

(2) Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)

people at Forbidden City in China during daytimeObjectives

The ASMTP is a non-sector specific scheme for Chinese residents of the Mainland of China applicants who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in the HKSAR.

 

Criteria

Factors favourable to the application of visas under the ASMTP:

  • No security objection
  • No known record of serious crime
  • A good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field OR in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence
  • A genuine job vacancy
  • A confirmed employment offer in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce
  • The remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR.

Quota

Quota-free

Permanent Residence Eligibility

Persons admitted under the ASMTP who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

 
 

(3) Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

Objectives

TechTAS provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible companies to admit non-local technology talent to undertake research and development (R&D) work for them in the HKSAR. It also has to fulfill the requirement to employ new local employees in technology-related work. This entry arrangement does not include nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

Criteria

Factors favorable to the application of visas under the TechTAS:

  • No security objection 
  • No known record of serious crime 
  • A valid quota approved by ITC at the time of application held by the employing company
  • Full-time job offer in the employing company in the HKSAR
  • The applicant is engaged principally in conducting R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science, robotics, 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, Internet-of-Things or microelectronics;
  • The applicant is a degree-holder in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from a well-recognised university, which is among the top 100 universities for STEM-related subjects in the latest publication of any of the following world university ranking tables:

Ranking Tables

STEM-related Subjects

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)

-Engineering and Technology

-Life Sciences and Medicine

-Natural Sciences

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai Ranking)

-Life and Agriculture Sciences (LIFE)

-Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SCI)
-Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences (ENG)
-Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (MED)

Times Higher Education

-Engineering and Technology

-Computer Science

-Life Sciences

-Physical Sciences

-Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health

  • Work experience is not compulsory for those with a Master’s or Doctoral degree
  • The applicant with a Bachelor’s degree only should possess a minimum of one year of work experience in the relevant technology area. 
  • Persons not meeting the academic requirements but possessing good technical skills in specialty areas, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements can be considered on a case-by-case basis with full justifications. In such case, relevant documentary evidence should be provided
  • The applicant is offered remuneration not lower than the prevailing market level for comparable jobs in the HKSAR;
  • The applicant meets the specific particulars pertaining to the job position set out in the quota allotment letter issued by ITC; and
  • The bona fides of the employing company and the applicant are not in doubt.

Quota

Eligible companies would first have to apply for a quota. A company allotted with a quota by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) can accordingly sponsor an eligible person to apply for an employment visa/entry permit within the 12-month quota validity period.

Permanent Residence Eligibility

Persons admitted under the TechTAS who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

 
 

(4) Investment as Entrepreneurs

woman in black long sleeve shirt sitting on white chairObjectives

This scheme is for persons who wish to enter/stay in the HKSAR for investment as entrepreneurs under the General Employment Policy (GEP), i.e. to establish or join in business in the HKSAR. This entry arrangement does not include Mainland Chinese residents, nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

Criteria

Factors favourable to the application of visa/entry permit for investment as an entrepreneur:

  • No security objection 
  • No known record of serious crime
  • A good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field OR in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence
  • The applicant is in a position to make substantial contribution to the economy of the HKSAR, with consideration factors including, but not limited to, business plan, business turnover, financial resources, investment sum, number of jobs created locally and introduction of new technology or skills. 
    • Business Plan
      • An applicant who wishes to establish or join in business in Hong Kong should submit a two-year business plan stating the nature of the business, market analysis, market positioning, business direction, sales targets, product marketing strategy, etc. 
      • The applicant should also submit a two-year forecast of the profit-and-loss account statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet 
  • Business Turnover
    • If the applicant is running a relevant business overseas or has joined in a business in Hong Kong, he/she should submit the profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet showing the business turnover and profit in the previous year. 
    • Those who intend to establish a business in Hong Kong should submit a two-year forecast of profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet as mentioned above, including the anticipated business turnover.
  • Financial Resources
    • The applicant should submit statements of his/her personal and company bank accounts in the previous year and proof of other sources of funding, as well as the company’s latest audited financial report.
  • Investment Sum
    • The applicant should submit documentary proof showing the amount of capital investment in Hong Kong. 
  • Number of Jobs Created Locally
    • The applicant should set out the organisational structure of his/her business and the required number of staff and posts, based on the nature and scale of the business and indicate the number and level of actual jobs created locally.
  • Introduction of New Technology or Skills (if applicable)
    • The applicant should explain how the new technology or skills to be introduced can inspire creativity in the high-value-added industries in Hong Kong, and whether he/she has taken out the patent, contributing to the long-term development of Hong Kong as a knowledge-based economy.
  • Start-up Businesses
    • An applicant who wishes to establish or join a start-up business may also submit an application. It is favorable if the start-up business concerned is supported by a government-backed programme with a rigorous vetting and selection process, and the applicant is the proprietor or partner of the start-up company or a key researcher of the relevant project. 

Permanent Residence Eligibility

Persons admitted for investment who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

 
 

(5) Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES)

Objectives

The objective of the Scheme is to facilitate the entry for residence by capital investment entrants (the entrant), i.e. persons who make capital investment in Hong Kong but would not be engaged in the running of any business here. The entrant is allowed to make his choice of investments amongst permissible assets without the need to establish or join in a business.

Criteria

To qualify for admission under the Scheme, the entrant must :

  1. Be aged 18 or above when applying for entry
  2. Have net assets of not less than HK$10 million throughout the two years preceding his application
  3. Have invested within six months before submission of his application, or will invest within six months after the granting of approval in principle, not less than HK$10 million in permissible investment asset classes (except Certificates of Deposit which must be invested within the latter period) as detailed in "Permissible Investment Asset Classes";
  4. Have no adverse record both in Hong Kong and country/region of residence;
  5. Be able to demonstrate that he is capable of supporting and accommodating himself and his dependants, if any, on his own without relying on any return on the permissible investment assets, employment or public assistance in Hong Kong.
 
 

(6) Training

Objectives

This entry arrangement is for persons who wish to enter the HKSAR for a limited period (not more than 12 months) of training to acquire special skills and knowledge not available in the applicant's country/territory of domicile except nationals from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) and Nepal; and Chinese residents of the Mainland (other than Mainland employees and business associates of well-established and multinational companies based in Hong Kong).

 

Criteria

An application for a visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR for training may be favourably considered if:

  • The applicant has no security objection and no known record of serious crime
  • The bona fides of the applicant and the sponsoring company are satisfied;
  • The sponsoring company is a well-established company, capable of providing the proposed training;
  • There is a contract signed between the sponsoring company and the applicant;
  • The sponsoring company guarantees in writing the maintenance and repatriation of the applicant and that the applicant will receive training in the sponsor's premises until the end of the agreed period, after which the applicant will return to his/her place of residence
  • The proposed duration and content of the training programme can be justified.
 
 

How Zebra can Help You?

Zebra provides a full range of services from visa application to visa renewal for all individuals and family members who wish to stay and work in Hong Kong. Let Zebra takes care of all tedious works throughout the process. Just give us a call and we will update you on the application or renewal status anytime.

 
 
 
 

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