As a Brit, I was perhaps guilty of taking the good fortune
of being an expat in Hong Kong for granted: I latterly discovered that
many similarly ambitious, and undoubtedly far more talented,
professionals from Mainland China cannot simply apply for a work permit
by virtue of finding a willing employer.
However, not all hope is lost…
the pragmatist, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”)
government has taken a pro-active approach to entice high calibre
Mainland Chinese to relocate to Hong Kong through various immigration
schemes, namely Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals
(“ASMTP”), Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (“QMAS”) and the Immigration
Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (“IANG”).
and QMAS aim to attract qualified professionals or highly
skilled/talented individuals from the Mainland as well as overseas for
QMAS to work or settle in Hong Kong,
whilst the IANG scheme targets non-local graduates who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited local programme in Hong Kong.
isolated incidents, which have been widely publicised on both
mainstream and social media, may lead you to believe the contrary. But
in fact Hong Kong continues to be a top choice for PRC talents who are
seeking employment opportunities elsewhere, and for good reason. The
existence of these schemes is a further demonstration that the HKSAR
government is staying true to its meritocratic roots.
Now, let’s look into these schemes in turn:
The ASMTP welcomes Mainland
Chinese nationals who are not graduates of a local Hong Kong university
but possess special skills, knowledge or experience not readily
available in Hong Kong. This scheme is quota-free and non-sector specific.
Application process: An application may be considered favourably if
the applicant meets the assessment criteria, including having obtained a
relevant first degree with related professional experience, and the
remuneration package is broadly commensurate with the market level. However, the Hong Kong Immigration Department (“ID”) ha srecently
tightened the assessment under this scheme and applicants and sponsor
(employer) are advised to provide adequate supporting documents so as to
demonstrate to the ID
that there is a genuine job vacancy and that the applicant’s related academic background as well as working experience are indeed unavailable locally.
Timing: Approximately four to six weeks after application submission,
provided that no additional information/documents is subsequently
requested by the ID.
Uponapproval, the applicant will be granted an initial stay of up to 24 months which may be extended.
Change of employment: This scheme is employer specific and the
applicant must seek prior approval from the ID if he/she
plans to changee mployment.
The IANG scheme aims
to attract foreign and Mainland Chinese students who have
obtained an undergraduate o rhigher qualification in afull-time and locally-accredited local programme to
stay/return and work in Hong Kong. This scheme is also quota-free.
Non-local new graduates: Applicants who submit the application within
six months after their graduation date are not required to secure an
offer of employment upon application.
Returning non-local graduates: Applicants who submit applications after
six months of date of graduation) are required to secure an offer of
employment upon application. Their applications will be favourably
considered so long as the job is at a level commonly taken up by degree
holders and the remuneration package is set at market level.
Timing: It takes approximately two weeks for non-local new graduates and
four weeks for returning non-local graduates; however, the actual
processing times by the ID can be longer during summer graduation season,
namely June to September.
Upon approval, the applicant will be granted an initial stay of 12 months which may be extended.
Change of employment: An IANG visa holder can take up and change
employment without the need to seek prior approval from the ID during
the visa validity period.
these schemes, only QMAS is a quota-based scheme. This scheme aims to
attract highly skilled or talented Mainland and overseas Chinese as well
as foreign nationals to settle in Hong Kong.
Application process: Each applicant needs to fulfil the prerequisites
before they can be awarded points under one of the two points-based
tests (“General Points Test” and “Achievement-based Points Tests”) and
before they can enter the selection exercise to compete for a quota
allocation with other applicants.
Timing: Lengthier processing time: applicants who do not receive refusal
notifications from the ID can view their applications as still in
progress. Applicants successfully admitted under this scheme will
normally be granted an initial stay of two years for the General Points
Test which may be extended and eight years for the Achievement-based
Entry and stay: The applicant can enter Hong Kong for employment and
stay, even without an offer of local employment in advance.
A Few Considerations
nationals of the aforesaid schemes residing in the Mainland at the time
of visa issuance, must apply for an Exit-Entry Permit for travelling to
and from Hong Kong and Macao (“EEP”),and a relevant exit endorsement
from the Public Security Bureau office in China where his/her household
registration is kept prior to travelling to Hong Kong to commence
successful non-local new graduates under the IANG scheme residing in
Hong Kong at the time of visa issuance, should be in possession of a
valid EEP and may apply to extend his/her exit endorsement from the
China Travel Service in Hong Kong.
For more information, please contact us.
See the original blog on Fragomen website (https://www.fragomen.com/knowledge-center/articles/opportunities-challenges-prc-nationals-seeking-work-hong-kong)
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