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【Hong Kong Immigration】 To grab talents, grab enterprises, the Top Talent Pass Scheme is now accepting applications

The Government announced a number of measures to “grab talents, grab enterprises”, among which the “Top Talent Pass Scheme ” to attract high skilled talents or graduates of the world’s top 100 universities has recently started accepting applications, and the online platform of the ” Hong Kong Talent Engage “, initially operated by the Labor and Welfare Bureau, and linked to the Immigration Department system, which can be submitted electronically.

Aiming to attract 35,000 talents to Hong Kong every year in the next three years

The Government is confident that it will meet the target of bringing in at least 35,000 talent expected to stay for at least 12 months annually through various talent entry schemes, with a rough estimate of a total of over 100,000, plus 50,000 local university graduates per year. There will be 150,000 people in 3 years, a total of 250,000, which is believed to be enough to make up for the 140,000 lost in the past.

Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS)

The Top Talent Pass Scheme aims to attract high skilled talents from around the world with rich working experience and higher education to explore opportunities in Hong Kong. These high skilled talents need not have to have already found employment in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the time of application. They are granted permission to stay in Hong Kong for 24 months without other conditions of stay as long as they meet the general entry requirements.

Applicants can choose one of the following categories to apply for the Top Talent Pass Scheme.

– Persons with annual income of HK$2.5 million or above (or equivalent in foreign currency) in the year immediately preceding the  application (Type A application);

– Bachelor’s degree from a top 100 global university and have accumulated at least three years of work experience in the five years immediately preceding the application (Type B application);

– Bachelor’s degree from a Global Top 100 University within five years immediately preceding the application but less than three years of work experience (Type C application); Such applications are subject to an annual quota and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, Type C applications are not applicable to non-local students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a full-time locally accredited programme in the HKSAR.

Graduates from the world's top 100 universities can also apply

There is no limit for more than 3 years of experience in the past 5 years, and 10,000 for recent graduates with less than 3 years of experience. Counting the universities that have been listed in the ranking in the past five years, a total of 176 universities are eligible, 9 are from the Mainland and 5 are local institutions, and the government will only recognise undergraduate students at present. In addition, the Scheme for Returning Non-local Graduates to Hong Kong for Employment will be extended to the GBA campuses, and the arrangements will be applicable to HKUST, CUHK and HKBU.

Accelerated approval process for various talent plans

Completing the documents within four weeks after the submission of the documents is a clear service pledge and reassuring talents from all over the world, while the existing talent scheme allows spouses and unmarried children under the age of 18 to come to Hong Kong at the same time, and the authorities have also optimized the visa period.

Under the Top Talent Pass Scheme and the Arrangement for Non-local Graduates to Remain in Hong Kong and Return to Hong Kong for Employment, the first visa will be for 2 years; Under the general employment policy, the Mainland Talent Scheme and the Gifted Talent Scheme require a 3-year first-time visa and a 6-year second visa if the annual salary in Hong Kong exceeds $2 million.

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

Professionals from the Mainland who are interested to work in Hong Kong may apply under the ASMTP which has no sector restriction. Key requirements include -

  • Secured a job relevant to his/her academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce
  • Remuneration package is commensurate with the prevailing market rate
  • Good education background, technical qualifications or proven professional experience
  • Relaxing the pattern of limit of stay from “2+3+3” years to “3+3+2” years
  • Relaxing the eligibility criteria such that employers are not required to provide proof to substantiate their difficulties in local recruitment in making applications for talent admission if the posts offered fall under the 13 professions with shortage of local supply as listed in the Talent List or the vacancies on offer are with an annual salary (total remuneration package including other fringe benefits such as housing allowance) of HK$2 million or above

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)

Highly skilled or talented individuals who have not yet secured a job offer in Hong Kong but are interested to settle and work in Hong Kong may apply under the QMAS which has no sector restriction. There are two points-based tests under the scheme –

  • General Points Test (GPT)for highly skilled or talented personsAssessment factors: age, academic/professional qualifications, work experience, talent list, language proficiency, family background
  • Achievement-based Points Test (APT)for talent with outstanding achievements (e.g. recipients of Olympic medal, Nobel prize, national/international awards)
  • Suspend the annual quota for a period of two years with effect from 1 January 2023
  • Improve the approval process to attract more world-class talents to relocate to Hong Kong
  • Relaxing the pattern of limit of stay for GPT entrants from “2+3+3” years to “3+3+2” years
  • Bonus points for work experience in multi-national companies (MNCs) or reputable enterprises under GPT



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