HONG KONG: Plans to Compete for Foreign Talent

October 20, 2022

During his policy address on 19 October 2022, Chief Executive John Lee announced plans to attract business, investment, and talent to Hong Kong. There has been a workforce shortage in the country during the past two years, which the government aims to address while also growing local talent and bridging the skills gap. The government intends to strategically entice businesses in the life and health technology, artificial intelligence and data science, financial technology, advanced manufacturing and new energy technology sectors.

Below is a summary of the various schemes.

Top Talent Pass Scheme

The government will introduce the Top Talent Pass Scheme to attract foreign talent.

Foreign nationals earning at least HKD 2.5 million per year, or who have graduated from one of the world’s top 100 universities, with a minimum of three (3) years work experience in the past five (5) years will be eligible to apply for this type of visa. The holder of this visa will be able to remain in Hong Kong for two (2) years, which is the expected maximum validity this scheme.

Streamlined Process for GEP and ASMTP

Visa applicants under the General Employment Policy (GEP) and Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents & Professionals (ASMTP) whose occupations fall under the “Talent List” (occupation shortage list) or whose annual income will be at least HKD 2 million, will be exempted from any labor market testing requirements.

QMAS Quota

The annual quota for the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) will be suspended for two (2) years.

IANG Stay Extension

Immigration Arrangements for Non-Local Graduates (IANG) will be provided with a visa duration of two (2) years instead of one (1) year.

TechTAS Amendments

The government plans to enhance the Technology Talent Admission Scheme by streamlining the process and suspending the local talent quota requirement for technology firms.

Newland Chase Insights

This announcement comes as part of Hong Kong’s plan to strengthen its position to welcome targeted business in certain industries into their country and to attract foreign top talent. Newland Chase will continue to monitor any updates that will further provide detailed information on the country’s government strategies as it relates to immigration policies.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.