Hong Kong Government Continuing Immigration Policy Enhancements – December 2022
After recent updates provided by the Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) at the end of October, the Government of Hong Kong (GovHK) has announced additional measures to further streamline the Hong Kong immigration process for foreign national visa applicants.
Top this end, visa applicants can now complete online the entire process of application submission, payment for and collection of visa/entry permits through the ImmD mobile application, the ImmD’s website or the GovHK website, without having to visit an Immigration Office in person.
Moreover, effective November 29, 2022, electronic services for visa applications have been extended to all visa application types including visas/entry permits for visits, employment, investment, training, residence and study.
At the same time, Temporary Measures were extended for 6 months. The remote filing arrangements for applicants outside of Hong Kong SAR seeking to extend their stay has been prolonged until June 30, 2023.
This technically means that, as long as this measure is in place, applicants don’t have to be physically present in Hong Kong SAR at the time of submission of their application for extension of stay and/or the collection of the ‘e-Visa’.
Another important update concerns certain new applicants under the General Employment Policy (GEP), Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (AMTP) schemes and renewal applicants under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS) and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) schemes.
Under these Enhancement Measures, proof of labour market testing is no longer required and evidence of academic qualification and work experience is not required for:
(a) applicants employed by a well-established (non-start up) company with a total annual salary package (including allowances and other guaranteed earnings) of 2 million HKD or above, and;
(b) applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher level obtained from an internationally recognized institution.
Essentially you need to have graduated from one of the Top 100 Universities that are listed as part of the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (“QMAS”) which provides extra points for qualification under the QMAS scheme.
Likewise, evidence of academic qualification and work experience are no longer required for applicants who have been previously approved as principal applicants under the GEP or AMTP or under the TechTAS or QMAS.
On December 29, 2022 ImmD announced details of the Top Talent Pass too.
In a nutshell, all the above measures are the natural consequences of the Chief Executive’s maiden policy address where he laid out certain Enhancements to our immigration policy which are designed to both attract foreign businesses to Hong Kong and also prescribed Talents.