Designed Specifically to Bring Particular Talent to Hong Kong

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Quick Summary

Objective & Experience

This programme was introduced in 2006 with the intention to create a visa class for those very highly talented people who might be willing to take up residence in Hong Kong without actually having any core reason for coming here in the first place! Flexible as ever, ImmD developed the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme in order to provide a mechanism to be able to compete with other developed economies’ immigration programmes established on the basis that it can only be good if you allow smart people to live in your community. The programme has been criticised due to the lack of transparency over what it actually takes to get approved. Successful applicants under the general points test (“GPT”) have tended to come from esoteric backgrounds. Successful applicants under the ’home run’ achievement based points test (“APT”) have come mainly from the sports, arts and culture segments. ImmD receive on average more than 100 QMAS applications each month. In May 2015 adjustments were made to the programme to allocate more points to graduates from well known universities and those with international work experience. Furthermore, aiming to attract highly skilled or talented persons in order to enhance Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness, the Immigration Department implemented a Talent List particularized to Hong Kong needs of professionals starting from August 2018.


There are ‘must meet’ criteria which must be satisfied in all circumstances. These are designed to prequalify the applicant pool before the allocation of points can be applied to rank each applicant amongst the others.

2 Types of Points Test

In simple terms, a detailed assessment is made of the applicant’s background and points awarded for achievements and accomplishments across several ‘desirability factors’. This is the general points test. For GPTs, the ‘pass mark’ is 80 out of an absolute maximum of 225 — but this only gets you into the pool for selection. Only the highest scores are actively considered during the subsequent selection exercise If an applicant has manifestly outstanding achievements to his credit he may apply under the APT. Normally you would be an Olympiad, recognised internationally or have been awarded some kind of international prize to qualify under this test. If you convince ImmD that you qualify under the achievements test, you receive 225 points straight up. If you don’t, you score 0 points and your application is treated as refused with no further consideration entertained. APTs receive an 8 year limit of stay upon approval; GPTs, a 2-3-3 year pattern of approval/extension.

Talent List of Hong Kong

Starting from 28 August 2018, the Immigration Department implemented a Talent List for Hong Kong. Talents under the List are those which Hong Kong needs most in the immediate to medium term for the development of Hong Kong’s economy.

The 11 professions are the following:
1. Waste treatment specialists;
2. Asset management professionals;
3. Marine insurance professionals;
4. Actuaries experts to meet market development;
5. Fintech professionals;
6. Data scientists and cyber security specialists;
7. Innovation and technology experts;
8. Naval architects;
9. Marine engineers and superintendents of ships;
10. Creative industries professionals;
11. Dispute resolution professionals and Transactional lawyers.

More details on each profession of the list can be found here.

According to the Talent List, the applicant which profession is included on the Talent List will secure 30 bonus points under the General Points Test of the QMAS.

Applicants from other industries and sectors, not covered by the Talent List, are still welcome to apply.


High scoring applications, including all those qualifying under the achievements based test, are shortlisted for consideration during the selection exercise. The selection committee meets 3-4 times each year and is comprised of appointees of the Chief Executive who then recommend to the Director of Immigration who should be approved.

Invitation to Hong Kong & Approval

Applicants chosen by the selection committee are invited to Hong Kong to bring all of their original documents with them for verification. There is no ‘second guessing’ in this interview exercise, it is just to ensure the supporting papers are not contrived and are in fact authentic. This invitation takes the form of an ‘Approval in Principle’ letter. The applicant will be admitted to Hong Kong as a visitor for these purposes. Once all original documents have been verified the application procedures are finalised and the applicant will be issued with an entry visa under the QMAS programme to stay in Hong Kong.

Submitting Your Application

The application is submitted to ImmD via post or in person to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of the Immigration Tower (6/F).