Hong Kong

QMAS

QMAS is Quality Migrant Admission Scheme. It is an entrant scheme that attracts talent from different parts of the world to increase its economic competitiveness. Hong Kong calls its foreign workers to live and work there, and allows them to migrate along with families (spouse and kids below 18). The travel option allows them to explore more employment options.

The process of filling a QMAS is quite simple. It involves taking two point based tests, General Points Test or Achievement Based Points Test. These tests help to ensure if the eligibility criteria is met such as education, age, financial resources etc.

Few benefits

Successful applicants receive an initial 2-year visa and extendable for 3 years and another 3 years upon satisfaction of extension conditions.

If a person who has been issued the initial visa of no less than 2 years can demonstrate that he/she has an assessable income for salaries tax of not less than HK$2 million in the previous year of tax assessment, an extension of stay on time limitation only without other conditions of stay for a period of six years may normally be granted.

The offer of local employment is not required before migrating to Hong Kong.

Take your family spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 along.

Apply for Citizenship after 7 years of stay in Hong Kong

Requirements

All applicants must satisfy all of the following prerequisites:

Age
The applicant must be aged 18 or above when lodging an application under the Scheme.

Financial requirement

The applicant must be able to demonstrate that he/she is capable of supporting and accommodating himself/herself and his/her dependants, if any, on his/her own financial resources without relying on public assistance during his/her stay in Hong Kong.

Good character

The applicant should not have any criminal record or adverse immigration record in Hong Kong or elsewhere.

Language proficiency

The applicant should be proficient in written and spoken Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English.

Basic educational qualification

The applicant must have a good education background, normally a first degree from a recognized university or a tertiary educational institution. In special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may be considered.

If the applicant fails to provide satisfactory supporting documents showing that he/she meets all the above prerequisites, his/her application will not be processed further and will be refused immediately.

Important Notice

The Director of Immigration has absolute discretion to award points under the two points-based tests to applicants as the Director thinks fit and to approve or refuse any application without giving any reason. The Scheme or details of the Scheme may also be subject to change as the Director thinks fit without prior notice.

How to apply?

These tests can be applied directly online to check your eligibility and save time by getting immediate corrections and not waiting for the courier.

Visit visa

An application for a visa to enter Hong Kong for a visit or transit maybe favourably considered if :

The applicants’ bona fides are not in doubt.

The applicant has adequate funds to cover the duration of his/her stay without working

The applicant hold an onward ticket to the place of his/her destination unless the destination in the Mainland of China or Macao.

Procedure

Travellers can apply for a Hong Kong visa from the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate. Or as an alternative you may submit your visa to the HKSAR immigration department either by post or a local sponsor.

To shorten the processing time, application forms and supporting documents can be sent by fax in the first instance. However, the original copy of the duly completed application form and the photographs required should be sent immediately to the HKSAR immigration department by air mail.

A visit/entry permit will be issued only on receipt of an original completed visa application form.

PR Benefits

Hong Kong permanent residents can have access to voting in local elections, have basic education, will have the right to work without needing a work visa. Permanent residents of Hong Kong will have access to special rates on health care and hospitalization. They will have right to access education loans, they can buy an apartment without being charged with Buyers Stamp Duty.

Business visa for entrepreneurs

Hong Kong has a special migration visa scheme called Entry for Investment for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to relocate to operate their own business in Hong Kong. This entrepreneur visa scheme is essentially a type of work permit that is issued to the owner of a business as an employee of his/her Hong Kong company.

One of the main criteria for grant of the entrepreneur visa lies in whether you are able to prove that your business will make a significant contribution to the economy of Hong Kong. You are allowed to bring your spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 to Hong Kong under this scheme. You are also eligible to apply for Hong Kong permanent residence in due course. The entrepreneur visa is generally issued for one-year period initially and is renewable thereafter as long as your business remains viable.

This article serves as a guide on the eligibility criteria, application procedure and timeline, documentation required and other related information on applying for entrepreneur visa (to establish/join in business) in Hong Kong. To learn about available Hong Kong visa schemes, refer to Guide to Hong Kong Visas.

Investment requirement

There is no minimum investment requirement specified by the authorities when applying for the entrepreneur visa. However, at the time of processing your application, the authorities will closely examine your proposed business plan to assess if your proposed investment is sufficient for the business you plan to set up. In this regard, you must ensure that your proposed investment covers the start-up and operational expenses of your business for at least the initial 3-6months period.

Eligibility

You should not have any criminal records or security objections.

You must possess a good educational background. Normally it is preferable to have at least an undergraduate degree in the relevant field. However, in the absence of such a degree, documentary evidence of good technical qualifications, relevant professional abilities, achievements and experience may suffice.

You must prove that you will make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong by demonstrating that your business will create jobs for the local workforce, that you will utilize the services of local service providers, suppliers, manufacturers etc. and that you will be able to make a significant contribution in the specific market that you are entering into.

You are required to incorporate your Hong Kong company prior to applying for the entrepreneur visa. For details on how to register a Hong Kong company, refer to Hong Kong registration company guide.

Documents Required

Entrepreneur visa application must be sponsored by a local sponsor – a company or an individual. The sponsor takes the onus of assuming responsibility for your repatriation, if the circumstances so arise. To apply for entrepreneur visa in Hong Kong, the following documents are required:

Documents required from the applicant:

  • Fill out the application form completely
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. If you are currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong.
  • A copy of your Hong Kong identity card (if any)
  • A copy of proof of academic qualifications and relevant working experience
  • A copy of the company’s Employment Contract or Appointment Letter, detailing information about your post, salary, other fringe benefits and employment period (if applicable)
  • A thorough and detailed two-year business plan which should provide information about your company’s proposed business activities, amount of investment, creation of local job posts, setting up of an office/showroom/warehouse, etc. More details on the business plan are provided further below in this guide.
  • A copy of the Business Registration Certificate obtained from the Inland Revenue Department and business registration particulars of the company you are going to invest in or have already invested in.
  • A copy of proof of your overseas residence
  • Documents required from the sponsor:

If the sponsor is a company
Completed Application Form (Sponsor)

A copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate

If the sponsor is an individual
Completed Application Form (Sponsor)

A copy of the sponsor’s Hong Kong identity card

A copy of the personal particulars page of the sponsor’s passport.

All documents submitted must be in English or Chinese or translated into English or Chinese by a certified translation body. The Immigration authorities reserve the right to demand further documents from the applicant or sponsor as and when necessary.

How to apply?

The completed application along with supporting documents must be submitted to Hong Kong Immigration Department by post. The application processing time is about 3-5 months.If the application is successful, the Immigration Department will issue a Visa/Entry Permit label which must be collected from the immigration office in-person by the applicant or an authorized representative. The Visa/Entry Permit label must be affixed on a blank visa page of the applicant’s passport and presented to the Immigration Officer upon arrival in Hong Kong. In case the work permit application is rejected, an appeal can be filed with authorities.If the authorities find that your commitment to your business and the economy of Hong Kong is genuine and strong, that you have the adequate capital to support your business plans and that you satisfy all the eligibility criteria, it is unlikely that your investment visa application will be rejected.

Hong Kong dependent visa for QMAS

The Dependant Visa is essentially a relocation visa for the immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children below 18 years of age) of foreign nationals who hold a valid Hong Kong visa for employment, investment, training or study in Hong Kong or who are permanent residents in Hong Kong.

A separate application needs be filed for each family member and must be sponsored by the principal visa holder. The dependant’s length of stay in Hong Kong is tied to the sponsor’s length of stay. In other words, the Dependant Visa holder can live, work and study in Hong Kong for the period during which the principal visa holder is permitted to stay in Hong Kong.

Who can apply?

  • Depending on the residency status of the sponsor, the following dependants may apply to join him/her for residence in Hong Kong.
  • Category A – For a sponsor who is a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident who is not subject to a limit of stay (i.e. a resident with the right to land or on unconditional stay):
    1. Spouse
    2. Unmarried children below 18 years of age (including legally adopted)
    3. Parents aged 60 years and above
  • Category B – For a sponsor who has been issued a visa for: employment as a professional, for investment to join in/establish a business, for training, for studies in a full-time undergraduate or post-graduate programme in a local degree-awarding institution, or who is permitted to remain in Hong Kong as an entrant under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme:
    1. Spouse
    2. Unmarried children below 18 years of age (including legally adopted)

A Dependant Visa application must fulfill the following conditions:

  • There must be reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant (i.e dependant) and the sponsor
  • There should be no known record that is detrimental to the applicant
  • The sponsor should be able to demonstrate that he can substantially support the dependants and provide suitable accommodation during their stay in Hong Kong

This entry arrangement does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • Chinese residents of the Mainland (except for those who fall under Category B mentioned above)
  • Former Mainland Chinese residents residing in Macau who have acquired residence in Macau through channels other than the One-way Permit Scheme
  • Nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cuba and Korea

Documents required

  • Completed Dependant Visa Application Form. For a child applicant under the age of 16, the form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child.
  • Dependants whose sponsors are applying for visas either for employment as a professional, for investment to join in/establish a business, for training or for studies, need not fill in the separate Dependant Visa Application Form. This is because the application forms for employment visas, investment visas, training visas and visas meant for studies have a built in section for dependants and can be completed along with the sponsor’s principal application and submitted together.
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. If you are currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong. If you are a Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document you may submit a photocopy of your People’s Republic of China resident identity card.
  • A copy of your Hong Kong identity card (if any)
  • A copy of your Macau identity card (if you are a resident of Macau)
  • A copy of your household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card (if you are a resident of Taiwan)
  • A copy of proof of your relationship with the sponsor, e.g. marriage certificates, birth certificates, family photographs, family letters, census record book and Privilege Card for Single Child (if applicable)

Documents required by sponsors

  • Part B of the Dependant Visa Application Form
  • A copy of the sponsor’s Hong Kong identity card (if any)
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of the sponsor’s passport. If the sponsor is currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of the sponsor’s passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong
  • A copy of proof of the sponsor’s financial standing, e.g. bank statements, savings accounts passbooks, tax receipts and salary slips
  • A copy of proof of sponsor’s accommodation, e.g. rental receipts

Note: In the case of built in applications, where both the sponsor as well as the dependant are applying at the same time, it may not be possible for the sponsor (i.e. principal applicant) to furnish certain details like salary slips or rental receipts. In such cases, the principal applicant’s sponsor should provide affirmation by furnishing a copy of the principal applicant’s employment contract stating salary, benefits etc. or any other document that demonstrates the principal applicant’s ability to support his/her dependants.

All documents submitted must be in English or Chinese or translated into English or Chinese by a certified translation body. The Immigration authorities reserve the right to demand further documents from the applicant or sponsor as and when necessary.

How to apply?

  • Both you and your sponsor must prepare and complete all the necessary documentation
  • Once the application forms and supporting documents are ready they must be submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
  • If you are residing overseas, you can submit the documents in person to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country
  • If you hold a foreign passport and live in Mainland China you can submit the documents to the Hong Kong Immigration Division located in Beijing.
  • In the case of in-built applications, your sponsor can submit the application along with his principal visa application form – employment, investment, training or study (as the case may be).
  • Once all the documents have been submitted, the processing of your Dependant Visa Application will on an average take around six weeks.
  • If your application has been successful, the Immigration Department will issue a Visa/Entry Permit label. Your sponsor can collect it in person on your behalf and then proceed to post it to you. If you have submitted your application to the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, the Visa/Entry Permit will be issued through the relevant Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, as the case may be.
  • Upon receipt of the Visa/Entry Permit label, you must affix the same on a blank visa page of your passport. This must be presented to the Immigration Officer upon your arrival to Hong Kong. (for non-Mainland residents)
  • If you are a Mainland resident you should, upon receipt of the Visa/Entry Permit label, proceed to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office where your household registration is kept. The Entry Permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of your EEP on which your relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. The EEP must be presented to the Immigration Officer upon your arrival to Hong Kong.