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Hong Kong Revises The Criteria Of Quality Migrant Scheme

29 Apr 2015


Immigration News

In a bid to lure more foreign skilled professionals, the Immigration Department of Hong Kong had relaxed immigration admission requirements and announced few amendments to the Quality Migrant Scheme. Additionally, the department is set to launch a new talent admission pilot scheme for second-generation Hongkongers.

Hongkongers who are in-between 18 and 24 and who are residing overseas and his/her parent is holding permanent Hong Kong identity card can apply under this scheme. However, they need to abide by certain requirements such as holding adequate funds, bachelor’s degree and must be proficient in either Chinese or English language. The applications are expected to get processed within two to four weeks.

On the other hand, the requirements of prevailing General Employment Policy, admission scheme for Mainland skilled professionals and Quality Migrant Scheme will be relaxed. 

According to the new measures, there is no need for applicants to renew visas for three times till they satisfy the seven- year requirement to file an application for permanent residency. As per the new announcement, the entrants are required to renew their visas twice for every three years after the completion of their initial period of stay for two years provided their taxable salary should not be more than HK$2 million.

Apparently, for those applicants with annual income exceeding HK$2 million before tax in the initial residency period of two years can get a six-year visa after two years. And, the changes that were announced to the QMAS general points test includes awarding 30 bonus points to applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or above. The degree should be given by authorized and globally recognized institutions that are listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or QS World University Rankings.

And, applicants who hold over two years of specialist work experience with exposure to foreign work culture can also earn an extra 15 points to satisfy the 80-point minimum requirement. In the case of applicant holding a degree from a specialist institution, the department will approach professional experts and bodies for reference.

The new scheme and amendments were the result of the government’s plans to counterbalance the aging population as well as declining labor force.

Proponents stated that Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city that needs to be diversified and there will not be any discrimination in the admittance of skilled professionals to the country. 

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