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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals

General Remarks

The objective of the Scheme is to attract qualified Mainland talents and professionals to work in Hong Kong in order to meet local manpower needs and enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness in the globalised market. The Mainland talents and professionals must possess skills and knowledge not readily available or in shortage locally. Admitted talents and professionals must be able to contribute to the operation of the firms and sectors concerned with a view to facilitating economic development in Hong Kong. The Scheme also caters for the entry of talents and professionals in the arts, culture and sports sectors as well as those in the culinary profession so as to enhance Hong Kong's status as an Asian world city.

Eligibility Criteria and Application

Q1:
How can a company in Hong Kong apply to employ Mainland residents under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A1:

The employing company should submit duly completed application forms [ID 990A and ID 990B] together with relevant supporting documents in person or by post directly to the Receipt and Despatch Unit of the Immigration Department.

Address of Receipt and Despatch Unit is as follows:

  • Immigration Department
    2/F, Immigration Tower
    7 Gloucester Road
    Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Q2:
How can I obtain the application form?
A2:

Application form can be downloaded from the following website:

Application form can also be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  • Immigration Department Headquarters.
  • Immigration Branch Offices.
  • District Offices.
  • Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions.
  • Hong Kong's network of offices in the Mainland of China and overseas.
Q3:
What supporting documents are required for an application under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A3:

You may refer to the Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong ID(C) 991 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 991 (English version) for the requisite supporting documents.

Q4:
Is it necessary for an employer to submit the application and supplementary documents in person?
A4:

The employer can submit the application together with all necessary documents either in person or by post directly to Receipt and Despatch Unit of Immigration Department. An acknowledgement form will be sent when the Immigration Department receives the application. If supplementary documents and information are required and where copies of such may be acceptable, the Immigration Department may ask the employer to quote the reference of the application concerned and send the supplementary documents/information by fax or by post. In such a case, the employer does not need to attend the Immigration Department in person.

Q5:
My company is newly established and is unable to provide supporting documents such as annual financial report or proof of business performance. What supporting documents are required to prove that there is a need to bring in Mainland employees to assist the company in materializing the business development plan?
A5:

You may submit duly completed application forms [ID 990A and ID 990B] together with a business plan and relevant supporting documents to the Receipt and Despatch Unit of Immigration Department. If it is satisfied that the business will bring benefits to Hong Kong in the long run such as enhancement of Hong Kong's economic development or creation of job opportunities for the local people, and that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for admission under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, the Immigration Department may approve the applicant to enter Hong Kong for short-term employment initially. When the business development plan is materialized, the applicant may be granted an extension of stay to stay in Hong Kong to assist in the company's business operations subject to his/her fulfilling the relevant eligibility criteria under the Scheme.

Q6:
What measures have been taken to facilitate the processing of applications under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A6:

If the employing company had successfully obtained an employment or training visa/entry permit for a non-local staff in the past 18 months immediately before submission of the application, there is no need to submit the photocopy of the Business Registration Certificate, photocopy of proof of financial standing, documents with details of company background; and detailed business plan for companies newly set-up within 12 months.

Q7:
How long does it take to process an application under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A7:

The Immigration Department normally finalizes the processing of an application under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals within 4 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

Q8:
I am an owner of a Mainland private enterprise and have established a company in Hong Kong in order to extend my business here. Can I apply to work in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals if I need to stay in Hong Kong to engage in the daily operations and business development of my company?
A8:

If you meet the relevant eligibility criteria under the Scheme, you may apply to take up employment in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. The Immigration Department will assess your application in accordance with the eligibility criteria set out for the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. The fact that you are the owner of the company concerned does not exempt you from any of the eligibility criteria.

Q9:
My company is arranging to bring in some Mainland artistic groups and individual performers for open performances such as music performances, dances, drama, traditional operas which will normally last for just a few days. Is it necessary for the performers to apply for admission under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A9:

Regardless of the duration of their employment, Mainland residents entering Hong Kong for employment (including giving performances) should apply for admission under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. They should obtain an employment entry permit issued by the Immigration Department and the Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao with a relevant exit endorsement issued by the Mainland authorities before they are allowed to come to Hong Kong for the performances.

Q10:
In parallel with the setting up of a Hong Kong company, can a Mainland enterprise apply under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals using its company name in the Mainland?
A10:

Applications under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals must be submitted by the employer in Hong Kong and the employer must be a registered company in Hong Kong.

Q11:
How long should the future business plan of a newly established company in Hong Kong cover when a company wishes to submit an application under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A11:

There is no definite period that the company's future business plan must cover. However, the plan should be able to show the company's commitment in developing its business in Hong Kong on a long-term basis.

Q12:
What are the main reasons for refusal under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A12:

The main reason for refusal is that the employees fail to meet the eligibility criteria such as the employee is not in possession of any knowledge, skill or experience not readily available in Hong Kong, or the post can be readily taken up by local work force, or the remuneration package offered is not commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the relevant field in Hong Kong.

Entry Arrangement

Q13:
How can a successful applicant enter Hong Kong after approval is granted?
A13:

The Immigration Department will issue a self-adhesive entry permit label to the successful applicant through the employing company. The successful applicant should then apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office in the Mainland where his/her household registration record is kept. The entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the applicant's EEP on which the relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. The applicant should present the EEP for immigration examination upon arrival in the HKSAR. In case the applicant’s EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic EEP, it should be presented together with the entry permit label issued to him/her for immigration arrival clearance.

Q14:
If the successful applicant holds a PRC passport, can he/she affix the entry permit label onto a blank visa page of his/her passport instead of applying for Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement?
A14:

If a successful applicant wishes to enter Hong Kong under Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, he/she must follow the above entry arrangement (see A13 above) and affix the entry permit label onto a blank endorsement page of the EEP instead of the PRC passport. In case the applicant’s EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic EEP, it should be presented together with the entry permit label issued to him/her for immigration arrival clearance.

Q15:
If I am working in Hong Kong on the strength of an "Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao for official purposes", can I use it to enter Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals or do I have to go back to the Mainland to apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP)?
A15:

If you have been approved to enter Hong Kong under Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, you should apply for an EEP and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office in the Mainland where your household registration record is kept. You should affix the entry permit label onto a blank endorsement page of your EEP on which the relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. You should present the EEP for immigration examination upon arrival in the HKSAR. A successful applicant under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals who is currently working in Hong Kong on the strength of an “Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao for official purposes” is required to return to the Mainland first to obtain a proper EEP and a relevant exit endorsement before coming to Hong Kong for employment under the scheme. In case the applicant’s EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic EEP, it should be presented together with the entry permit label issued to him/her for immigration arrival clearance.

Q16:
I am admitted under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. If I need to travel abroad, should I apply for visas from foreign authorities in Hong Kong or should I return to the Mainland to submit the visa applications?
A16:

Please consult the relevant foreign authorities.

Q17:
If I am allowed to take up employment in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, can I use my PRC passport to travel abroad during my stay in Hong Kong?
A17:

You should travel abroad using your PRC passport with a valid entry visa issued by the relevant foreign authorities. However, when departing from and re-entering into Hong Kong, you must bring along and use your Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and your Hong Kong identity card.

Q18:
Is there any temporary arrangement for Mainland business executives to come to Hong Kong for a short duration to conduct preparatory work for setting up a company in Hong Kong? Can the Mainland business executives switch to long-term employment in Hong Kong afterwards?
A18:

Mainland business executives may enter Hong Kong with "Business Exit Endorsement" to prepare for the setting up of the company in Hong Kong. Mainland residents holding an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao with a 'Business Visit Endorsement' are visitors and are not allowed to take up any employment whether paid or unpaid. Mainland residents who wish to come to Hong Kong to take up employment should apply under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.

Upon establishment of the local company, Mainland business executives may be allowed to enter Hong Kong for short-term employment under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals to prepare for office set-up and to start business. After the company's business plan is materialized, they may be granted extension of stay to continue their employment in Hong Kong if they can continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria under the scheme.

Q19:
Can a Mainland resident holding an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao with a 'Business Visit Endorsement' participate in the daily operations and business activities of the Hong Kong company?
A19:

Mainland resident holding an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao with a 'Business Visit Endorsement' may be granted permission to land in Hong Kong as a "visitor". As a visitor in Hong Kong, he/she is not allowed to take up any employment whether paid or unpaid. Mainland resident who wishes to come to Hong Kong to take up employment should apply under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.

A person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may generally engage in the following business-related activities: concluding contracts or submitting tenders; examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment; participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public), settling compensation or other civil proceedings; participating in product orientation; and attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.

Entry of Dependant

Q20:
I am admitted for employment under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. Can my spouse and my children also be admitted?
A20:

If you are admitted for employment under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, you may apply to bring in your spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age as dependants. You must, to the satisfaction of the Director of Immigration, be able to support the dependants' living at a standard well above subsistence level and provide them with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.

Q21:
What is the application procedure for dependants under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A21:
Q22:
What documents are required for dependant applications?
A22:

The following documents are normally required:

  • completed application form (please see A21 above);
  • copy of proof of identity e.g. Mainland identity card, travel document, etc;
  • copy of relationship proof with the sponsor (i.e. the principal applicant); and
  • proof of financial status showing that the sponsor is able to support the dependants' living at a standard well above subsistence level and provide them with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.
Q23:
How long does it take to complete processing a dependant application?
A23:

The Immigration Department normally finalizes the processing of a dependant application within 4 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

Intra-company Transfer

Q24:
I own a Mainland private enterprise and have established a company in Hong Kong in order to extend my business activities here. If I need to deploy managerial and professional staff from the Mainland enterprise to the company in Hong Kong to assist in business development, what is the application procedure?
A24:

You may apply to bring in managerial or professional personnel from Mainland to Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals or through the intra-company transfer arrangement. You should submit completed application forms [ID 990A and ID 990B] together with relevant supporting documents in person or by post directly to the Receipt and Despatch Unit of the Immigration Department.

Q25:
My company in Hong Kong currently has not commenced operations. However, I have to send someone from the head office in Mainland to set up an office in Hong Kong and hire local staff in order to commence our business operation here. Can I make use of the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A25:

You may apply to bring in managerial and professional staff from Mainland to assist in setting up an office and hire local staff in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals or through the intra-company transfer arrangement if your Mainland staff fulfil the relevant eligibility criteria.

Q26:
I wish to send someone from the head office to Hong Kong for a few months to train up the Hong Kong staff. Is it appropriate to use the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals?
A26:

You may apply to bring in managerial and professional staff from Mainland to train up local staff under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals or intra-company transfer arrangement if your Mainland staff fulfil the relevant eligibility criteria.

Q27:
Under what circumstances may a company apply to bring in Mainland managerial and professional staff for employment under intra-company transfer arrangement?
A27:

Intra-company transfer arrangement is applicable to

  • local enterprises with factories or offices in the Mainland;
  • Mainland enterprises with branch offices in Hong Kong; or
  • multi-national companies with branch offices in Hong Kong and the Mainland

The application should fulfil the following requirements:

  • it is a managerial or professional post;
  • the applicant must be employed in the Mainland office for not less than a year at the time of application;
  • the remuneration package after the applicant takes up employment in Hong Kong must be broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the relevant field in Hong Kong; and
  • the number of intra-company transferees sponsored by a company at any one time should be reasonable when compared to its total employment and the nature of its business operation.

The employing company is also required to produce proofs showing that the intra-company transfer arrangement is to meet the company's operational or researching needs.

Q28:
What supporting documents are required for an application under the intra-company transfer arrangement?
A28:

The application procedure and application form for intra-company transfer applications are the same as those for the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. For details, please refer to the Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong [ID(C) 991 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 991 (English version)]. Apart from the supporting documents required under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, the employing company is required to provide documentary proofs showing the connection between the local and Mainland enterprises.

Q29:
How long does it take to process an application under intra-company transfer arrangement?
A29:

The Immigration Department normally finalizes the processing of an application under the intra-company transfer arrangement within 4 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

Extension of Stay

Q30:
I am admitted for employment in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals and my limit of stay in Hong Kong will expire soon. How can I apply for extension of stay?
A30:

You may submit an application for extension for stay within four weeks before the expiry of your current limit of stay. The documents required include:

  • a completed application form ID 91;
  • employer's confirmation letter stating that you are still serving the employment and the duration;
  • photocopies of pages of Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao showing candidate's personal particulars and latest arrival stamp/landing slip; and
  • copy of the renewal employment contract, if any.

You may submit your application in person to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of Immigration Department or you may delegate an authorized person to submit the application on your behalf. However, you should be physically presence in Hong Kong both at the time of application and at the time of collection of extension of stay label.

Change of Employment

Q31:
I am admitted for employment under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. How should I apply for change of employment?
A31:

You may apply for change of employment directly to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of the Immigration Department if you continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria and is employed in a job relevant to your qualifications and expertise.

Q32:
What documents are required for change of employment applications?
A32:

The following documents are normally required:

  • a completed application form ID 91;
  • a copy of the candidate's Hong Kong identity card and Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao;
  • form ID 990B duly completed by the new employer;
  • Photocopy of the company's employment contract or letter of appointment with the applicant containing information about post, salaries, other fringe benefits and employment periods;
  • Photocopy of the Business Registration Certificate ^;
  • Photocopy of proof of financial standing (e.g. latest audited financial report, trading profit and loss account, or profit tax return) ^;
  • Documents with details of company background such as business activities, mode of operation, background/ connection of company, product ranges, sources and markets, membership of chamber of commerce (if any), etc. (supported with catalogues, brochures, etc.) ^;
  • Detailed business plan (e.g. information on source of fund, estimated capital injection, nature/mode of business activities, expected turnover, sales volume, gross and net profit in the coming years, and proposed creation of local job posts, etc.) [for companies newly set-up within 12 months only] ^.

^ Submission of the documents is not required if the employing company had successfully obtained an employment or training visa/entry permit for a non-local staff in the past 18 months immediately before submission of the application.

Q33:
How long does it take to process an application for change of employment?
A33:

The Immigration Department normally finalizes the processing of an application for change of employment within 4 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents.

Condition of Stay

Q34:
If I bring my spouse with me under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, is he/she allowed to work in Hong Kong?
A34:

If your spouse is issued with an entry permit on or after 15 May 2006 to join you as dependant, he/she is not prohibited from taking up employment in Hong Kong. If your spouse has already been admitted as your dependant and is currently subject to a condition of stay prohibiting employment, he/she has to apply for cancellation of the condition before taking up employment in Hong Kong.

Q35:
Is a Mainland resident admitted under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals required to spend a minimum number of days in Hong Kong?
A35:

There is no specific requirement on the minimum number of days that a Mainland resident admitted under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals is required to spend in Hong Kong. However, he/she should work predominantly in Hong Kong instead of overseas or in the Mainland.

Q36:
How is the 7-year continuous ordinary residence requirement for acquiring right of abode in Hong Kong determined?
A36:

The Immigration Department will assess the applicant's eligibility for right of abode in accordance with the relevant provisions of the laws regarding right of abode on a case-by-case basis.