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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates

Eligibility Criteria

Q1:
What is the difference between "non-local fresh graduate" and "returning non-local graduate"?
A1:

Under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), non-local graduates refer to persons from outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) who have obtained a degree or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong.

Non-local graduates who submit applications to the Immigration Department within six months after the date of their graduation (i.e. the date shown on their graduation certificates) are classified as non-local fresh graduates. Non-local fresh graduates who wish to apply to stay and work in the HKSAR are not required to secure an offer of employment upon application.

Non-local graduates who submit applications after six months of the date of their graduation are classified as returning non-local graduates. Returning non-local graduates who wish to return to work in the HKSAR are required to secure an offer of employment upon application. Their applications will be favourably considered so long as the job is at a level commonly taken up by degree holders and the remuneration package is set at market level.

Q2:
I fulfil the eligibility criteria for the IANG. However, I graduated in Hong Kong long time ago. Can I return to work in Hong Kong under the IANG?
A2:

Non-local graduates may apply to stay/return and work in the HKSAR under the IANG, regardless of when they obtained the requisite qualification.

Q3:
Is a non-local graduate only allowed to apply once to stay/return and work under the IANG after he/she obtained the requisite qualification?
A3:

There is no restriction on the number of times a non-local graduate may apply to stay/return and work under the IANG. A non-local graduate may, after having been admitted to work in Hong Kong under the IANG and left Hong Kong for good subsequently, apply to re-enter Hong Kong for employment again under the IANG.

Q4:
Does "a degree or higher qualification" include post-graduate non-degree qualification?
A4:

"A degree or higher qualification" includes post-graduate non-degree qualifications such as Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, Postgraduate Diploma in Education, etc.

Q5:
Is an overseas Chinese who has not yet acquired overseas permanent residence required to return to the Mainland and lodge application under the IANG as a Mainland resident?
A5:

Overseas Chinese holding People's Republic of China (PRC) passport who (a) has permanent residence overseas; or (b) has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application ("overseas" means countries or territories outside the Mainland, the Macao Special Administrative Region and the HKSAR) and that the application is submitted from overseas may apply to enter Hong Kong under the IANG on the strength of the PRC passport.

Interim Extension of Stay on Student Condition

Q6:
My limit of stay as a student is about to expire and I wish to apply to stay in Hong Kong under the IANG. However, I have not yet received the result of graduation. Can I extend my stay in Hong Kong to await the result?
A6:

Prospective non-local fresh graduates who intend to apply to stay and work in the HKSAR under the IANG but have not yet secured the graduation result may apply for extension of stay on student condition to wait for the promulgation of results, with the requirement of the institution's sponsorship waived. Prospective non-local fresh graduates from the Mainland may apply to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section for interim extension of stay whereas other prospective non-local graduates may make an application to Extension Section. Applicants should complete ID 91 and produce their valid travel document and Hong Kong identity card as supporting documents.

Q7:
I have been granted extension of stay to await the graduation result. Can I take up employment during this interim period?
A7:

Prospective non-local fresh graduates having granted interim extension of stay on student condition to wait for the promulgation of their graduation results cannot take up any employment without the prior approval from the Immigration Department.

Q8:
I have been granted interim extension of stay. Can I leave Hong Kong during this period?
A8:

A non-Mainland student having been granted interim extension of stay does not require a re-entry visa to enter Hong Kong provided that he/she returns within his/her valid limit of stay. Mainland students who have been granted interim extension of stay are required to apply for extension of the validity of their exit endorsement through the China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited, as authorised by the Bureau of Exit-Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security, before leaving Hong Kong. They are also required to return within their valid limit of stay.

Submission of Application

Q9:
Can a fresh graduate submit application under the IANG before the issuance of the graduation certificate?
A9:

Non-local fresh graduates who have not yet obtained their graduation certificate could apply to stay and work by producing a proof from the institution confirming that he/she has graduated (proof of graduation).

Q10:
Can a fresh graduate submit application under the IANG before the receipt of proof of graduation?
A10:

Applications under the IANG cannot be processed without proof of graduation. Non-local fresh graduates should submit applications after the receipt of proof of graduation.

Assessment of Application

Q11:
How does the Immigration Department assess the eligibility criterion that a job is at a level commonly taken up by degree holders?
A11:

The Immigration Department will assess each case on its own merits having regard to the skills and knowledge needed for the job, complexity of the duties, etc.

Q12:
If a returning non-local graduate can only secure a short-term employment (a term of employment of a few months), will he/she still be granted 12 months' stay?
A12:

Successful applicants under the IANG may be granted 12 months' stay on time limitation without any other conditions of stay provided that normal immigration requirements are met, regardless of the term of employment.

Condition of Stay and Re-entry into Hong Kong

Q13:
Am I permitted to remain in Hong Kong after I have quitted my job?
A13:

Persons admitted under the IANG are free to take up and change employment during their permitted stay without the need to seek prior approval from the Immigration Department. In other words, you may stay in Hong Kong and seek another job.

Q14:
Do I need a re-entry visa to re-enter Hong Kong?
A14:

Non-permanent residents of the HKSAR, irrespective of their nationality and type of travel document held, do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR provided that they return within the validity of their permitted limit of stay and that the circumstances upon which they have acquired their residential status remain unchanged. Please click here for details.

Non-local Graduates Admitted under Other Policy/Scheme/Arrangement

Q15:
I am a non-local graduate who is working in Hong Kong under the Arrangement of Employment of Degree or Above Level Mainland Students Graduating from Educational Institutions in Hong Kong. Has my residential status been changed following the abolition of the above Arrangement?
A15:

The Arrangement of Employment of Degree or Above Level Mainland Students Graduating from Educational Institutions in Hong Kong was susperseded on 19 May 2008. However, the immigration status of persons admitted under this Arrangement has not been changed and they may continue their employment in Hong Kong. Upon approval of the next extension of stay application, they will become persons admitted under the IANG. Please also see A16 for details.

Q16:
Does the IANG benefit non-local graduates who have already been admitted to work in Hong Kong under other immigration schemes?
A16:

Non-local graduates who have already been admitted to take up employment in Hong Kong under the General Employment Policy, Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals and the defunct Arrangement for Employment of Degree or Above Level Mainland Students Graduating from Educational Institutions in Hong Kong may continue their employment. There is no need for them to make immediate applications under the IANG if they have no plan to change employment or take up sideline employment. Nevertheless, they cannot change employment or take up sideline employment without prior permission from the Immigration Department.

Non-local graduates already admitted to Hong Kong mentioned above may make an application under the IANG if they so wish. Upon approval, they will be granted extension of stay on time limitation without any other conditions of stay. They may then change employment during their permitted stay without the need to seek prior approval from the Immigration Department.

Q17:
How can I submit application under the IANG if I am already working in Hong Kong under other immigration scheme?
A17:

Non-local graduates who have already been admitted to take up employment at A16 may make an application under the IANG. They are required to bring the following documents:

a. valid travel document;
b. Hong Kong identity card;
c. completed form ID 990A
d. non-local graduates admitted under the General Employment Policy and Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals should submit the proof of graduation; and
e.  
  i. With change of employer:

ID 990B and supporting documents in Part VII(B) of the Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong [ID(E) 991]; or
  ii. Without change of employer:

A current employment letter from the employer stating post, salaries, other fringe benefits and terms of employment.

Extension of Stay

Q18:
How can a non-local fresh graduate admitted under the IANG submit extension of stay application and what supporting documents are required?
A18:

Persons admitted under the IANG, whether as non-local fresh graduate or returning non-local graduate, may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires. Applications may be made to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section. If you are admitted as a non-local fresh graduate, you are required to bring the following documents:

a. valid travel document;
b. Hong Kong identity card;
c. completed form ID 91; and
d.  
  i. First-time extension application; and subsequent extension application with change of employer:

ID 990B and supporting documents in Part VII(B) of the Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong [ID(E) 991]; or
  ii. Subsequent extension application without change of employer:

A current employment letter from the employer stating post, salaries, other fringe benefits and terms of employment.
Q19:
How can a returning non-local graduate admitted under the IANG submit extension of stay application and what supporting documents are required?
A19:

Persons admitted under the IANG as a returning non-local graduate may apply to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section for extension of stay within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires. You are required to bring the following documents:

a. valid travel document;
b. Hong Kong identity card;
c. completed form ID 91; and
d.  
  i. Extension application with change of employer:

ID 990B and supporting documents in Part VII(B) of the Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong [ID(E) 991]; or
  ii. Extension application without change of employer:

A current employment letter from the employer stating post, salaries, other fringe benefits and terms of employment.
Q20:
How can my dependants submit extension of stay application?
A20:

Dependants of persons admitted under the IANG may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires. Applications may be made to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section. The supporting documents required are as follows:

  1. applicant's valid travel document;
  2. applicant's Hong Kong identity card;
  3. completed form ID 91;
  4. sponsor's travel document or Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card; and
  5. completed form ID 481A; and form ID 481B (applicable to dependent spouse only).
Q21:
Can I ask somebody to submit extension of stay application for me?
A21:

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

Q22:
Will I be granted extension of stay if I happen to be unemployed at the time of submitting extension of stay application?
A22:

Upon application for extension of stay, the non-local graduates are required to secure an offer of employment which is at a level commonly taken up by degree holders and the remuneration package is set at market level. For those who have established or joined in business in the HKSAR, they are required to produce proof of their business. Applicants, whether fresh or returning non-local graduates, may be refused further extension of stay if they fail to prove that they will continue to work in Hong Kong or they have established or joined in business.