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Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong

  1. Introduction
  2. Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)
  3. General Employment Policy (GEP)
  4. Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)
  5. Entry of Dependants
  6. Other Information
  7. Checklist of Forms and Documents to be Submitted under the IANG, GEP and ASMTP

I. Introduction

1

This guidebook sets out the entry arrangements for persons who wish to enter/stay in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for employment as professionals.

2

Applicants who are/were non-local students Note 1 and have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally accredited local programme Note 2 in Hong Kong (hereafter "non-local graduates") may apply to stay/return and work in the HKSAR under the "Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates" (hereafter "IANG").

3

Applicants who are not non-local graduates but possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in the HKSAR may apply to come to work under the General Employment Policy (hereafter "GEP"). The GEP does not apply to Chinese residents of the Mainland.

4

Chinese residents of the Mainland of China (the Mainland) who are not non-local graduates but possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in the HKSAR may apply to come to work under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (hereafter "ASMTP").

5

The IANG, GEP and ASMTP are all quota-free and non-sector specific. Apart from professionals in the commercial and financial fields, they are also applicable to talent and professionals in the arts, culture and sport sectors as well as those in the culinary profession with a view to enhancing Hong Kong's status as an Asian world city.

6

The IANG and GEP do not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

  • Note 1:
    “Non-local students” refer to persons entering the HKSAR for the purpose of education with a student visa / entry permit issued by the Director of Immigration.

  • Note 2:
    Local programmes refer to those programmes leading to degrees awarded by local degree-awarding institutions, whereas non-local programmes refer to those programmes leading to degrees awarded solely by non-local institutions, irrespective of whether the programmes are jointly run by local and non-local institutions.

 

II. Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

Eligibility Criteria

7

Non-local graduates here refer to non-local students who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited local programme in Hong Kong.

8

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.

9

Non-local graduates who submit applications beyond six months of the date of their graduation are classified as returning non-local graduates.

10

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. They may be granted 12 months' stay on time limitation without other conditions of stay provided that normal immigration requirements are met. Those who intend to apply to stay and work in the HKSAR but have not yet secured the graduation result may apply for extension of stay to wait for the promulgation of results. 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 they have graduated.

11

Returning non-local graduates who wish to return to work in the HKSAR are required to secure an offer of employment upon application. The 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 at market level. They may be granted 12 months' stay on time limitation without other conditions of stay provided that normal immigration requirements are met.

Application Procedures

Application forms

12

All non-local graduates should complete application form ID 990A. The employing company of those returning non-local graduates should complete application form ID 990B. The application forms (ID 990A and ID 990B) can be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  1. Immigration Department Headquarters;
  2. Immigration Branch Offices;
  3. Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions;
  4. Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing;
  5. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong;
  6. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu; and
  7. other HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong.

The forms can also be downloaded from the Immigration Department's website at www.immd.gov.hk.

Supporting Documents

13

Please refer to the checklist in Part VII.

Submission of Application

14

All the forms must be duly completed and signed. Where there are accompanying dependants (please refer to information in Part V below), each dependant must complete and sign Part B of application form ID 990A. For an applicant or a child dependant under the age of 16, it must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child. Completed application forms, i.e. ID 990A and ID 990B, and all supporting documents should be submitted by the applicant or the sponsor/referee either in person or by post to:

  • Receipt and Despatch Sub-Unit
    Hong Kong Immigration Department
    2/F, Immigration Tower
    7 Gloucester Road
    Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Travel Documentation Requirement

Mainland residents

15

Entry permit labels will be collected by the sponsor/referee from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to the successful applicants. For successful non-local fresh graduate applicants without a local sponsor/referee, the entry permit labels will be sent to them by registered mail. The applicant should then obtain 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 where his/her household registration is kept. The entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the applicant's EEP on which his/her 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.

16

Successful Mainland applicants currently residing in Hong Kong, after being issued with an entry permit label, may apply for the relevant exit endorsement through China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited, as authorized by the Bureau of Exit-entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security.

Non-Mainland residents

17

Visa/entry permit labels will be collected by the sponsor/referee from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to the successful applicants. For successful non-local fresh graduate applicants without a local sponsor/referee, the visa/entry permit labels will be sent to them by registered mail. The visa/entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant's travel document for presentation to the immigration officer upon arrival in the HKSAR. Successful applicants other than those from the Mainland, whilst residing in the HKSAR, will be issued with a visa/entry permit label to be affixed onto their travel documents.

Extension of Stay

18

Persons admitted under the IANG may apply for extension of stay to work in the HKSAR within 4 weeks before their limit of stay expires. Upon application, 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 at market level. For those who have established or joined in business in the HKSAR, they are required to produce proof of their business. Successful applicants will normally be permitted to remain on time limitation on the 2-2-3 years pattern without other conditions of stay.

Change of Employment

19

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.

III. General Employment Policy (GEP)

Eligibility Criteria

20

Applicants who are not non-local graduates but possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in the HKSAR may apply to come to work under the GEP.

21

An application for a visa/ entry permit to take up employment under the GEP may be favourably considered if:

  1. there is no security objection and no known record of serious crime in respect of the applicant;
  2. the applicant has a good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted;
  3. there is a genuine job vacancy;
  4. the applicant has a confirmed offer of employment and is employed in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local work force; and
  5. the remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR.

22

Overseas Chinese nationals holding People's Republic of China (PRC) passports who meet the criteria stipulated in paragraph 21 and normal immigration requirements may apply to enter the HKSAR for employment under the GEP if:

  1. the applicant has permanent residence overseas; or
  2. the applicant 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 SAR and the HKSAR) and that the application is submitted from overseas.

Application Procedures

Application forms

23

Applicants should complete application form ID 990A. The employing companies should complete application form ID 990B. The application forms (ID 990A and ID 990B) can be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  1. Immigration Department Headquarters;
  2. Immigration Branch Offices;
  3. Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions;
  4. Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing;
  5. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong;
  6. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu; and
  7. other HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong.

The forms can also be downloaded from the Immigration Department's website at www.immd.gov.hk.

Supporting Documents

24

Please refer to the checklist in Part VII.

Submission of Application

25

All the forms must be duly completed and signed. Where there are accompanying dependants (please refer to information in Part V below), each dependant must complete and sign Part B of application form ID 990A. For an applicant or a child dependant under the age of 16, it must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child. Completed application forms, i.e. ID 990A and ID 990B, and all supporting documents should be submitted by the applicant or the employing company in one of the following ways:

  1. By post directly or through a local sponsor/referee in the HKSAR to:
    • Receipt and Despatch Sub-Unit
      Hong Kong Immigration Department
      2/F, Immigration Tower
      7 Gloucester Road
      Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  2. Applicants residing in overseas countries or territories may submit their application forms together with the relevant supporting documents and their travel documents in person to the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in their place of domicile.
  3. Holders of foreign passports who are living in the Mainland may submit the application forms together with all supporting documents to the Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing (Beijing Office). Applicants are required to produce their travel document to the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office so that a visa/entry permit could be issued if the application is approved. The address of the Beijing Office is:
    • No. 71, Di'anmen Xidajie, Xicheng District
      Beijing 100009
      People's Republic of China

Travel Documentation Requirement

26

A visa/entry permit label will be issued upon successful application. It should be collected by the sponsor from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to the successful applicant. For applications submitted to Chinese diplomatic and consular missions or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, visas/entry permits will be issued through the relevant Chinese diplomatic and consular missions or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office as appropriate. The visa/entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant's travel document for presentation to the immigration officer upon arrival in the HKSAR.

Extension of Stay

27

Persons admitted under the GEP may apply for extension of stay to work in the HKSAR within 4 weeks before their limit of stay expires. Such applications will be considered only when the applicants continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the GEP. Extension of stay, if approved, will normally follow the 2-2-3 years pattern, or be in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter).

Change of Employment

28

Persons who have been admitted under the GEP may apply for change of employment provided that they continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria under the GEP and are employed in jobs relevant to their qualifications and expertise.

IV. Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)

Eligibility Criteria

29

Chinese residents of the Mainland who are not non-local graduates but possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in the HKSAR may apply to come to work under the ASMTP.

30

An application for an entry permit to take up employment under the ASMTP may be favourably considered if:

  1. there is no security objection and no known record of serious crime in respect of the applicant;
  2. the applicant has a good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted;
  3. there is a genuine job vacancy;
  4. the applicant has a confirmed offer of employment and is employed in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local work force; and
  5. the remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR.

Application Procedures

Application forms

31

Applicants should complete application form ID 990A. The employing companies should complete application form ID 990B. The application forms (ID 990A and ID 990B) can be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  1. Immigration Department Headquarters;
  2. Immigration Branch Offices;
  3. Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions;
  4. Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing;
  5. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong;
  6. Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu; and
  7. other HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong.

The forms can also be downloaded from the Immigration Department's website at www.immd.gov.hk.

Supporting Documents

32

Please refer to the checklist in Part VII.

Submission of Application

33

All the forms must be duly completed and signed. Where there are accompanying dependants (please refer to information in Part V below), each dependant must complete and sign Part B of application form ID 990A. For an applicant or a child under the age of 16, it must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child. Completed application forms, i.e. ID 990A and ID 990B, and all supporting documents should be submitted by the employing company in person or by post to:

  • Receipt and Despatch Sub-Unit
    Hong Kong Immigration Department
    2/F, Immigration Tower
    7 Gloucester Road
    Wan Chai, Hong Kong

34

Chinese residents of the Mainland visiting the HKSAR may not request for extending their limit of stay on the grounds of having submitted applications under the ASMTP.

Travel Documentation Requirement

35

The successful applicant will be issued with an entry permit label. The label should be collected from the Immigration Department by his/her employing company for onward transmission to him/her.

36

The successful applicant should 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 where his/her household registration is kept. The entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the applicant's EEP on which his/her 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.

Extension of Stay

37

Persons admitted under the ASMTP may apply for extension of stay to work in the HKSAR within 4 weeks before their limit of stay expires. Such applications will be considered only when the applicants continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the ASMTP. Extension of stay, if approved, will normally follow the 2-2-3 years pattern, or be in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter).

Change of Employment

38

Chinese residents of the Mainland who have been admitted under the ASMTP may apply for change of employment provided that they continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria under the ASMTP and are employed in jobs relevant to their qualifications and expertise.

V. Entry of Dependants

39

Applicants admitted under the IANG, GEP and ASMTP may apply to bring in their spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 to the HKSAR under the prevailing dependant policy. Persons admitted or applying for admission under the respective arrangements will be the sponsors of their accompanying dependants to the HKSAR. An application for admission of a dependant may be favourably considered if:

  1. there is reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the dependant and the sponsor;
  2. there is no known record to the detriment of the dependant; and
  3. the sponsor is able to support the dependant's living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.

40

This entry arrangement does not apply to:

  1. former Mainland Chinese residents residing in Macao who have acquired residence in Macao through channels other than the One-way Permit Scheme; and
  2. nationals of Afghanistan and Korea (Democratic People's Republic of).

41

The length of stay of such dependants will be linked to that of their sponsors. Any subsequent applications for extension of stay will be considered only when the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria for entry for residence as dependants and the sponsor remains a bona fide Hong Kong resident living in the HKSAR. Dependants are not prohibited from taking up employment or studies in the HKSAR under existing policy.

VI. Other Information

42

In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the HKSAR, he/she requires a visa/entry permit to work in the HKSAR. While each application is determined on its individual merits, an applicant should meet normal immigration requirements (such as holding a valid travel document with adequate returnability to his/her country of residence or citizenship; be of clear criminal record and raise no security or criminal concerns to the HKSAR; have no likelihood of becoming a burden on Hong Kong, etc.) as well as the relevant specific eligibility criteria detailed above before he/she may be considered for the grant of a visa/entry permit. It should be noted that the eligibility criteria may be subject to change from time to time.

Re-entry into Hong Kong

43

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 currency of their permitted limit of stay and that the circumstances upon which they have acquired their residential status remain unchanged.

Right of Abode

44

Persons admitted under the IANG, GEP and ASMTP and have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than 7 years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.

Payment of Fees

45

If the application is submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department directly, payment of fees should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit either in cash, by EPS or by cheque. The cheque should be crossed, made payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region", properly dated and signed.

46

If the application is submitted to an overseas Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, the visa fee should be paid directly to the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office as appropriate.

Processing Time

47

Applications submitted under the IANG by non-local fresh graduates take about two weeks to process upon receipt of all the required documents. It normally takes four weeks to process other visa/entry permit applications for employment upon receipt of all the required documents. The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application unless all the required documents and information have been received. Please refrain from making enquiries about the progress of the application unless it is absolutely necessary, as it may delay the processing of the application.

48

All applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department. Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. The Director of Immigration reserves absolute discretion to refuse any application even if the application meets all eligibility criteria.

Warning

49

It is an offence to make false statements or representations to an immigration officer. A person who knowingly and wilfully makes a statement or gives information which he/she knows to be false or does not believe to be true shall be guilty of an offence under the Laws of Hong Kong and any such visa/entry permit issued or permission to enter or remain in the HKSAR granted shall have no effect.

Disclaimer

50

The information in this guidebook serves as reference only. The Immigration Department of the HKSAR is not responsible for any loss or damage whatsoever arising out of or in connection with any information in this guidebook. The Immigration Department reserves the right to omit, suspend or edit all information in this guidebook at any time in its absolute discretion without giving any reason or prior notice. The Immigration Department further reserves the right to change the eligibility criteria and details of the arrangements set out above from time to time without notice.

Enquiries

51

For more information about the entry arrangement for employment as professionals, please contact the Immigration Enquiry Hotline at (852) 2824 6111 (phone) and (852) 2877 7711 (fax) or visit the Immigration Department's website at www.immd.gov.hk.

VII. Checklist of Forms and Documents to be Submitted

  1. Forms and Documents to be Submitted by the Applicant
    Forms/ Documents Required Applicants admitted under the IANG Applicants admitted under the GEP or ASMTP
    Fresh Graduates Returning Graduates
      Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong (ID 990A)
     
     
     
      The applicant's recent photograph (affixed on page 2 of ID 990A)
     
     
     
      Photocopy of applicant's travel document containing personal particulars, date of issue, date of expiry and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). For an applicant who is currently staying in Hong Kong, photocopy of his/her travel document page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR. A Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document may submit a photocopy of his/her People's Republic of China resident identity card.
     
     
     
      Photocopy of applicant's Hong Kong identity card (if any)
     
     
     
      Photocopy of transcript of academic records, graduation certificate or supporting letter from the degree awarding institution showing applicant's attainment of undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in the HKSAR
     
     
     
      Photocopy of proof of academic qualifications and relevant work experience    
     
      Letter of consent from applicant's present working unit or relevant Mainland authorities (page 8 of ID 990A) [for Mainland residents only]
     
     
     
      Photocopy of the applicant's Macao identity card [for Macao residents only]
     
     
     
      Photocopy of the applicant's household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]
     
     
     
      Photocopy of proof of the applicant's overseas residence, such as copy of official documents showing the applicant's condition of stay and limit of stay endorsed by overseas authorities [for overseas Chinese holding PRC passports only]
     
     
     
  2. Forms and Documents to be Submitted by the Employing Company
    Forms/ Documents Required
      Application for Employing Professionals in Hong Kong (ID 990B)
      Photocopy of the company's employment contract with or letter of appointment to 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 funds, 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 has 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

    # Submission of the documents is not required for IANG applicant

  3. Forms and Documents to be Submitted by Each Accompanying Dependant of an Applicant for Entry under the IANG, GEP and ASMTP
    Forms/ Documents Required
      The applicant's application form, Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong (ID 990A) with Part B duly completed by the dependant
      The dependant's recent photograph (affixed on page two of the application form ID 990A)
      Photocopy of the dependant's travel document containing personal particulars, its date of issue, date of expiry and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). For a dependant who is currently staying in Hong Kong, photocopy of his/her travel document page containing the latest arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR. A Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document may submit a photocopy of his/her People's Republic of China resident identity card.
      Photocopy of evidence of the applicant's relationship with the dependant e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, family photographs, family letters (with envelopes), census record book and Privilege Card for Single child (if applicable)
      Photocopy of the dependant's Macao identity card [for Macao residents only]
      Photocopy of the dependant's household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]

Important Notice:

  1. Notwithstanding that the documents and information required have been furnished, applicants, accompanying dependants and employing companies may still be required to submit further supporting documents and information in connection with the application(s) when necessary.
  2. Where a document is not in Chinese or English, it must be accompanied by a Chinese or English translation certified as a true translation by a sworn translator, court translator, authorised public translator, certified translator, expert translator or official translator.