Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

Before Applying

Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

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Introduction

This webpage sets out the entry arrangement for persons who wish to enter/stay in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for employment as professionals under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (hereafter “IANG”).

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 IANG.

The IANG is quota-free and non-sector specific. The IANG does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, 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.
Eligibility Criteria

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 the HKSAR.

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

Non-local fresh graduates who wish to apply to stay and work in the HKSAR are not required to have secured an offer of employment upon application. They may be granted 12 months' stay on time limitation only 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 graduation results 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 proof from the institution confirming that they have graduated.

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 only without other conditions of stay provided that normal immigration requirements are met.

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 the HKSAR, 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 without prior notice.

Entry of Dependants

Applicants admitted under the IANG 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 IANG will be the sponsors of their accompanying dependants to the HKSAR. An application for admission of a dependant may be favourably considered if normal immigration requirements and the following criteria are met:

  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 the HKSAR.

This entry arrangement does not apply to:

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

The length of stay of such dependants will normally 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. These dependants are not prohibited from taking up employment or studies in the HKSAR under the existing policy.

Processing Time

In general, it takes about two weeks to process applications submitted by non-local fresh graduates upon receipt of all the required documents.  For returning non-local graduates, it takes four weeks.  However, the processing time will depend on the circumstances of individual applications and the number of applications received at a particular time. A longer processing time may be required during summer rush period between June and August.  The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application until all the required documents and information have been received.

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.

Applying

Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

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Application forms

All non-local graduates should complete application form ID 990A. The employing companies 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; and
  4. HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong.

The forms can also be downloaded here.

Supporting Documents

A. Forms and documents to be submitted by the applicant for entry application

Forms/ Documents RequiredApplicants admitted under the IANG
Fresh GraduatesReturning Graduates
Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong (ID 990A)

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The applicant's recent photograph (affixed on page 2 of application form ID 990A)

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Photocopy of the applicant's valid 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 the HKSAR, photocopy of his/her valid 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.

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Photocopy of the applicant's Hong Kong identity card (if any)

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Photocopy of transcript of academic records, graduation certificate or supporting letter from the degree awarding institution showing the applicant's attainment of undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited local programme in the HKSAR

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Letter of consent from the applicant's present working unit or relevant Mainland authorities (page 8 of ID 990A) [for Mainland residents only]

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Photocopy of the applicant's Macao identity card [for Macao SAR residents only]

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Photocopy of the applicant's household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]

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Photocopy of proof of the applicant's overseas residence, such as copy of official documents showing the applicant's conditions of stay and limit of stay endorsed by overseas authorities [for overseas Chinese holding PRC passports only]

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B. Forms and documents to be submitted by 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, salary, other fringe benefits and employment period
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)^
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

C. Forms and documents to be submitted by each accompanying dependant of an applicant for entry under the IANG

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 valid travel document containing personal particulars, 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 the HKSAR, 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 SAR residents only]
Photocopy of the dependant'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 conditions of stay and limit of stay endorsed by overseas authorities [for overseas Chinese holding PRC passports only]

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.

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.

Warning

It is an offence to make false statements or representations to an immigration officer. To verify the authenticity of the information and documents submitted with a visa application, field visits may be conducted. 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 enteror remain in the HKSAR granted shall have no effect.

Submission of Application

All the forms must be duly completed and signed. Where there are accompanying dependants, each dependant must complete and sign Part B of application form ID 990A. For a dependant under the age of 16, it must be signed by the parent or legal guardian. Completed application forms, i.e. ID 990A and ID 990B, and all supporting documents should be submitted by the applicant or the sponsor 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.

Underpaid mail items will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. For proper delivery of your mail items, please ensure your mail items bear sufficient postage with return address before posting. (Details)

Processing Time

In general, it takes about two weeks to process applications submitted by non-local fresh graduates upon receipt of all the required documents.  For returning non-local graduates, it takes four weeks.  However, the processing time will depend on the circumstances of individual applications and the number of applications received at a particular time. A longer processing time may be required during summer rush period between June and August.  The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application until all the required documents and information have been received.

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.

Payment of Fee

Payment of fees should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit 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.

Fee table

After Applying

Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

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Online / 24-hour Telephone Enquiry on Application Status

After the receipt of application has been acknowledged, applicants can enquire the application status here or through the 24-hour telephone enquiry system at (852) 3160 8663. Enquiries may also be made via the IANG hotline (852) 2294 2190 during office hours, via fax to (852) 2877 7711 or via email at enquiry@immd.gov.hk .

Payment of Fee

Payment of fees should be made upon collection of the visa/entry permit 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.

Fee table

Travel Documentation Requirement

Mainland residents

Entry permit labels will be collected by the sponsor from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to successful applicants. For successful non-local fresh graduate applicants without a local sponsor, 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.

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

Non-Mainland residents

Visa/entry permit labels will be collected by the sponsor from the Immigration Department for onward transmission to successful applicants. For successful non-local fresh graduate applicants without a local sponsor, 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

Persons admitted under the IANG will normally be granted an initial stay of 12 months on time limitation only without other conditions of stay upon entry. They may apply for extension of stay in the HKSAR within four weeks before their limit of stay expires. Upon applying for extension, non-local graduates are required to have secured 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 only without other conditions of stay on the 2-2-3 years pattern.

Further information can be found here.

Conditions of Stay

Persons admitted under the IANG, who are on time limitation only without other conditions of stay, are free to take up and change employment during their permitted stay without the need to seek prior approval from the Director of Immigration.

Re-entry into the HKSAR

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

Persons admitted under the IANG who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.