Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

Before Applying

Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

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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 under TechTAS.

TechTAS is a three-year pilot scheme. It provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible technology companies/institutes to admit non-local technology talent to undertake research and development (R&D) work for them in the HKSAR. Eligible technology companies/institutes would first have to apply for a quota. A company/institute allotted with a quota by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) can accordingly sponsor an eligible person to apply for an employment visa/entry permit within the six-month quota validity period. It also has to fulfil the requirement to employ new local employees in technology-related work. For details of TechTAS, please refer to the “Technology Talent Admission Scheme - Guide to Application” in the website of ITC.

TechTAS does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.

Eligibility Criteria

An application for a visa/entry permit to take up employment under TechTAS 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 employing company/institute has a valid quota approved by ITC at the time of application;
  3. the applicant is employed as a full-time employee in the HKSAR by the employing company/institute;
  4. the applicant is engaged principally in conducting R&D in the areas of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies or material science;
  5. the applicant is a degree-holder in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from a well-recognised university, which is among the top 100 universities for STEM-related subjects in the latest publication of any of the following world university ranking tables:
    Ranking Tables STEM-related Subjects

    Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)

    - Engineering and Technology

    - Life Sciences and Medicine

    - Natural Sciences

    Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai Ranking)

    - Life and Agriculture Sciences (LIFE)

    - Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SCI)

    - Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences (ENG)

    - Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (MED)

    Times Higher Education

    - Engineering and Technology

    - Computer Science

    - Life Sciences

    - Physical Sciences

    - Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health

    Work experience is not compulsory for those with a Master’s or Doctoral degree, whereas those with a Bachelor’s degree only should possess a minimum of one year of work experience in the relevant technology area. Persons not meeting the academic requirements but possessing good technical skills in specialty areas, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements can be considered on a case-by-case basis with full justifications. In such case, relevant documentary evidence should be provided;

  6. the applicant is offered remuneration not lower than the prevailing market level for comparable jobs in the HKSAR;
  7. the applicant meets the specific particulars pertaining to the job position set out in the quota allotment letter issued by ITC; and
  8. the bona fides of the employing company/institute and the applicant are not in doubt.

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 TechTAS 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 TechTAS 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 Special Administrative Region (SAR) who have obtained Macao identity cards for less than seven years, unless they have acquired residence in the Macao SAR through 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. They will remain in the HKSAR on time limitation only without other conditions of stay and are not prohibited from taking up employment or studies in the HKSAR. Any subsequent applications for extension of stay of such dependants will be considered only if the applicants continue 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.

Processing Time

It normally takes two weeks to process applications for employment visa/entry permit under TechTAS upon receipt of all the required documents. The Immigration Department will not be able to finalise the processing of the application unless all the required supporting documents and information have been received.

All visa/entry permit 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

Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

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Application Form

Applicants should complete Part A of application form ID 1024. Where there are accompanying dependants, each dependant should complete Part B of application form ID 1024 individually. The employing company/institute should complete Part C of application form ID 1024. The application form can be obtained free of charge from the following offices:

  1. Immigration Department Headquarters; and
  2. Immigration Branch Offices.

The forms can also be downloaded here.

Supporting Documents
  1. Form and documents to be submitted by the applicant for entry application
Forms/Documents Required
Technology Talent Admission Scheme - Application for Visa/Entry Permit (ID 1024), with Part A duly completed by the applicant.
Applicant’s recent photograph (affixed on page 1 of application form ID 1024)
Photocopy of 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). 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 (PRC) resident identity card.
Photocopy of applicant’s Hong Kong identity card (if any)
Photocopy of proof of academic qualifications and relevant work experience, or proof of good technical skills in specialty areas, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements (if applicable).
Photocopy of applicant’s Macao identity card [for Macao SAR residents only]
Photocopy of applicant’s household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]
Photocopy of proof of 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 [only applicable to overseas Chinese who have obtained overseas permanent residence; or have been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of an application and the application is submitted from overseas]
Letter of consent from applicant’s present working unit or relevant Mainland authorities (page 9 of application form ID 1024) [for Mainland residents only]
  1. Form and documents to be submitted by the employing company/institute
Form/Documents Required
Technology Talent Admission Scheme - Application for Visa/Entry Permit (ID 1024), with Part C duly completed by the employing company/institute.
Photocopy of the quota allotment letter issued by the Innovation and Technology Commission
Photocopy of the employing company/institute’s employment contract with or letter of appointment to the applicant containing information about post, salaries, other fringe benefits and employment period
Photocopy of the Business Registration Certificate (not required if the employing company/institute 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)
  1. Form and documents to be submitted by each accompanying dependant of an applicant for entry under TechTAS
Forms/Documents Required
The applicant’s application form, Technology Talent Admission Scheme - Application for Visa/Entry Permit (ID 1024), with Part B duly completed by the dependant.
Dependant’s recent photograph (affixed on the relevant page of application form ID 1024)
Photocopy of 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). A Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document may submit a photocopy of his/her PRC resident identity card.
Photocopy of dependant’s Hong Kong identity card (if any)
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 dependant's Macao identity card [for Macao SAR residents only]
Photocopy of dependant's household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card [for Taiwan residents only]

Notwithstanding that the documents and information required have been furnished, applicants, accompanying dependants and employing companies/institutes 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, the Immigration Department may conduct field visits. 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.

Submission of Application

Applications for entry for employment under TechTAS should be submitted within the quota validity period as specified in the quota allotment letter issued by ITC. The application form must be duly completed and signed before submission. Failure to properly complete the form or submit required supporting documents may delay the processing of the application. Where there are accompanying dependants, each dependant must complete and sign Part B of the application form ID 1024 individually. If an individual dependant wishes to join the applicant later and submit the application separately, he/she should complete the application form “Application for Entry for Residence as Dependants in Hong Kong” (ID 997) instead. For any dependant under the age of 16, the application form must be signed by his/her parent or legal guardian.

Completed application form, ID 1024 or ID 997 as appropriate, and all supporting documents are to be submitted directly or through the employing company/institute or a local representative in the HKSAR in person or by post to:

Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section
Hong Kong Immigration Department
6/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 mail items, please ensure the mail items bear sufficient postage with return address before posting. (Details)

Processing Time

It normally takes two weeks to process applications for employment visa/entry permit under TechTAS upon receipt of all the required documents. The Immigration Department will not be able to finalise the processing of the application unless all the required supporting documents and information have been received.

All visa/entry permit applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department, after taking into consideration all circumstances of the applications. 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 Fees

Payment of visa/entry permit fee, applicable to each applicant/dependant, will be settled after the application is approved and 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

Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

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Online/24-hour Telephone Enquiry on Application Status

Once 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.

Payment of Fees

Payment of visa/entry permit fee, applicable to each applicant/dependant, will be settled after the application is approved and 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

A visa/entry permit label will be issued upon successful application and payment of fees. It should be collected from the Immigration Department in person or by the employing company/institute or a local representative for onward transmission to the successful applicant.

Mainland Residents

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. If 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 examination upon arrival in the HKSAR. In case the applicant’s EEP on which his/her relevant exit endorsement has been obtained is of booklet type, the entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the EEP. The applicant should present the EEP for immigration arrival examination. For overseas Chinese nationals holding People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports, the entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant’s valid PRC passport for immigration examination upon arrival in the HKSAR (only applicable to overseas Chinese who have obtained overseas permanent residence; or have been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of an application and the application is submitted from overseas).

Non-Mainland Residents

The visa/entry permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant’s valid travel document for immigration examination upon arrival in the HKSAR.

Extension of Stay

Persons admitted under TechTAS will normally be granted an initial stay of 24 months on employment condition, or in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter), upon entry. They may apply for extension of stay in the HKSAR within four weeks before expiry of their limit of stay. Applications for extension of stay will be considered only when the applicants meet the eligibility criteria under TechTAS Note 1. Extension of stay, if approved, will normally follow the 3-3 years’ pattern, also on employment condition, or be in accordance with the duration of the employment contract (whichever is shorter)

Persons admitted under TechTAS who continue to meet the eligibility criteria under TechTAS and fulfil the following criteria at the time of application for extension of stay may choose to be assessed under the top-tier employment stream:

  1. the applicant has been permitted to take up employment under TechTAS for not less than two years; and
  2. the applicant has an assessable income for salaries tax of not less than HK$2 million in the previous year of tax assessment Note 2

Successful applicants will normally be granted an extension of stay on time limitation only without other conditions of stay for a period of six years.

Note 1:
For the avoidance of doubt, no quota is needed for the employing company/institute to sponsor the applicant for application for extension of stay.

Note 2:
Applicants should provide documentary proof of having an assessable income for salaries tax of not less than HK$2 million in the previous year of tax assessment, e.g. notice of salaries tax assessment of the previous tax assessment year issued by the Inland Revenue Department or relevant tax documents.

Further information can be found here.

Conditions of Stay

Persons admitted under TechTAS who are on employment condition shall only take such employment as approved by the Director of Immigration. They should seek prior approval from the Director of Immigration for any change in employment. Such applications may be favourably considered if the applicants continue to fulfil the eligibility criteria under TechTAS Note 3.

For top-tier talent who are permitted to remain in the HKSAR on time limitation only without other conditions of stay, they only need to notify the Immigration Department in writing of the change of their employment within the currency of their permitted limit of stay.

Note 3:
In case the applicant applies for change of employment and the new employing company/institute does not have any valid quota under TechTAS, a new application should be submitted and assessed under the General Employment Policy or Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals as appropriate.

Re-entry into the HKSAR

Non-permanent residents of the HKSAR (including persons admitted under TechTAS and their dependants), 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 TechTAS 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.