Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) is a quota-based entrant scheme meant for skilled persons who wish to stay in Hong Kong to explore employment or business startup opportunities.

In order to secure entry into Hong Kong under QMAS scheme, you must satisfy the basic pre-requisites, pass a points based test and compete for quota allocation with other applicants. Under the scheme, a maximum of 1,000 applicants per year may be admitted into Hong Kong. You are allowed to bring your spouse and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 to Hong Kong under the Dependant Visa scheme.

This guide explains eligibility requirements, application procedure, processing timeline, and other relevant information about the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme. To learn about available Hong Kong visa schemes, refer to Guide to Hong Kong Visas.

  1. QMAS: Eligibility Criteria
  2. Documents Required
  3. Application Procedure and Timeline
  4. QMAS Visa Renewal
  5. Dependant Visa for Family

QMAS: Eligibility Criteria

  • Foreign nationals except nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea, Nepal and Vietnam are eligible to apply for the Scheme.
  • All applicants must satisfy all of the following pre-requisites:
    • Age – you must be 18 years of age or above at the time of making the application
    • Financial requirement – you must be able to demonstrate that you are capable of supporting and accommodating yourself and your dependants on your own financial resources without relying on public assistance in Hong Kong
    • Good character – you must not have any criminal record or other records that are detrimental to you either in Hong Kong or elsewhere
    • Language proficiency – you must be proficient (i.e. both written and spoken) either in Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English
    • Basic educational qualification – you must possess a good educational background. Normally it is preferable to possess an undergraduate degree from a recognised university or a tertiary educational institution. However, under special circumstances, in the absence of such a degree, documentary evidence of good technical qualifications, relevant professional abilities, achievements and experience will be considered.
  • Applicants who satisfy the pre-requisites must also pass either of the point based tests – General Points Test or Achievement-based Points Test.
    • Under the General Points Test, there are five point-scoring factors relating to age, academic/professional qualifications, work experience, language proficiency and family background. The minimum passing mark is 80 out of a maximum of 165 points.
    • The Achievement-based Points Test is meant for individuals with exceptional talent or skill who have outstanding achievements. There is only a one point-scoring factor of 165 points under this test, which will be awarded if
      • You have received an award of exceptional achievement (e.g. Olympic medals, Nobel prize, national/international awards); or
      • You can show that your work has been acknowledged by your peers or has contributed significantly to the development of your field (e.g. lifetime achievement award from the industry).

Note: All of the above must be supported by documentary evidence. For examples of documentary evidence click here.

Documents Required

  • Completed Application Form (English or Chinese Version)
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. If you are currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong.
  • A copy of your People’s Republic of China identity card (if any)
  • A completed Dependants visa application form along with supporting documents for each of the accompanying dependant family members. For details, see Hong Kong Dependants Visa Guide
  • A copy of proof of personal net worth like bank statements, bank certificates, statement showing the current market value of investments, valuation report showing the current market value of real estate, latest audited financial statements of a business, your percentage of shareholding in a business, creditor’s statement showing the amount of outstanding personal debt etc.
  • A copy of proof of language proficiency in Chinese or English like the result of a recognized language test (IELTS or TOEFL for English, PSC or HSK for Chinese)
  • A copy of proof of academic qualifications like graduation certificates, transcripts of academic records etc.
  • A copy of professional qualifications, training, membership certificates
  • A copy of proof of relevant work experience like employment reference letter, employment contract etc. (if you are employed with a company), official company registration documents showing your position in the business (if you own a business), client reference letter (if you are self-employed) etc.
  • A copy of evidence of key career accomplishments and future plan in Hong Kong

All documents submitted must be in English or Chinese or translated into English or Chinese by a certified translation body. The Immigration authorities reserve the right to demand further documents as and when necessary.

Application Procedure and Timeline

Once the application forms and supporting documents are ready, you can post the documents directly or have the documents submitted in person to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

After the authorities receive your application, an acknowledgement will be mailed to you within one week.

The Immigration authorities will conduct a selection exercise for quota allocation on a quarterly basis. During the selection exercise you will be ranked according to the score you have secured, based on your points test and satisfying the pre-requisite criteria. Those who have secured high ranks will be short-listed for further assessment, where factors such as the socio-economic needs of Hong Kong, the sectoral mix of candidates and other relevant factors, will be considered in order to allocate the available quota in each selection exercise.

The result of the quota allotment will be published on the Immigration Department website within 15 days after the result of the exercise is known. The annual quota stands at 1000 entrants.

If you are allotted a quota in the selection exercise, an Approval-in-principle letter will be issued to you.

The Approval-in-principle allows you to enter Hong Kong on a visitor visa so that you can personally attend an interview and present originals of all documents submitted during the application to the Immigration Department for verification. Dependants are not required to attend the interview.

Furthermore, if you are a resident in Mainland China (including those who are currently residing in Hong Kong or Macau on a temporary basis), you are required to submit a letter of consent from your present working unit or relevant Mainland authorities where your records are kept, agreeing to release you to reside in Hong Kong. A sample of this letter of consent will be sent to you together with the Approval-in-principle letter.

Once the Immigration authorities are satisfied that all statements made or information provided during the application are true and complete, you will be granted formal approval.
Within one week of granting formal approval, you and your dependants will be issued with an entry visa/entry permit for stay in Hong Kong under the Scheme. Most visas issued under this scheme are valid for a one-year period.

If you are a Mainland resident (including those who are currently residing in Hong Kong or Macau on a temporary basis), you should, proceed to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement before coming to Hong Kong under the Scheme.

The EEP and relevant exit endorsement mentioned above are not required for the purpose of entering Hong Kong under the Scheme, for an overseas Chinese national holding a PRC passport and who has obtained overseas permanent residence or who has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before submission of the application. “Overseas” means places outside the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau.

QMAS Visa Renewal

Visas issued under the QMAS are usually valid for a one-year period. Should you wish to extend your stay in Hong Kong, you should file the renewal application at least four weeks before your limit of stay expires. Your renewal application will be considered only if you satisfy the following criteria:

For persons admitted through the General Points Test under the Scheme – you must be able to demonstrate that you have taken steps to settle in Hong Kong by securing gainful employment or establishing a business within the one-year period. If you cannot demonstrate that you have taken such steps, a one-year extension may be granted at the discretion of the Immigration authorities, if such extension is deemed appropriate.

For persons admitted through the Achievement-based Points Test under the Scheme – you must be able to demonstrate that you are capable of supporting and accommodating your dependants on your own without relying on public assistance in Hong Kong.

Dependant Visa for Family

Applicants under this work permit scheme are eligible to bring their family members (spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age to Hong Kong) with them to Hong Kong. A dependant visa application must be filed for each family member for this purpose.

The dependant’s length of stay is tied to the applicant’s length of stay in Hong Kong and dependant visa holders are free to take up employment or study in Hong Kong, as applicable. For further details on dependent visa, refer to Hong Kong Family Visa guide.

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