7 June 2018

HONG KONG: New Technology Visa Scheme

Commencing June 2018, a new employment visa program, the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS), will be piloted for eligible foreign and mainland Chinese nationals that are engaged in research and development

In order to qualify as a company to sponsor foreign nationals under the TechTAS visa, companies must be:

  • A participant in the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) or the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC)
  • Working in one of the technology fields: biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies or material science.

Companies meeting the above criteria will need to apply for a quota through Cyberport or HKSTPC.  The quota can be used to sponsor a TechTAS visa application for their employees with the Immigration Department.  Upon receipt of all required documentation, companies can anticipate a typical processing time of two weeks.

The sponsored employees in order to qualify must be:

  • Full-time employee in Hong Kong by the sponsoring company;
  • Primarily engages in conducting research and development in the above mentioned technology fields;
  • A STEM degree-holder from one of the top 100 universities in the most recent STEM-related ranking tables of the QS World university Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or the Academic Ranking of World Universities;
  • Have a minimum of one year work experience in a relevant technology field for Bachelor’s degree holders, however this requirement is waived for those with a Master’s or Doctoral degree;
  • Salary offered must broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for comparable jobs in Hong Kong

Additionally, TechTAS visa holders are eligible to apply to sponsor their spouse and unmarried dependant children up to the age of 18 years.  Tech TAS visa holders are also able to apply for permanent residence after seven years of continuous residence.

How does this affect the client?

Both foreign nationals and companies should benefit from the more streamlined process and shorter processing time, allowing workers to start much sooner than those under other visas. Technology companies awarded quotas will no longer need to demonstrate that local recruitment was unsuccessful each time they seek to hire.



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