The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (“QMAS”) is a points based admission scheme for global talents to apply to settle in Hong Kong without first securing a job offer as normally required in work visa application. The scheme was first introduced in February 2006 with an initial quota of 1,000 applicants.
Following the announcement of the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address, the Hong Kong Government has decided to double the annual quota of the QMAS in 2020 to 4,000 entrants. The objective is to attract more talents to come to Hong Kong and to increase Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness. With the introduction of more professional categories, it is expected that Hong Kong will welcome an influx of applications from different sectors. The Talents List was first drawn up in 2018 and now the list covers 13 professions. The latest addition includes professionals in asset management, and environmental, social and governance. Further, individuals from medical and healthcare sciences, microelectronics, integrated circuit design and arts technology, and the disputes resolution/transaction law industries are also now eligible to apply under the QMAS. Potential entrants from other industries and sectors not covered by the Talent List are still welcome to apply as long as they meet the respective eligibility criteria.
The Immigration Department will prioritise the applications of applicants undertaking research and development work under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS). With the expansion of professional categories under the QMAS, it is expected that the Immigration Department may also provide a fast-track arrangement for eligible individuals to work in Hong Kong.
Certain countries have introduced schemes to attract immigrants from Hong Kong. This no doubt posts a threat to Hong Kong on outflow of talents. The significant increase in the Talents quota to a large extent reveals the Hong Kong Government’s effort to counter that threat. Hong Kong has experienced different challenges in recent years. With the strong resilience of Hong Kong people, Hong Kong usually recovers fast from difficult times. Interested candidates with relevant skills and talents should seize this good opportunity to seriously consider coming to Hong Kong to pursue their career dreams.
Our Immigration Team are on standby to help interested applicants understand the requirements and walk through the application process. Please contact our Partner Willy Cheng or Paralegal Arial Ng (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any further enquiries or information.
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