• Relaxed Criteria for Foreign Nationals to be Implemented May 4
  • May 12, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The pilot Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG) and relaxed requirements for admission arrangements for talent, professionals and entrepreneurs will be implemented on May 4, 2015, according to an announcement by the Immigration Department.

    The ASSG aims to attract second generation Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated to return to Hong Kong. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 40 with a degree and knowledge of Chinese or English can apply in country or abroad for a twelve-month visa. There is no quota or job offer requirement.

    Relaxed Requirements For Talent, Professionals and Entrepreneurs

    As expected, stay arrangements under the General Employment Policy (GEP), the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) will be relaxed.

    For example, the QMAS point-scoring scheme will be adjusted to attract talent with exceptional educational background or international work experience, and the admission requirements for entrepreneurs will be clarified.

    Additionally, stay durations under the GEP and ASMTP will be increased from the current extension scheme, which offers an initial one-year period, to an initial two-year period and two additional three-year extensions each.

    Lastly, top-tier GEP professionals (as opposed to entrepreneurs) and ASMTP visa holders may be eligible for a new six-year extension of stay with no additional conditions on the visa. To be eligible for the top-tier six-year extension, applicants must have been granted a two-year professional employment visa in Hong Kong, had a verified assessable income of at least HK$2 million (USD 257,990) in the previous tax assessment year, and must provide other documents with their applications.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Second generation Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents eligible for the ASSG should benefit from the pilot program designed to encourage their return to Hong Kong.

    Foreign nationals should ensure that their passports have sufficient validity to allow eligibility for the relaxed renewal enhancement measures.

    Foreign nationals eligible for any of these schemes should contact their immigration professional to discuss application options.