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Hong Kong’s New Policy Measures to Attract New Capital
25 January 2024

Post COVID, with the view to boost the local economy amidst and global economic slowdown, Hong Kong has implemented strategic policy measures to attract foreign investors, entrepreneurs looking to expand their business, working professionals and aspiring graduates to the city. As one of the eight major policies to attract high net-worth asset owners, new capital and talent pool to Hong Kong, the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme has been relaunched.

1. New Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (“New CIES”)

Under the New CIES, overseas individuals can obtain residency in Hong Kong for themselves and their family members / dependents by bringing new capital to Hong Kong. The New CIES applicant must demonstrate that he / she has net assets of not less than HK$30 million to which he / she is absolutely beneficially entitled to throughout the two years preceding the application. Applicants should also be aged 18 or above who may be foreign nationals, Chinese nationals who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country, Macao SAR residents or Chinese Taiwan residents. The applicant must make an investment of minimum HK$30 million in the permissible investment assets, including investing a minimum of HK$27 million in the permissible financial assets and non-residential real estate, and placing HK$3 million into a new CIES Investment Portfolio (to be set up and managed by the Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited for investments in companies / projects with a Hong Kong nexus). The New CIES is expected to invite applications from mid-2024.

Invest Hong Kong, which is responsible for foreign direct investments to Hong Kong will determine whether applications fulfill the net asset and investment requirements, whilst the Immigration Department will be responsible for matters such as grant of visa / entry permits and extensions of stay.

Upon successful application for Hong Kong permanent residency after seven continuous years of ordinary residence in Hong Kong or for unconditional stay in Hong Kong (if the financial requirements under New CIES are satisfied for a period of not less than seven continuous years), the applicant will be free to dispose of the invested assets.

Other measures already announced to attract high income or experienced workforce are :-

2. Top Talent Pass Scheme (“TTPS”) (高端人才通行証計劃)

This is a popular Scheme. Over 65,000 applications were made until end of December 2023 and over 51,000 applications have been approved and the annual approval target for this Scheme is 35,000 applications. Top talents with proven work experience and good academic qualifications may apply under this scheme. TTPS does not require the applicant to have secured employment in Hong Kong at application. Provided that normal immigration requirements are met, successful applicants may be granted 24 months’ stay on time limitation only without other conditions of stay. Applicants may choose to apply under one of the following three categories :-

(a) Category A – persons with annual income reaching HK$2.5 million or above, or its equivalent in foreign currency, in the year immediately preceding the date of application. This category is quota-free;

(b) Category B – degree graduates of the eligible universities (the list of eligible universities may be found at and he / she has at least three years of work experience over the past five years immediately preceding the date of application. This category is also quota-free;

(c) Category C – degree graduates of the eligible universities (listed at the link above) in the past five years immediately preceding the date of application but have less than three years of work experience, approval is subject to an annual quota which is to be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. This category does not apply to those non-local students who have obtained the undergraduate qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong.

Overseas Chinese nationals holding PRC passports who meet the above criteria and normal immigration requirements may apply under this scheme provided that he / she : (i) has permanent residence overseas; or (ii) has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application from overseas and that the applications is submitted from overseas.

3. General Employment Policy (“GEP”) – Employment as Professionals or Investment as Entrepreneurs (一般就業政策)

This quota-free and non-sector specific scheme is the most common route for overseas individuals to enter and work in Hong Kong.

Applicants are required to have :-

(a) already secured a job in Hong Kong relevant to his / her academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce;

(b) a remuneration package that is commensurate with the prevailing market rate;

(c) a good educational background, technical qualifications or proven professional experience;

(d) no known record of serious crime and there is no security objection in respect of the application.

Applicants applying as entrepreneurs are required to :-

(a) have a good educational background, technical qualifications or proven professional experience;

(b) be in a position to make substantial contribution to the Hong Kong economy.

4. Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (“ASMTP”) (輸入內地人才計劃)

ASMTP also has no sector restriction and is applicable to professionals from Mainland China. Applicants are subject to the same requirements for professionals under the GEP scheme above.

5. Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (“QMAS”) (優秀人才入境計劃)

This is also a non-sector specific scheme applicable to highly skilled or talented individuals who have not yet secured a job offer in Hong Kong. The annual quota under QMAS has been suspended for a period of two years beginning 1 January 2023. Applicants must satisfy all prerequisites concerning age, financial resources, good character, language proficiency and basic educational qualification before they will be subject to one of the two points-based tests below :-

(a) General Points Test (“GPT”) for highly skilled or talented persons

Assessment is based on age, academic / professional qualifications, work experience, the Talent List of Hong Kong, language proficiency and family background. Bonus points may be considered for work experience in multi-national companies or reputable enterprises such as listed companies or companies on the lists of The Global 2000 by Forbes, the Fortune Global 500 and the Hurun China 500.

(b) Achievement-based Points Test (“APT”) for talent with outstanding achievements (e.g. recipients of Olympic medal, Nobel prize, national / international awards)

6. Technology Talent Admission Scheme (“TechTAS”) (科技人才入境計劃)

TechTAS is applicable to non-local technology talent employed by an eligible company to undertake research and development work for them in Hong Kong. The employing company must first apply for a quota allotted by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) and subsequently sponsor the applicant for an employment visa / entry permit under this scheme. The key requirements for this application include :-

(a) employing company has a valid quota approved by ITC at the time of application;

(b) applicant is engaged principally in conducting research and development in the areas of advanced communication technologies, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, digital entertainment, financial technologies, green technology, integrated circuit design, Internet-of-Things, material science, microelectronics, quantum technology or robotics;

(c) applicant has a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from a well-recognized university;

(d) remuneration is not lower than the prevailing market level for comparable jobs in Hong Kong;

(e) applicant meets the specific particulars pertaining to the job position set out in the quota allotment letter issued by ITC.

Permanent Residency in Hong Kong

After seven years of continuous ordinary residence in Hong Kong following the successful application under any of the above schemes, the entrant and their dependant(s) may apply for permanent residency in Hong Kong.

If you have any questions on the above eNews or relating to immigration law or employment law, experienced lawyers in our firm would be happy to assist you.

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