Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (“QMAS” Visas).
Quality Migrant Admission Scheme is a point-based scheme with annual quota for highly skilled or talented people to settle in Hong Kong.
The Government announced on 26 November 2020 that the annual quota for the QMAS visas will be increased to 2,000 per year. The scheme is opened to all Mainland and overseas professionals to settle in Hong Kong. The QMAS was initially launched in June 2006.
The QMAS applicants may choose to be assessed either under the “General Points Test” or the “Achievement-based (Points) Test”.
For the General Points Test, marks will be allocated according to your age, academic qualifications, work experiences, language proficiency, family connections in Hong Kong, spouse’s achievement, and whether your profession is included in the current talent list of demand. The current passing mark under the General Points Test is 80.
For the “Achievement-based (Points) Test, it is either all (225 points will be granted) or none. The applicants must show exceptional achievement, e.g. Olympic medals, Nobel prize, national/international awards, or lifetime achievement award winners,…etc. Unless you are a well-known or international recognised person, you might wish to go through the General Points Test instead.
However, please be reminded that having met the above requirements and the minimum passing mark, it does not mean that your application will then be successful. Applicants will be ranked according to the scores they are awarded. High scoring applicants will be shortlisted to enter a selection pool (Phase Two) for further comparison. Quota will be granted to the most meritorious applicants. The selection committee will have the ultimate authority to decide if your application will be approved or not.
Successful applicants will be allowed to bring along their dependant spouses and children under 18 to Hong Kong. Dependants are allowed to work or study.
The major difference between the QMAS visas and the employment visas is that securing a prior employment offer is not required for the QMAS applicants. Once the QMAS applications have been approved, the applicants can take up any employment or set up their own companies in Hong Kong.
With successful applications, Immigration will grant 2-year QMAS visas initially. The QMAS visa holders are required to demonstrate that they have taken steps to settle in Hong Kong by securing gainful employment (in a graduate/specialist/senior level job) or establishing a business (of a reasonable size with local employees) before Immigration will consider to further extend their QMAS visas after the initial 2 years.
If the QMAS visa holders fail to achieve the above requirements at the time of the extension, it will result with either a refusal or a shorter extension may be granted by discretion.