Technology Talent Admission Scheme (“TechTAS” visas) is for talents who engage principally in conducting R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science, robotics, 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, Internet-of-Things or microelectronics. The applicant should possess a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (“STEM”) from a well-recognised university amongst the top 100 universities for STEM-related subjects in the latest publication of the world university ranking tables.
Unlike the employment visas or the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, there are two parts involved for the visa application process under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme. Before an applicant can apply to the Hong Kong Immigration Department for the TechTAS visa, the employing company (i.e. the sponsor) must first make an application to the Innovation and Technology Commission (“ITC”) to obtain a quota. The quota issued to the employing company will be valid for 12 months.
Some of the requirements of the quota application to the Innovation and Technology Commission (“ITC”) include that the employing company (i.e. the sponsor) must commit to employ new local employees in technology-related work. For every one to three non-local persons approved to be admitted for employment by the Immigration Department under TechTAS, the employing company would need to employ one new local full-time employee plus two local interns
Only after a quota has been successfully allotted to the employing company, then the applicant can file the TechTAS visa application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Therefore, the process of TechTAS visas actually involves two government departments instead of one.
Approval of a quota application under TechTAS to the employing company does not guarantee approval of an individual’s TechTAS visa application by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. The TechTAS application will still be assessed individually on the applicant’s background, experiences, and whether the job can be filled by a local person,…etc.