Hong Kong has been acclaimed as the world’s most open, freest and most competitive city by many international organisations. Hong Kong enjoys the unique advantages under “One Country, Two Systems”, as well as the excellent connectivity with Mainland China and the rest of the world. Supported by its strong research and development (“R&D”) capability, world-class universities, and a robust intellectual property protection regime, Hong Kong has high capacity in innovation and technology (“I&T”). With the full support from the Mainland, Hong Kong is rapidly developing into a hub for technology start-ups. The Government has nurtured a conducive environment for technology start-ups in collaboration with local R&D institutions and universities, and has implemented various measures to promote the development of I&T.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) set out a number of measures in The 2019 Policy Address to further promote the development of I&T. Among them, the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (“TechTAS”) is enhanced to speed up the admission of technology talent.
TechTAS provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible Hong Kong technology companies to admit overseas and Mainland technology talent to undertake R&D work for them in the HKSAR.
Any companies in Hong Kong engaged in 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, having substantive business in the HKSAR and with a valid Business Registration Certificate are eligible to apply for a quota from the Innovation and Technology Commission (“ITC”) of HKSAR. A company allotted with a quota may accordingly sponsor an eligible person to apply for an employment visa/entry permit from Hong Kong Immigration Department within the 12-month quota validity period. It normally takes two weeks to process applications for employment visa/entry permit under TechTAS upon receipt of all the required documents.
An application for a visa/entry permit to take up employment under TechTAS may be favourably considered if:
Applicants admitted under TechTAS may apply to bring in their spouses and their unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 to Hong Kong under the prevailing dependant policy. Persons admitted under TechTAS who have ordinarily resided in the HKSAR for a continuous period of not less than seven years may apply for the right of abode in the HKSAR in accordance with the law.