What Is QMAS Visa, And How To Apply For One?
Interested in pursuing a strong career or starting a business in Hong Kong? If you are a skilled individual or entrepreneur, the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) might just be your gateway to the world of employment opportunities in HK. This guide will help you better understand how the coveted QMAS visa works, its eligibility, and how you can apply for one to explore employment in Hong Kong.
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What is the QMAS visa?
Launched in Hong Kong in 2006, the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) is a points-based scheme aimed to attract highly skilled talents from around the globe to find employment and settle in Hong Kong. By obtaining the QMAS visa, successful applicants can arrive in Hong Kong with no secured job offer and bring along their dependents, who are then free to work and study in Hong Kong. The QMAS visa can be renewed after 2 years, and the applicant and his/her dependents may be eligible to apply for the right to live in Hong Kong. As of 2022, the annual quota for the QMAS visa stands at 4000.
Under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, applicants are assessed based on their choice of either of two tests – the General Points Test and the Achievements-based Points Test. The former allocates points based on a range of factors, including age, academic qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, etc. On the other hand, the Achievements-based Points Test is an all-or-nothing approach for highly talented individuals who have either received an award of exceptional achievement or are recognised by their peers for showing significant contribution to his/her professional field.
Hong Kong QMAS visa eligibility
All foreigners who fulfil the following pre-requisites may be eligible to apply for the QMAS visa, with the exception of nationalities from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal, and Vietnam. In addition, interested applicants should also ensure that /her credentials meet the minimum passing score of 80 out of 225 under the General Points Test.
- Age – The applicant must be aged 18 or above at the time that they submit their application for the QMAS.
- Financial requirement – The applicant should be able to demonstrate that he/she can financially support himself/herself as well as his/her dependants while they are in Hong Kong.
- Good character – The applicant should have no criminal record or immigration-related convictions.
- Language proficiency – The applicant should be able to provide proof of language proficiency in Chinese (Cantonese or Putonghua) or English.
- Educational qualification – The applicant should have attained a degree from a recognised university or a tertiary educational institution. Technical qualifications, proven professional abilities, and/or experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted under special circumstances.
How do I apply for a QMAS visa?
Once you have checked that you meet the set of pre-requisites under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, you should complete the visa application form ID(C) 981 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 981 (English version). Submit the completed application form to the Immigration Department office together with all the required supporting documents. This includes a photocopy of your passport and identity card, along with proof of personal annual income, language proficiency, academic and technical qualifications, and work experiences. Applicants should also submit dependent visa applications/entry permits for accompanying family members with his/her QMAS visa application.
What is the process of application?
From submission to final approval, the process of obtaining a QMAS visa could take between eight to 12 months. After submitting the application and relevant documents, you will go through a selection exercise conducted by the Immigration Department every quarter, where applicants of the quarter are assessed, ranked according to their scores, and allotted a quota. Successful candidates will receive an Approval-In-Principal letter and be invited to attend an in-person interview within three months. Candidates who qualify for the interview will be asked to pay the relevant visa fees. Once all the original documents have been verified by the Hong Kong immigration authorities, formal approval will be granted.
Applying for the QMAS visa can be a long and daunting process, and applicants often get rejected due to failure to understand the application eligibility criteria. That’s where a reputable work visa agent in Hong Kong like FastLaneHR can provide you with the assistance you need. We are experienced in guiding clients through the process of applying for a work visa. We will make sure you have all the right documents and maximise your chance of a successful QMAS visa application, so you can be on your way to settling in Hong Kong. Get in touch with us today, and let us help make your application as smooth as possible!