What is the IANG Visa? How do I extend it?

In 2008, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region introduced a new government scheme called the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), which aims to encourage graduates to stay and work in Hong Kong after graduating from a local university. In our current global situation, it is more important than ever to keep as many options open as possible. If you’re studying further education in Hong Kong and are interested in learning more about the IANG visa or already have one and want to know how to get an IANG visa extension, then the following guide is for you. To help you understand how the entire IANG visa scheme functions, we will be breaking down the process of obtaining the IANG visa as well as what is needed for an IANG extension.

Who can apply for an IANG?

The IANG scheme is open to all recent graduates who have completed a full-time degree or locally accredited higher education programme in Hong Kong. It is a quota-free and non-sector-specific scheme. The scheme is not open to nationals from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), and Nepal. Vietnamese nationals can apply only if they have completed an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time locally accredited Hong Kong local programme offered by one of the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions. Recent graduates who have completed their university certification within six months of applying qualify as a ‘fresh graduate’ under the IANG scheme. There are no requirements for these individuals to have secured a job offer when submitting their IANG visa application. Once their application is approved, they are granted a 12-month stay to work in Hong Kong without other conditions, provided that they meet other normal immigration requirements. Graduates who apply after the six-month limit are classified as non-local returning graduates and are subject to stricter conditions. Applicants will need to secure an offer of employment at a pay range appropriate to a university graduate for successful IANG visa approval.  

What documents do I need?

You will need to have your IANG visa application form filled out correctly, along with a current photograph. Photocopies of the Personal Details Page of your passport, as well as the relevant page showing your entry stamp, landing slip, and extension of stay label are necessary. If applicable, you should also provide a photocopy of your Hong Kong identity card. Finally, you will need to provide academic records, transcripts, and certifications supporting your successful completion of a graduate or higher qualification certificate in a full-time and locally accredited programme in Hong Kong.  

What should I do if I haven’t received my graduation certificate?

If you have graduated but have not yet received your official graduation certificate, you can still apply for the IANG, but with a few extra steps. You will first need to complete form ID990A (Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong) and file it with the immigration department along with supporting documents proving that you have studied in a local program, such as a Letter of Certification from the university.  

How do I apply for an IANG visa extension?

While the IANG visa is normally granted for 12 months, you can extend your visa after this period, provided that you fulfil further requirements. To apply for an IANG visa extension, you should complete and submit the ID91 form within the final four weeks of the original IANG visa. You are required to have full-time employment at the time of application. This employment also needs to be at the appropriate level for a graduate position. Should you be part of a business venture, you should provide proof of your business operations along with the IANG extension of stay application.  

Can I apply online?

Yes. There are several methods of applying for an IANG visa or an IANG visa extension, including submitting your application to the Immigration Department in person, by post, or online through the department’s official website (https://www.gov.hk/iang).  

How Long is the Processing Time?

On average, the waiting time for fresh graduate IANG visa applications is roughly 2 weeks. For returning non-local graduates, the processing time takes around 4 weeks, though it may be longer during the summer months when there is an increased volume of applications. The processing time may also vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances. If the supporting documents are not complete, then the process will be delayed until all the paperwork is received.  

Need help?

If you still have questions or concerns about the IANG visa or IANG visa extension, FastLaneHR is here to offer the assistance you need. As a trusted work visa agent, we are experienced in liaising directly with the Hong Kong Immigration Department and helping numerous clients successfully process their work visas and various immigration-related applications. We can help guide you through the entire application process from start to finish, making your journey to working in Hong Kong as stress-free as possible. Get in touch with FastLaneHR today!