Hongkong Special Administrative Region of China (HKSAR) is the official name of Hongkong (H.K.). Located in the east of Pearl River Estuary, Hongkong is an autonomous country and do not follow ‘one country, one rule’ principle. H.K. has a rich set of deep natural harbor and an expansive skyline. It is the third biggest financial hub after London and New York. Hongkong is the most sought after destination for experienced and qualified people of India since it already has a diverse Indian diaspora settled there. About 10% of restaurants in H.K. are operated by Indians. H.K. has world-class transportation, communication and logistical facilitates. Kowloon, Tseun Wan, Sha Tin, Tai Po, etc. are some of the largest cities of HK.
Hongkong is a country where ‘East truly meets West’. It is one of the four Asian tiger nations. HK’s immigration requirements are designed as per the developmental requirement of this autonomous region. HKSAR aims to have an influx of quality immigrants than quantity immigrants that is why Hongkong keeps updating its immigration policies at periodic intervals.

Benefits of immigrating to H.K.:

Stable and Advanced Economy.
Low Taxation.
HK Dollar is the most traded currency in the world.
Highest per capita income.
High Human Development Index (i.e. High standards of living and social benefits of a developed country).

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Hongkong has two visa pathways via which one can acquire a work visa for HKSAR (Hongkong Special Administrative Region):

a) General Employment Program (GEP)

GEP program is listed under General Employment policy of Hongkong. It is a non-sector specific and a quota-free employment pathway to Hongkong. This scheme is mainly designed to address labor shortage in some industries in Hongkong. One can make a visa application under GEP with:

Non-objectionable credentials.
Good first degree education credentials.
Authentic and Confirmed Employment offer where the vacancy is genuine.
Remuneration offered should be at market level and able to cover for accommodation and expenses.
b) Qualified Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)

Qualified Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) is a quota based and point based migration scheme for rightly skilled, educated and qualified immigrants. It was launched in 2006 and it allows trained emigrants with an authentic employment offer to work in Hongkong. Applicants of QMAS can also settle permanently after a certain period of time.

Eligibility Requirements:
It is mandatory to get at least 80 points out of 165 on the factors such as:
Age: 18-50 years.
Should be self-sufficient financially.
Non-objectionable credentials.
Language Proficiency in Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English.
Basic Educational Qualifications and Employment Experience.
Applicants may later take their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.


There are two types of visa available for students or prospective students:

a) Study Visa

An application for Hongkong student visa can be made if-

One is admitted to a private school registered under the Education Ordinance (Cap. 729) or Post-Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap. 320); OR one takes up studies in a full-time, locally accredited post-secondary or post-graduate program; OR the applicant is admitted to an exchange full-time program locally accredited program for not more than 6 months or not more than a year as an under-graduate or above level.
In case of primary and secondary education, the applicant should be between 5 years 8 months and 11 years of age and below 20 years respectively. AND
Applicant should have a school acceptance letter to confirm acceptance for studies.
The applicant should show that one is able to meet fees and living expenses without working.
Applicant should have a local sponsor- either the educational institution or an individual. If it is an individual sponsor, an undertaking should be signed by him/her stating that they are prepared to provide financial support and accommodation (in case applicant is less than 18 years of age) during the period of study. If the applicant is under 18 years, parents of the applicant should authorize the sponsor to become the guardian of the applicant.
Applicants may later take their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.

b) Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)

IANG provides a perfect opportunity to students who are studying or have passed out from Hongkong educational institutions. Students who have completed or are doing a full-time under-graduation or higher qualification program from a locally accredited HKSAR educational institution, one can apply to remain/return to Hongkong via IANG visa. IANG allows one to stay and work in Hongkong after their studies. Your case may fall into one of the two cases-

Within 6 months after graduation (date on graduation certificate):

Such students are classified as non-local fresh graduates.
There is no need to secure an offer of employment before filling visa application.
Under this, one may be granted 12 months initial stay provided general immigration requirements are met.
Applicants may later take their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.

After 6 months of graduation (date on graduation certificate):

These students are called returning non-local graduates.
Returning non-local graduates need to secure an offer of employment before applying under IANG.
Under this category too one will be granted 12 months initial stay provided general immigration requirements are met.
Applicants may later take their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.

Under IANG one can change his/her employment too during their period of stay without any need of approval from the Department of Immigration.

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Investor and Entrepreneurs can apply for a Hongkong investor or business visa under General Employment Policy and Capital Investment Entrant Scheme of HKSAR.

Application for Hongkong visa entry under General Employment Program as an investor or entrepreneur can be made, if:

The applicant has good moral character (non-objectionable credentials, etc.).
Have good educational qualifications and technical credentials in the field of choice.
Applicant’s efforts should show that it will make a substantial economic contribution to Hongkong’s economy and are not limited to b-plan, etc.
If one wants to apply as a start-up business or join a start-up business, the b- plan in the targeted industry/ sector should be backed-up by a government program, followed by rigorous vetting and selection process.
Applicants may later bring their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.

Visa pathway of the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme was suspended in January 2015 until further notice by HKSAR government.

Generally, one can apply under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme if:

Applicant is above 80 years of age.
Applicant has assets with net worth HK$10 million.
Applicant has invested within 6 months before filing visa application or will invest HK$10 million within 6 months after filing visa application towards his/her business or investment.
Clean credentials in HKSAR and Country of residence.
Applicants may later bring their spouse or dependent children to Hongkong.

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One can apply for a visitor or transit visa at HKSAR Immigration department if they are planning to visit Hongkong on a business/ tourism/ social/ leisure visit.

One’s bona fides (credentials and intention to visit HK) should not be in doubt and be proved.
Have good educational qualifications and technical credentials in the field of choice.
One should be able to establish that they have an adequate amount of funds to survive for the duration of stay in Hongkong.
If in case one is applying for the transit visa, they should hold a continuous ticket towards the final destination (valid only when the final destinations are not the People’s Republic of China mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR)).

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Sponsor with permanent residence or unlimited stay permit:

A Hongkong permanent resident or a resident who does not have a limit on his/her stay in Hongkong can sponsor their spouse or children below 18 years of age and parents of 60 years of age or above to Hongkong.

Sponsors with limited period of stay:

For those who have come to Hongkong for the purposes of employment or studies (like under GEP, QMAS, IANG or Study Visa) for a limited period of time can bring their spouse or children below 18 years of age to Hongkong.

Dependents should have a clean record and sponsors should be able to establish a genuine proof of relationship with the dependent. Unless taken prior permission from the Department of Immigration, dependents of sponsors with a limited period of stay cannot take up work in Hongkong and hence should be financed by their sponsors. But they are allowed to take up studies in Hongkong.

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