HKSAR Government to roll out Pilot Technology Talent Admission Scheme

HKSAR Government to roll out Pilot Technology Talent Admission Scheme

To meet the needs of the innovation and technology (I&T) sector in getting talent, the Government will roll out a Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS) to provide a fast-track arrangement for the admission of overseas and Mainland research and development talent.

What is TechTAS?

TechTAS is a three-year pilot scheme which provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible technology companies/institutes to admit overseas and Mainland technology talent to undertake R&D work for them.

Eligibility

To apply for a quota under TechTAS, the applying technology company/institute must be –

  • a tenant/incubatee/grantee/occupant of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation  (including Hong Kong Science Park, InnoCentre, or the industrial estates managed by HKSTPC) or Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited; and
  • engaged in the area of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies or material science.

Non-local Technology Talent

Non-local technology talent admitted under TechTAS must be:

(a) employed as full-time employees in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the applicant company/institute;
(b) engaged principally in conducting R&D in the areas of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies or material science;
(c) degree-holders in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from a well-recognised university. Work experience is not compulsory for those with a Master’s or Doctoral degree, whereas those with a Bachelor’s degree only should possess a minimum of one year of work experience in the relevant technology area; and
(d) offered remuneration not lower than the prevailing market level for comparable jobs in Hong Kong.

Technology talent not meeting the academic requirements in (c) above but possess good technical skills in specialty areas, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence can be considered on a case-by-case basis with full justifications.

Local Talent Employment Requirement

When making a quota application, the applicant company/institute has to undertake to employ a certain number of new local employees – i.e. for every three non-local persons approved to be admitted for employment by Immigration Department under TechTAS, the applicant company/institute would need to employ one new local full-time employee (with an employment contract for at least one year), plus two local interns (for a duration of at least three months). Companies/institutes are welcome to employ more local full-time employees in lieu of local interns. The full-time employees should possess at least a bachelor’s degree while the interns can be undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates.

All these local employees should be engaged in technology-related work. Besides R&D, technology-related work includes positions such as technology or intellectual property lawyer, technology transfer expert, etc., but will not include general supporting positions such as administration clerk.

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Comparison with Other Admission Schemes

Compared to GEP and ASMTP, there is no need for the employing company/institute under TechTAS to make submission to justify the difficulty in local recruitment efforts every time it submits a visa application. The company just has to demonstrate such requirement once during quota application stage. However, in applying for an employment visa/entry permit under TechTAS, the applicant is still required to submit supporting documents such as copy of his/her valid travel document, proof of academic qualification and work experiences, etc.

Since the company’s eligibility has been examined during the quota application stage, the normal processing time for visa/entry permit applications under TechTAS can therefore be shortened to two weeks, upon receipt of all the required documents. (Under the GEP and ASMTP, it normally takes four weeks to process a visa/entry permit application upon receipt of all the required documents.)

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