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Everything you need to know about QMAS(visa)

You may know Hong Kong as a country where you as an Indian can enter visa-free for a 14-day visitor gain a pre-arrival visa for a longer stay. But, are you aware that this country has another visa that grants you a permanent stay?

If you are fond of Hong Kong’s luxurious lifestyle and want to make your permanent space in the country, then this visa is all you need.

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What is the Hong Kong Visa for Indians?

Here we are primarily talking about Hong Kong’s permanent residency visa for Indians. Known as the quota-based entry permit, this visa grants Indians a right to enter Hong Kong, complete the formalities of permanent residency and gain a PR card to reside in Hong Kong.

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme is the term allocated to define the PR visa of Hong Kong. This name is with reference to the fact that Hong Kong admits only quality migrants through this program. Candidates with skills, experience, and eligible factors will be considered eligible for this visa program.

About the QMAS Hong Kong Visa

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) visa was introduced in February 2006. This system was started with the aim of attracting skilled talent from mainland China and nations worldwide.

Also, the fact that the country required a fair immigration system forced Hong Kong’s immigration department to introduce this scheme, which primarily works on points-based selection pattern.

Individuals and families who want to live in Hong Kong and enjoy live as its citizens are required to score eligible points and then apply for the visa. However, only specific nationals are allowed to apply for this visa program.

Who can apply for a QMAS Visa?

Who can apply for a QMAS Visa? In order to apply for the Hong Kong QMAS visa, you need to ensure that your profile relates to all the below factors:
  • You are not a citizen or national of Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Nepal or Vietnam. Hong Kong doesn’t allow nationals of these countries to apply.
  • You are a young, skilled professional. This means that your age must be in the range of 18-50 years when you apply for the visa.
  • You must have a first class degree (in Bachelors or Master’s degree) from a recognized University.
  • You must possess at least 2 years of work experience.
  • You must be willing to take the IELTS/TOEFL exam to prove your proficiency in the English Language
  • You have to prove that you will be neither a threat to the economy of Hong Kong nor its healthcare system. For doing so, you will be asked to submit a police clearance certificate and medical certificate.
  • You have to meet all the financial requirements of the immigration process. This includes both expenses incurred on the process and the fund maintenance prerequisites.
  • You need to score the required immigration points either under the General Points Based Test or Achievement-Based Points Test. Both of these tests have several prerequisites and demand for points.

What are the Minimum Points Needed to Qualify for QMAS?

To migrate to Hong Kong as a permanent resident, you need to score 80 points out of 100. These points are allotted for factors like;

  • Age
  • Educational Qualification
  • Work Experience
  • English Language Skills
  • Additional Factors

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The Points Allotment Structure of QMAS

The immigration system of Hong Kong operates under a points-based system, which is divided into two categories. You need to score points under any one of the two points systems to get a permanent residency in Hong Kong:

  • General Points Test- You need to score 80 out of 195 points The point-scoring under the General points test are age, educational qualification, work experience, language skills, family background etc. For these factors, overall 80 points are required. Points allotment for each factor under General Points test
  • Maximum 30 points for age
  • Maximum 70 points for qualification
  • Maximum 55 points for work experience
  • Maximum 20 points for Language Skills
  • Maximum 20 points for family background
  • Achievement Based Points Test- You can score 195 points If you have exceptional talent, you can use this as a point scoring factor for your Hong Kong immigration process. You will be able to score 195 points. Points allotment under Achievement-based Points Test Maximum 195 points if you have
    • A reward of exceptional achievement (Nobel Prize, Olympic medals national awards, etc.)
    • A work that has been acknowledged for the significant growth of organization company (e.g. lifetime achievement award)

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Documents Required to Migrate to Hong Kong under QMAS Scheme

  1. An application form in English or Chinese language.
  2. A photocopy of the personal selected page of the passport. Sometimes, a photocopy of the last arrival with stay label in Hong Kong is required.
  3. A photocopy of the identity card of the Republic of China (if any).
  4. Completely filled visa application form with all other supporting documents.
  5. A photocopy of personal annual income like bank statements or statement which is showing the current market value of your investment.
  6. A photocopy of proof that you are fluent in English or Chinese for example, the result of a language test (TOEFL or IELTS).
  7. A photocopy of academic qualifications like graduation certificates or academic records, etc.
  8. The proof or your work experiences like your employment letter or contract must be carried with a photocopy.

Note: All the listed documents must be submitted in English or in Chinese, if not then must be translated into English or Chinese by a particular certifies translation body. Immigration authorities have the right to demand a document in future as and when required.

Steps of Hong Kong QMAS visa Process from India

To obtain a Hong Kong QMAS visa, you will need to undergo the following stages:

  • Educational credential assessment
  • Submission of application and documents to QMAS Hong Kong
  • The pool of Application stage
  • Allotment of Quota in Selection Exercise*
  • Receive Approval-in-principle
  • Attend an in-person interview with designated authority in Hong Kong
  • Payment of visa fee and related document submission
  • Subsequent to interview success, apply for Hong Kong permanent residency

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*Selection exercise is an activity similar to a draw for quota allocation of applications conducted at regular intervals. During each selection exercise, an applicant who meets eligibility factors and points requirement under any one of the two points allotment categories will be ranked according to scores. Highest scoring candidates will be issued with an approval-in-principle during selection exercise.

How to Apply for Hong Kong QMAS Visa in India?

  • Application Procedure:
    • You need to submit your documents for educational credential assessment. This is done to check whether your educational credentials meet the education standards of Hong Kong.
    • Then, you need to prepare your application form. This form must be attested with supporting documents.
    • This application is then pushed into a pool of applications. In this pool, all applications that are submitted for QMAS from worldwide nationals are stored.
    • Hong Kong immigration authorities will further conduct a selection exercise for quota allocation. In general terms, this is a draw conducted to select the applications with the highest ranking of the period.
    • Upon the selection of your visa application, you will receive an invitation to apply. This is called as the Approval-in-principle.
    • This Approval-in-principle is an indication that you meet all the prerequisites to apply for Hong Kong PR and the authorities invite you for an interview.
    • You are required to attend this interview with immigration authorities in Hong Kong.
    • If you qualify through the interview, you will be asked to complete the remaining formalities and make the visa fee payment.
    • The last stage is to apply for the permanent resident visa of Hong Kong.
  • Timeline of the Process: We cannot determine the complete timeline of the Hong Kong process. This is because this involves a visa interview that is conducted in Hong Kong. Only the immigration authorities will determine the schedule of this interview: However, we can determine an estimated time frame till you receive the Approval-in-Principle. Process till this stage takes approximately 8-12 months.
  • The validity of the Visa: The QMAS visa is issued usually for 1-year. You as a PR visa holder can renew this visa before you complete one year. If you wish to extend your stay, it is important that you apply at least 4 weeks before your stay period in Hong Kong expires. However, certain conditions apply:
    • If you are a person who has entered Hong Kong under the General Points system, you have to demonstrate that you have taken measures to settle in Hong Kong. You have to gain employment or establish your business within the 1-year period. In case you are unable to do so, the extension may or may not be considered depending upon special circumstances.
    • If you are a person who has entered Hong Kong under the Achievement-based Points system, you must be able to demonstrate that you are capable of supporting your stay and the stay of your dependents (if any), without any dependency on public assistance of Hong Kong.

Can Your Dependent Accompany You to Hong Kong on QMAS visa?

If you are a married spouse applying for a PR visa, you would certainly want your spouse and dependent kids to migrate with you.

The good news is Hong Kong allows you to do so. When you enter Hong Kong on a QMAS permit, you are allowed to bring in your spouse and unmarried dependent children (below the age of 18).

You will have to apply for a dependent visa application and mentioned all the details about your intended stay. The dependents are allowed to work or study in Hong Kong on this visa.

If you are seeking the procedure to check your eligibility and want to understand how QMAS visa can benefit you, we suggest you to get in touch with our Hong Kong immigration consultants.

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