HKID Revamp the Approvability Criteria for Employment and Investment Visas

As part of the continuing overhaul of immigration policy, the Hong Kong Immigration Department restated the conditions which apply for employment and investment visas last month.

Whilst the previous tests for approvability were very much kept intact (employment visas - "does the applicant possess special skills knowledge and experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong?"; investment visas - "will the business be of substantial benefit to the economy of Hong Kong as a whole?") it is noteworthy that both 'security objections' and that a 'genuine vacancy for an employee in Hong Kong' were stated right at the very top of the new list of criteria.

Both of these facets have always been an important part of the employment based visas regimes in Hong Kong but the recent restatement illustrates just how things are changing down at Immigration Tower. Things are certainly getting tougher with more extensive due diligence and analysis of the need for expatriates to fill jobs.

Other issues which were restated as being of heightened significance in the consideration process.

The requirement for a good education background - only in "special circumstances" will experience now qualify in lieu.

Remuneration paid is to be at a 'professionals' level.

The applicant is expected to make a 'substantial contribution' to the economy of Hong Kong.