What is the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)
The HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) is a quota-based entrant scheme aimed at attracting highly-skilled or talented foreign nationals to settle in Hong Kong, in order to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s economy. Persons submitting a QMAS application must meet the prerequisites and obtain points either under the General Points Test or Achievement-based Points Test, to compete with other applicants without having an advance local employment offer.
If your QMAS visa application is successful, you can then apply for visas for accompanying dependents like your partner and children. Note that under the scheme, you as holder of the Hong Kong QMAS visa, are required to pay for any accompanying relative's accommodation, board or lodging in Hong Kong.
In January 2023, the Hong Kong government will remove the quota limit for two years, for the HK QMAS visa, in order to attract more talents from all over the world. The government will also improve the approval process to simplify the procedures to make it easier for more world-class talents’ relocation to Hong Kong under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.
How We Can Help with Your QMAS Application
Boötes Consulting Services Limited is an experienced consultation company with over ten years of professional experience in Hong Kong immigration. We provide professional consulting services for new Hong Kong QMAS visa applications, as well as any QMAS application for renewals and extensions.
Once we receive a QMAS visa case, we will appoint a professional and reliable consultant to be responsible for your case for the entire Hong Kong QMAS visa application process.
Our team will handle your case in a timely and efficient way to ensure the application would be processed smoothly. We will be in charge of directly communicating with the applicants to make sure all required information is gathered and kept properly. In certain cases, we will communicate with Officers from the related authorities directly to ensure all applications are proceeding smoothly.
* Disclaimer: Boötes Consulting Services Limited is a private immigration agency which provides Hong Kong immigration and relocation support to individuals and businesses, such as under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme QMAS). We hereby declare that this website is not a government website and is not linked or affiliated with the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department. If you do not wish to obtain QMAS application advice or representation, you can apply by yourself directly to the government department with no additional cost on top of QMAS visa fees.
Eligibility - Who Can Apply for the QMAS Visa, and Who Can’t?
To be considered eligible to apply for the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, the applicant will need to satisfy all the following prerequisites: age, financial requirements, no criminal record nor adverse immigration record, language proficiency, basic educational qualification.
To briefly outline the requirements of Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, please see below:
Age and Academic background: Over 18 years old, bachelor’s degree or above;
Financial requirement: The QMAS applicant must be able to demonstrate that he/she is able to afford the accommodation and other costs for himself/herself and his/her dependents, if any, without relying on public assistance in Hong Kong.
Good character: No criminal record, nor adverse immigration record.
Language proficiency: Good command of Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) or/and English, and the related certificate should be provided as proof.
All applicants can claim points by either one of the following tests: General Points Test and Achievement-based Points Test, and the minimum passing mark is 80 points for General Points Test, and 225 for Achievement-based Points Test.
For the General Points Test under QMAS, there are 6 point-scoring factors. Applicants should assess whether or not their credentials are qualified to meet the passing point before QMAS visa application.
For the Achievement-based Points Test under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, there is 1 point-scoring factor, which is to evaluate whether the QMAS visa applicant has outstanding achievements with exceptional talent or skills. The requirements under this test are quite high. The applicant should satisfy any one of below:
(a) The applicant has been awarded for exceptional achievements, for example, Olympic medals, Nobel prize, national/international awards; OR
(b) The applicant can prove that he/she has been acknowledged by his/her peers in industry, or has made significant contributions to the development of his/her industry, for example, lifetime achievement award from his/her industry).
If you would like to know more about your prospects, current situation and receive a clear assessment, please contact us for consultation. Our professional consultant will give you advice on which point tests you may choose and will help you evaluate the points before your QMAS visa application.
Nationalities Not Eligible for QMAS
Please note the QMAS is not applicable to nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.
Process – Applying & Approval for Hong Kong QMAS Visa
The QMAS application process normally takes 6-18 months from the date of submission. After the Immigration Department of HKSAR receives your application, an acknowledgement will be mailed to your address within 2 - 4 weeks.
The Immigration Department will conduct a selection exercise on a quarterly basis. During the selection exercise, you will be ranked according to the points you have secured. The pre-requisite criteria is 80 points claimed for The General Points Test and 225 points claimed for Achievement-based Points Test. Further assessment will be needed if your QMAS case has been recognised as having satisfied the criteria. Under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, the core assessment standard is the socio-economic needs of Hong Kong. If you satisfy the requirements in the Talent List, your chance of approval would be greater than others.
QMAS visa applicants who are allotted a quota in the selection exercise will be issued with an Approval-in-principle letter, which allows the QMAS applicants to enter Hong Kong on a visitor visa so that he/she can personally attend an interview and present originals of all documents submitted during the application. Dependents are not requested to attend the interview.
Once the Immigration Department confirms that all statements made or information provided during the QMAS application are true and complete, the applicants will be granted a formal approval.
Furthermore, if you are a resident of Mainland China (including those who are currently residing in Hong Kong or Macau on a temporary basis), you should proceed to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement before coming to Hong Kong under the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.
The Director of Immigration has absolute rights to award points under the two points-based tests to applicants of the QMAS visa as the Director sees fit, and reserves the right to approve or refuse any QMAS application without giving any reason. The Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme or details of the Scheme may also be subject to change as the Director sees fit without the need to give any prior notice.
Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme Visa Renewal
If a QMAS visa holder would like to extend his/her stay in Hong Kong, he/she should submit the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme visa application for renewal at least 4 weeks before his/her limit of stay expires. Any QMAS application for renewal will only be considered if the applicant satisfies the following requirements:
For individuals admitted through the General Points Test under the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, the approved QMAS visas are usually valid for a two-year period. The applicant needs to prove that he/she has taken steps to settle in Hong Kong by securing gainful employment or setting up a business within the period. If the renewal applicant can prove this, he/she will be granted a three-year extension. If the applicant cannot demonstrate that he/she has taken such steps already, a one-year extension may be granted at the discretion of the Immigration Department, if such extension of stay is recognised as appropriate. Upon continuously staying in Hong Kong for 7 years, he/she may apply for the permanent residency in Hong Kong.
For individuals admitted through the Achievement-based Points Test under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, he/she will be granted a QMAS visa with a period of 8 years of stay. Upon continuously staying in Hong Kong for 7 years, he/she may choose to apply for permanent residency in Hong Kong, or he/she may choose to renew his/her QMAS visa without getting a permanent residency. To renew his/her QMAS visa, the applicant should prove that he/she is capable of supporting and accommodating his/her dependents on his/her own financial resources, without relying on public assistance in Hong Kong.
Dependent Visa Accompanying the QMAS Visa Holder
Applicants under the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme are eligible to bring their spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age to relocate to Hong Kong together. For this purpose, an application should be submitted for each family member together with the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme application.
The length of stay of a dependent is tied to that of the Hong Kong QMAS visa holder, and dependents are permitted to take up employment or study in Hong Kong. Upon continuously staying in Hong Kong for 7 years, dependents can also apply for permanent residence in Hong Kong as well.
Hong Kong QMAS Visa Fees
Our service fee for QMAS is HKD 38,800, including all QMAS Visa Fees for the whole application process. We provide full service, all-encompassing case management assistance and processing from start-to-finish.
If you need assistance with renewals, please contact us for a quotation about the QMAS visa fees for your case.
We will issue an invoice for QMAS visa fees to the applicant with terms and conditions. Payment in advance for Hong Kong QMAS visa application is required. After confirmation of payment for QMAS visa fees by the applicant, we will start the application process, and send the detailed guidelines as well as templates as reference to the QMAS applicant, to help him or her prepare for the documentations.
Our Hong Kong QMAS visa fees include the following services:
Our Hong Kong QMAS visa fees do not include costs for:
Consultation and advice during the entire process of Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) application process;
Assistance with the preparation of supporting documents required for QMAS;
Review of application information and documents gathered by the applicant(s);
Preparation of the Hong Kong QMAS visa application forms;
Drafting of authorisation letter(s), with the template we provide;
Drafting of statements of personal future plans and reference letters;
Submission of the QMAS application profile to the Hong Kong Immigration Department;
Communicating with the Hong Kong related authorities regarding the QMAS visa application;
Following up with the QMAS application and keeping the applicants updated about the progress;
If needed, responding to Immigration Department of HKSAR enquiries and/or the request(s) for additional supporting documents;
Guidance on the interview after receiving the Approval-in-principle letter;
When application is approved, coordinating with the payment of Hong Kong QMAS visa fees and collection of the approved Hong Kong QMAS visa label;
Forwarding the e-visa label to the QMAS visa holder;
Assistance with the application of Hong Kong ID card(s), if needed.
Overseas delivery charges.
Translation with certification.
About the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme – FAQs:
1. Should I get an offer of local employment first before I apply for the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme?
2. Under the general points test of the QMAS application, is it easier for me to be approved if I scored higher?
No, you don’t need to find a job first. Applicants are not required to have secured an offer of local employment prior to applying for the Hong Kong QMAS visa.
It depends. The minimum passing mark is 80, if you scored over 80, you could apply for the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme. The Immigration Department will comprehensively consider the matching between the applicant’s qualifications and the need of talents in Hong Kong. They do not select talents based solely on the score. According to official statistics for the past few years, the proportion of people who scored over 120 and below is almost 50/50. In general, the Immigration Department cares more about the overall abilities of the QMAS applicant than scores.
3. I applied for the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme years ago and failed. Can I apply again?
4. Can I apply for the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme under Achievement-based Points Test? How to evaluate if I am qualified or not?
Sure! You can submit a QMAS visa application again once your documents are well prepared. If you have applied before, we will review your documents which had been previously submitted to the Immigration Department, and will help you to identify your personal highlights to give you the greatest chance for approval.
The requirements for the Achievement-based Points Tests are quite high. It’s suitable for QMAS applicants who have outstanding and internationally recognized achievements, such as Olympic medals, Nobel Prizes, or lifetime achievement awards from the industry. You may send your CV to us first so that we would help you to evaluate the possibilities and give suggestions on which test is more suitable for you.
5. If I get an approved QMAS visa, how long will I be granted to settle in Hong Kong?
6. What’s the criteria for the Top-tier stream?
Successful applicants under the General Points Test may be granted a stay pattern of 2+3+3 years, while top-tier entrants under the General Points Test may be granted a stay pattern of 2+6 years. Successful QMAS applicants under the Achievement-based Points Test may be granted a stay of 8 years upon entry.
If the applicant was granted a QMAS visa under General Points Test and has been permitted to stay in HK for not less than 2 years, his/her assessable income for salaries tax is not less than HK$2 million in the previous year of tax assessment, he/she will be considered as the top-tier General Points Test entrants.
7. What’s the criteria for an “internationally renowned institution” under the HK Quality Migrant Admission Scheme?
8. If I cannot come to Hong Kong in person for the interview, can you attend the interview as a representative of mine?
It refers to 4 internationally recognised university rankings. If you would like to know the details, please contact us, and we will help you to check the latest rankings or if your graduated institution(s) is in the list.
The interview is mainly for verifying the authenticity of the materials you submitted during the Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme application process. Under the recent covid-19 epidemic situation, the Immigration Department has made special arrangements that representatives could attend the interview on behalf of QMAS applicants. If such special arrangements are available at that time, we can help you with the interview.
9. How much do you charge for your services including the Hong Kong QMAS visa fees? Can I get a refund if my QMAS visa application unfortunately fails?
10. Can I apply for a dependent visa for my family at the same time? Should I pay for such application(s)?
Our Hong Kong QMAS visa fees for an application is HKD 38,800. If your case is rejected by the Immigration Department of HKSAR in the end, we will refund HKD 28,800, and retain the remaining HKD 10,000 as paperwork and administration costs of ours.
You can make such applications for dependents, such as for your legal spouse or children, under the QMAS at the same time you submit your own. There are no additional QMAS visa fees for such applications, as they are included in our final Hong Kong QMAS visa fees. If your application gets approved, the visa(s) for your dependents will be approved as well, and they can relocate to Hong Kong with you together.
Our Other Services
Hong Kong Employment Visa
For non-Hong Kong professionals looking to work in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Investment Visa
For overseas entrepreneurs relocating to Hong Kong either through investing or by establishing their own business in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Dependent Visa
For family members wishing to join their spouses/parents who are working/studying in Hong Kong
For foreigners who wish to visit Hong Kong for leisure or business purposes. And for foreigners who require to transit through from Hong Kong
Hong Kong Training Visa
For non-Hong Kong students and employees coming to Hong Kong for training or internship
We can provide a volume of discounts to clients with multiple applications