What is the change? Hong Kong has expanded the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS).

What does the change mean? TechTAS, which provides streamlined visa processing to qualifying companies, is now open to all companies conducting research and development in any of 13 technology areas. Previously, TechTAS was only available to employers in seven technology areas who operated inside the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Cyberport. The new technology areas are 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, the Internet of Things and microelectronics.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits impacted: Employment visas under TechTAS program.
  • Who is impacted: Eligible companies that operate in fields that are part of the TechTAS program.
  • Processing time: Visas are generally issued within two weeks for companies that have established their eligibility for the scheme.

Background: Hong Kong launched TechTAS as a pilot program in 2018, kicking off a new effort to attract top international technology talent. Up until now, the program was limited to HKSTPC and Cyberport employers within seven technology fields. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced plans to expand the program last fall. Officials announced on Jan. 30 that the program is now open to any company conducting research and development in any of the following technology areas:

  • Biotechnology.
  • Artificial intelligence.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Robotics data.
  • Analytics.
  • Financial technologies.
  • Material science.
  • 5G communications.
  • Digital entertainment.
  • Green technology.
  • Integrated circuit design. The Internet of Things.
  • Microelectronics.

Analysis & Comments: The expansion of TechTAS reflects Hong Kong’s continuing goal of attracting more high-level technology talent. The expanded program will be beneficial to eligible companies in relevant fields.

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