What is the change? Hong Kong has announced plans to expand the Technology Talent Admission Scheme.

What does the change mean? The plans call for Hong Kong to expand the pilot program, which was launched last year, so that it covers new technology areas and will be available to employers outside the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Cyberport. Companies that are eligible for TechTAS receive streamlined employment visas to fill roles in short supply and they must also employ certain ratios of local employees.

  • Implementation time frame: To be announced.
  • Visas/permits impacted: Employment visas under TechTAS program.
  • Who is impacted: Eligible companies that operate in fields that are part of the TechTAS program, including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies and material science. The list of tech fields is expected to be expanded, but information is not yet available on which additional fields will be included.
  • 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 last year, kicking off a new effort to attract top international technology talent. The program has so far been limited to HKSTPC and Cyberport employers within seven technology fields. In a supplemental document of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s Policy Address this week, officials said Hong Kong would “extend the coverage of the Technology Talent Admission Scheme to companies outside the HKSTPC and Cyberport and to cover new technology areas.”

Analysis & Comments: The expansion of TechTAS reflects Hong Kong’s continuing goal of attracting more high-level technology talent. The program will be beneficial to eligible companies in relevant fields, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

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