Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS)

By: Habitat
26 Mar 2024

The Top Talent Pass Scheme (“TTPS”) announced in the 2022 Policy Address delivered by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive launched on 28 December 2022.  The scheme is broadly available to eligible nationals from many countries and offers a new path into Hong Kong to live and work. 

What is the Top Talent Pass Scheme  

Hong Kong's Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS) is a gateway to boundless possibilities, designed to attract exceptional individuals with a wealth of professional experience and academic achievements from all corners of the world. This initiative seeks to tap into the expertise of high-income professionals and graduates hailing from renowned international universities, offering them a platform to thrive and contribute their talents in the dynamic landscape of Hong Kong. 

Eligibility to apply TTPS

Persons who wish to apply to enter the HKSAR under the TTPS are not required to have secured an offer of employment in the HKSAR upon application. They may be granted 24 months stay on time limitation if normal immigration requirements are met. Applicants may choose to apply for the TTPS under one of the categories listed. 

Category A:

Persons with annual income reaching HK$2.5 million or above, or its equivalent in foreign currency, in the year immediately preceding the date of application 

Category B:

Degree graduates of the eligible universities with at least three years of work experience over the past five years immediately preceding the date of application 

Category C:  

Degree graduates of the eligible universities in the past five years immediately preceding the date of application with less than three years of work experience, subject to an annual quota which is to be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, Category C does not apply to those non-local students who have obtained their undergraduate qualification in a full-time and locally accredited programme in the HKSAR

What do Hong Kong Immigration Favour 

  1. Applicants have no security objection and no known record of serious crime.

  2. Overseas Chinese nationals holding People's Republic of China (PRC) passports who meet the eligibility criteria stipulated above may apply to enter the HKSAR for employment under the TTPS if: 

    1. The applicant has permanent residence overseas

    2. The applicant has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application ("overseas" means countries or territories outside the Mainland, the HKSAR, the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) and Taiwan) and that the application is submitted from overseas. 

Note that the eligibility criteria may change at times without notice. 

Dependents and Spouses 

Under the Top Talent Pass Scheme, individuals who are admitted or seeking admission can apply to bring their spouse or partner in a same-sex civil partnership, same-sex civil union, same-sex marriage, opposite-sex civil partnership, or opposite-sex civil union from a place outside Hong Kong. The sponsor's eligibility and recognition of the relationship status will be based on the local laws and authorities of the place where the partnership or union took place. 

These individuals can also bring their unmarried dependent children who are under 18 years old to Hong Kong under the existing dependent policy. The individuals admitted or applying under these arrangements will be responsible for their accompanying dependents' sponsorship. 

To apply for admission of a dependent, certain criteria must be met, including providing reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the dependent and the sponsor, having no known negative records concerning the dependent, and the sponsor being able to financially support the dependent's living expenses and provide suitable accommodation in Hong Kong. 

Please note that this arrangement does not apply to former Mainland Chinese residents residing in Macao who have obtained Macao identity cards for less than seven years, unless they have acquired residence in Macao through the One-way Permit Scheme. It also does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan and Korea (Democratic People's Republic of). 

The stay duration for these dependents will generally be tied to their sponsors'. Any requests for extension of stay will be considered if the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria and the sponsor remains a genuine resident of Hong Kong. These dependents are allowed to work or study in Hong Kong under the existing policy. 

Please keep in mind that the specific immigration requirements and policies may change, so it's essential to refer to the latest information provided by the relevant authorities. 

Points to note 

  1. Annual income means taxable employment or business income including salary, allowances, stock options and profits from self-owned companies. Income generated from personal investment will not be considered.

  2. The level of academic qualifications of applicants obtained from the eligible universities must be equivalent to the recognized Hong Kong standard of bachelor’s degrees. For the avoidance of doubt, honorary bachelor’s degrees will not be accepted. 

  3. The eligible universities refer to those universities/institutions on the aggregate list of eligible universities, which is compiled by the Labour and Welfare Bureau. The aggregate list is based on the top 100 universities/institutions in four designated world university rankings in the past 5 years, namely  

    1. Times Higher Education World University Rankings 

    2. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 

    3. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings  

    4. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic Ranking of World Universities 

    5. The top five universities/institutions providing specialized hotel programmes on the QS World University Rankings in the discipline of “hospitality and leisure management” in the past five years 

    6. The top 10 Mainland universities under the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Best Chinese Universities Ranking in the past five years. 

  4. The relevant work experience shall be accumulated from full-time employment, or else self-employment, after graduation.

  5. Graduation in the past five years is counted by “year of graduation”.

  6. Non-local students refer to persons entering the HKSAR for education with a student visa/entry permit issued by the Director of Immigration. 
    For the avoidance of doubt, the academic qualifications obtained from the continuing and professional education arms, the branch schools, the extension schools or the subsidiary schools, etc., established by the eligible universities will not be accepted. For the latest aggregate list, please click here

    For expatriate services regarding migrating to hong kong, here are a few links that we find very resourceful
    Hong Kong Immigration Department

Share Article
Looking to move and seeking exceptional service?