Navigating the IANG Visa: Your Guide to Working in Hong Kong as a Non-Local Graduate/GBA Campus Graduate

June 25, 2024

Latest News | Immigration News

Navigating the IANG Visa: Your Guide to Working in Hong Kong as a Non-Local Graduate/GBA Campus Graduate

As a non-local graduate, the prospect of working in vibrant Hong Kong can be both exciting and daunting. To help you understand the process, we’ve also compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the Immigration Arrangements for Non-Local Graduates (IANG) Visa.

Key Points:

  • Application: interested former students can apply for the IANG visa in Hong Kong within 6 months of their graduation date;
  • Employment: returning non-local graduates who wish to remain in the HKSAR need to obtain an employment offer after they apply; non-local fresh graduates do not need to have an employment offer upon application;
  • Time: in most cases, the applications for this type of visa are processed within 2 weeks for fresh graduates and 4 weeks for returning ones;
  • Dependants: the holder of this visa can bring the spouse when a genuine relationship between the two can be proved; this does not apply for Mainland Chinese residents who reside in the Macao Special Administrative Region and have Macao identity cards for less than seven years (except for those who reside under the One-way Permit Scheme) or to nationals of Afghanistan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

What is the IANG Visa?

The IANG Visa is a work visa that allows non-local graduates to live and work in Hong Kong for up to 24 months after completing their studies. It is designed to attract global talent and provide an opportunity for recent graduates to gain valuable work experience in the city.

Navigating IANG Visa

Who is eligible for the IANG Visa?

To be eligible for the IANG Visa, you must:

  • Have obtained a bachelor’s or higher degree from a full-time and locally-accredited program in Hong Kong
  • Have graduated within the past 6 months

Note:
Temporarily, you cannot apply for an IANG visa if you are from Afghanistan, Cuba or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. For Laos, Nepal and Vietnam residents, the IANG is only offered to those who have obtained a locally-accredited undergraduate/ higher institution funded by the University Grants Committee, with some exceptions and GBA campus graduates.

How do I apply for the IANG Visa?

The application process involves the following steps:

  1. Complete an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong or Obtain an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time programme offered by GBA campuses
  2. Submit an application to the Immigration Department, along with supporting documents
  3. Wait for the application to be processed (typically takes 4-6 weeks)
  4. If approved, you’ll receive an entry visa which you can use to enter Hong Kong

Can I bring my family with me on the IANG Visa?

Yes, you can bring your spouse and dependent children to Hong Kong under the IANG Visa. They will be granted dependent visas, which allow them to live and work in the city.

The following criteria as well as regular immigration procedures may favorably assess an application for admission of a dependant:

  • There is reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the dependant and the sponsor;
  • There is no known record to the detriment of the dependant; and
  • The sponsor is able to support the dependant’s living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in the HKSAR.

Processing Time

Applications submitted under the IANG by recent graduates from outside the local area or from the GBA campus typically take two weeks to process after all necessary documentation is received. It takes four weeks once all the necessary documentation have been received for non-local non-recent grads and non-recent graduates from the GBA campus. However, the length of time required for processing will vary depending on the specifics of each application and the volume of applications received at a given time. During the June through August summer demand, a lengthier processing time may be necessary. The application cannot begin processing until all the necessary paperwork and information have been submitted to the Immigration Department.

What are the benefits of the IANG Visa?

The IANG Visa offers several advantages, including:

  • The ability to live and work in Hong Kong for up to 24 months
  • Potential for permanent residence through other immigration schemes
  • Access to Hong Kong’s vibrant job market and business opportunities
  • Exposure to a dynamic, international city with a unique blend of East and West

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), non-local graduates refer to non-local students Note who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in the HKSAR.

Non-local graduates who submit applications to the Immigration Department within six months after the date of their graduation (i.e. the date shown on their graduation certificates) are classified as non-local recent graduates. Non-local recent graduates who wish to apply to stay and work in the HKSAR are not required to have secured an offer of employment upon application.

Non-local graduates who submit applications beyond six months of the date of their graduation are classified as non-local non-recent graduates. Non-local non-recent graduates who wish to return to work in the HKSAR are required to secure an offer of employment upon application. Their applications will be favourably considered so long as the job is at a level commonly taken up by degree holders and the remuneration package is at market level.

Non-local graduates refer to non-local students Note who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong.

GBA campus graduates refer to persons who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time programme offered by a higher education institution in the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area jointly established by universities of the Mainland and Hong Kong in accordance with the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools.

An undergraduate or higher qualification” includes post-graduate non-degree qualifications such as Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, Postgraduate Diploma in Education, etc.

There is no restriction on the number of times a non-local graduate / GBA campus graduate may apply to stay/return/come and work under the IANG. A non-local graduate / GBA campus graduate may, after having been admitted to work in the HKSAR under the IANG and left the HKSAR for good subsequently, apply to re-enter the HKSAR for employment again under the IANG.

Overseas Chinese holding a People’s Republic of China (PRC) passport who (a) has permanent residence overseas; or (b) has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application (“overseas” means countries or territories outside the Mainland, the Macao Special Administrative Region, the HKSAR and Taiwan) and that the application is submitted from overseas may apply to enter the HKSAR under the IANG on the strength of the PRC passport.

Successful applicants under the IANG may be granted a 24 months’ stay on time limitation only without other conditions of stay provided that normal immigration requirements are met, regardless of the term of employment.

Persons admitted under the IANG are free to take up and change employment during their permitted stay without the need to seek prior approval from the Immigration Department. In other words, you may stay in the HKSAR and seek another job.

Non-permanent residents of the HKSAR, irrespective of their nationality and type of travel document held, do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR provided that they return within the currency of their permitted limit of stay and that the circumstances upon which they have acquired their residential status remain unchanged. 

Persons admitted under the IANG as a non-local recent graduate / GBA campus recent graduate may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before their limit of stay expires.

Dependants of persons admitted under the IANG may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before his/her limit of stay expires.

Upon application for extension of stay, non-local graduates / GBA campus graduates are required to have secured an offer of employment which is at a level commonly taken up by degree holders and the remuneration package is at market level. For those who have established or joined in business in the HKSAR, they are required to produce proof of their business. Applicants, whether recent or non-recent graduates, may be refused further extension of stay if they fail to prove that they will continue to work in the HKSAR or they have established or joined in business.

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