HK requires criminal record for talent scheme applicants

A “clear criminal record” has become a mandatory document in the application of visas for future talent admission schemes in Hong Kong, the Immigration Department (ImmD) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced on Sunday.

A staff member helps a traveller pass the ticket gate at the Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang Control Point at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary in south China, Feb. 6, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)

Following the adjustment of the application procedures of the Top Talent Pass Scheme of February 22, the ImmD will adjust the entry application procedures for other talent admissions. Starting from Monday, applicants will be required to declare whether they have undergone any criminal convictions previously to their applications.

The other talent schemes include General Employment Policy, Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, Technology Talent Admission Scheme, Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates and Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents.

The ImmD said it has been assessing each application for visa/entry permits in a rigorous manner all along and it will adjust application procedures and the information required from time to time.

The HKSAR government rolled out the largest-ever policy package in 2023 to attract global talents.

The Top Talent Pass Scheme offers a two-year visa to applicants who earned at least HK$2.5 million ($428,000) in the past year or graduates from the world's top 100 universities who have worked for at least three years within the past five years.