The following changes were initially announced in January 2015. Implementation is now anticipated as April is the beginning of the second quarter of 2015.
- Foreign nationals seeking a visa under the General Employment Policy (GEP), the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talent and Professionals (ASMTP), or the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), will soon be granted an initial period of stay of two years in lieu of one year. Foreign nationals already holding a visa under these programs will soon be able to extend their stay twice for three years each.
- Top-tier visa holders in the GEP, ASMTP, and QMAS programs will be able to receive an initial period of stay of two years and apply for a single extension of six years.
- In order to be considered top-tier in either the GEP or ASMTP, a foreign national must have been granted a two-year professional employment visa in Hong Kong and have an income of at least HK$2 million (US$257,990).
- To qualify as top-tier under the QMAS system, a foreign national must have resided in Hong Kong with a QMAS visa for at least two years and have an income of at least HK$2 million (US$257,990).
- The QMAS, which is a points-based system, will soon grant additional points to those foreign nationals with outstanding academic backgrounds and international work experience.