Making a move to Hong Kong easier: The Benefits of the Top Talent Pass Scheme for lawyers

by Guest contributor in Articles

DatePosted on August 10, 2023 at 09:00 AM
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Introduction to the Hong Kong Top Talent Pass Scheme

Guest article by Nicole Celia, August 2023 

The Hong Kong Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS) is a groundbreaking program that has revolutionised immigration for professionals looking to relocate and further their career in Hong Kong. Designed to attract and retain top talent from around the world, this scheme offers a streamlined and efficient pathway for skilled individuals to live and work in Hong Kong. With its numerous benefits and flexible requirements, the Top Talent Pass Scheme has become a game-changer for both employers and employees in the legal sector in Hong Kong.

Benefits of the Top Talent Pass Scheme for the legal industry in Hong Kong

The TTPS offers a plethora of benefits for the legal industry in Hong Kong. Firstly, it provides access to a pool of highly skilled professionals from different parts of the world, allowing law firms and legal organizations to tap into a diverse range of talent. This diversity not only enriches the legal landscape but also enhances the quality of legal services provided in Hong Kong. Additionally, the scheme promotes knowledge exchange and fosters innovation by bringing in fresh perspectives and new ideas from talented individuals. Moreover, the Top Talent Pass Scheme provides an efficient and hassle-free immigration process for professionals. The streamlined application process ensures that qualified individuals can obtain their work visas quickly and seamlessly, eliminating unnecessary delays and administrative hurdles. This allows legal professionals to focus on their work and contribute to the growth and development of the legal industry in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the Top Talent Pass Scheme offers attractive incentives for professionals in the legal industry. These include competitive salary packages, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. By attracting top talent through these incentives, the legal sector in Hong Kong can enhance its reputation as a global hub for legal services, ultimately benefiting the entire industry. 

Requirements and eligibility for the Top Talent Pass Scheme

To be eligible for the Top Talent Pass Scheme, individuals must meet certain requirements. These include having a minimum level of education in listed top 100 universities, relevant work experience above 3 years, and proficiency in the English language. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate their exceptional skills and expertise in their respective legal fields. The scheme is open to both local and international applicants, making it inclusive and accessible to a wide range of professionals. Furthermore, the Top Talent Pass Scheme operates on a points-based system, where applicants are assessed based on various factors such as qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and achievements in the legal industry. The higher the score, the better the chances of obtaining the Top Talent Pass. This ensures that only the most talented individuals are granted the opportunity to live and work in Hong Kong.

How to apply for the Top Talent Pass Scheme

The application process for the Top Talent Pass Scheme is straightforward and user friendly. Interested individuals can apply online through the designated government portal (see link below). The application requires submission of various documents, including educational certificates, employment records, and proof of language proficiency. Applicants are also required to provide a detailed statement of purpose, explaining their motivation to work in the legal industry in Hong Kong and how they plan to contribute to the sector. Additionally, applicants may be required to attend an interview or provide further evidence of their skills and expertise. It is important to note that the Top Talent Pass Scheme has a limited number of slots available, and competition can be fierce. Therefore, it is crucial for applicants to thoroughly prepare their application and highlight their unique qualities and contributions to the legal industry.

The process of obtaining a work visa through the Top Talent Pass Scheme

Once the Top Talent Pass is granted, successful applicants can proceed with the process of obtaining a work visa. This involves submitting additional documents, such as a job offer from a Hong Kong-based employer and proof of financial stability. The Immigration Department of Hong Kong will then review the application and make a final decision regarding the issuance of the work visa. Upon approval, individuals can start working in Hong Kong under the Top Talent Pass Scheme. The work visa is typically valid for a specific duration, and individuals may be eligible to apply for an extension or permanent residency after a certain period of time. This provides professionals in the nine different industries with long-term stability and career growth opportunities in Hong Kong. According to Chris Sun, Secretary of Labour and Welfare, until April 2023 about 12,000 applicants have been granted a two-year working visa, together with around 8,300 dependents. Over 9,200 of the roughly 12,000 applicants authorized so far have already received their visas.

The vibrant streets of Mongkok are one of the attractions to Hong Kong
FAQs about the Top Talent Pass Scheme for the legal industry

Q: Is the Top Talent Pass Scheme limited to certain legal professions?

A: No, the scheme is open to professionals from various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, and finance.

Q: Can my family members accompany me under the Top Talent Pass Scheme?

A: Yes, eligible family members can apply for dependent visas, allowing them to live and work in Hong Kong.

Comparing the Top Talent Pass Scheme with other immigration options in Hong Kong

While the Top Talent Pass Scheme offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider other immigration options available in Hong Kong. One alternative is the General Employment Policy (GEP), which allows skilled professionals to work in Hong Kong without a specific job offer.

Another option is the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), which targets individuals with exceptional skills and talent in various fields. Each scheme has its own requirements and advantages, and individuals should carefully evaluate their eligibility and preferences before deciding to move.

The cuisine in Hong Kong is heavenly.

Tips for a successful application to the Top Talent Pass Scheme

  1. Are you niche? Do you have a specialization that is highly in demand but low on supply? Thoroughly research the legal industry in Hong Kong and highlight your unique skills and contributions. Speak to local-based legal recruiters to get a feel for the more in-demand areas in the Hong Kong legal industry. 
  2. Prepare a compelling statement of purpose that showcases your motivation and dedication to the legal profession.
  3. Seek professional advice and guidance to ensure that your TTPS application is accurate and complete.
  4. Demonstrate your language proficiency by obtaining relevant certifications or providing evidence of previous work experience in an English-speaking environment.
  5. Emphasise your achievements and accolades in the legal industry to strengthen your application.

Why the Top Talent Pass Scheme could be a game-changer for Hong Kong's legal industry

The Top Talent Pass Scheme has undoubtedly transformed the Hong Kong immigration landscape for professionals generally, although early indicators show that most of the take-up is from Mainland China. Whilst the scheme hasn't quite taken off in the legal industry, it's worth noting the scheme has coincided with a heavy softening of the legal market in 2023.  Longer term, it provides the potential to help Hong Kong's legal market spring back into action, particularly as the Hong Kong Government with the support of the CCP, is working hard to attract businesses and investments from around the world, more notably in Saudi Arabia, South-East Asia and parts of Europe. Such inflow of investments may increase the demand for language skills other than Chinese for legal roles, or at the very least, put English as the dominant language requirement in more jobs in the Special Administrative Region.

This, paired with efforts to increase Hong Kong as a market for entrepreneurs and innovative tech solutions such as blockchain, crypto, defi and NFTs, its long-held importance as a major regional economic hub and gateway to China, and its strengths in being a key common law jurisdiction in Asia, all contribute to many companies still seeing Hong Kong as the first choice to set up a regional hub. 

Hong Kong at dusk. You'll never tire of this view

By attracting top talent from around the world, this scheme has the potential to enhance the quality and diversity of legal services offered in the city. Furthermore, the TTPS can be a contributing factor in making Hong Kong once again an attractive destination for professionals, including those in the legal industries seeking career growth and international exposure. As the legal industry continues to thrive and evolve, the Top Talent Pass Scheme will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping its future. Therefore, professionals and employers in the legal industry alike should seize this opportunity and explore the benefits offered by the Top Talent Pass Scheme.


Link to the TTPS: 



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Thought leadership articles and blog postings on careers, recruitment, professional life, or the legal and compliance industries, from guest writers. Opinions expressed by guests do not necessarily represent those of Star Anise, its employees or other representatives.

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