Residents in the nine mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) can apply for a new “talent visa” to Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions starting Feb 20, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced Thursday.
Visitors under the new visa arrangement will be granted a stay of as long as 30 days in either of the two SARs.
According to the NIA, the policy designates six categories of talents eligible for the application of such documents: excellent talents, meaning those who either contribute tremendously to the area’s development or are much-needed; scientific research talents; education talents; health talents; legal talents; and other qualified talents in the GBA.
An eligible candidate can apply for travel endorsements to the HKSAR and Macao SAR either respectively or together, with the validity periods ranging from five years and three years to one year, depending on the candidate’s category, according to the policy.
While excellent talents can submit their applications to any immigration management authority above the county-level in the GBA, other categories of talents can only submit them to such authorities above the county-level within the place where they work, according to the policy.
The aim of the new policy is to facilitate talents in the region to participate in more technology and scientific exchange activities and promote the overall development of the 11-city cluster with the full resumption of normal cross-border traveling this month.
It will inject new momentum into the socio-economic development of the mainland, as well as Hong Kong and Macao, added the NIA.
Currently, the existing traveling permits for individual tourists and business visits from the mainland allow a maximum stay of seven days in Hong Kong, while visitors for family reunion purposes can stay up to 90 days, and a longer duration can be approved for training and studying in the city.