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What Chance A Published Author Under The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme?

January 29th, 2024

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What Chance Does A Published Author Have Under The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme?

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

Black boxes and taxes – an unheady mix!


Hi Stephen,

A friend of mine is looking into the idea of residing in Hong Kong. He’s a soon to be traditionally published book author in the United States, and he’s based in another country.

Well, assuming his work becomes a financial hit and reasonably well known in first world countries (not on the scale of Rowling, but I think you get what I mean), do you think he’ll find higher success with the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme?

What other visa options can he consider if you think the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme is still going to be like a lottery draw?

And assuming he does get to stay in Hong Kong, since his royalties will be coming from a US based company that already deducts their share and US withholding tax, does he need to open up a company there to receive his funds, or can he just open up a Hong Kong bank account and start depositing his cheques there without having to worry about Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department swooping down on him?

(I take it they won’t need to since the funds are foreign-sourced, but is this really the case or am I missing something here?)

Thanks again for your time!


Like anything to do with the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, in the final analysis, your guess is as good as mine as to the chances of approvability for any particular skill set or any particular candidate.

Given the circumstances surrounding the professional career of your friend, it seems to me that if he’s going to make an application to the QMAS then it’s going to be under the hundred and sixty-five point slam-dunk achievements test, rather than the general test.

So that would require the candidate to have a significant amount of peer recognition for his accomplishments. That would suggest that if he’s had one good book then it may not be sufficient. There could be a requirement to have a track record of publishing and also I suspect depends on the on the nature of his writing. So as I say that’s just me surmising, there is the possibility an application of the achievements tests 165 slam dunk and that would be it.

Whether he’s going to get approved or not as I say your crystal ball is just as good as mine. In terms of other applications that might be open to him, it seems to me that there probably is only the capital investment entrance scheme which is a 10 million Hong Kong dollar investment for residence program that takes six to eight months to complete. If he has that level of funds and he’s prepared to lock them into qualifying investment asset classes in the HKSAR, then there’s a very good chance that he’ll go on to get unlimited approvals under the capital investment interest scheme, which would see him living, working, doing whatever you wish quite lawfully in Hong Kong without any further reference to his rationale for being here.

Aside from that, I can’t really imagine there is any other immigration status that will be suitable for him if he’s just going to carry on writing and being a self-commissioned author.

So yeah that’s about the shape of his options as regards immigration. Now in relation to your questions as regards taxation, alas my expertise is in immigration, it is not in tax I’m afraid. So I’m not qualified to answer that question for you.

Okay, I hope you found this helpful nonetheless.

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.



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