If I have an overseas professional qualification, can I obtain a SFC securities license simply by recognising my prior qualification

July 20, 2021


Some students have worked in the securities finance industry outside of Hong Kong, and now they also need to obtain a securities business license in Hong Kong. Can work experience in the securities industry abroad help you waive the exam and allows a candidate to directly apply for the securities license from the Securities and Futures Commission? The answer is: There is a chance. First of all, normally a candidate needs to take two types of examinations before applying for a license:

  1. Recognised examinations related to local regulatory framework-namely HKSI LE Papers 1 to 6;
  2. Recognized industry qualification examination-namely HKSI LE Papers 7-12.


Under what circumstance can an accredited examination under the local regulatory framework be exempted?

  1. Have a valid license in the last 8 years, but the license is invalid due to resignation may not need to take another examination


  1. Have 3 or more years of regulatory or compliance experience in the securities industry in the last 6 years


  1. 8 years of experience in the securities industry (for details, please refer to the conditional exemption section of Appendix E of the Guidelines of Competence)


Under what circumstances can an accredited industry qualification examination be exempted?

Please refer to: Exemption from Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI) Qualifying Examination HKSI Paper 7,8,9,11,12 Common misconception


Overseas experience is also included


The Guidelines on Competence issued by the SFC mentioned that industry experience can be exempted from certain requirements.In addition to direct securities trading experience and asset management experience in Hong Kong, the SFC will also recognize other industry experience (such as research, private equity and proprietary trading) as relevant experience.It should be noted that the so-called industry experience does not necessarily refer to the license record in Hong Kong. The experience accumulated by the license applicant in other countries or regions is also very likely to be recognised. 


If you want a definitive answer, you can write a CV describing in detail your employer, job title, job content, customer groups of which you have contact with, etc., and then send the CV to the SFC Licensing Division via email,and wait for a reply.


Contact method of the Licensing Division of the SFC:




選擇語言後按 1 字


電郵:[email protected]







SFC Licensing:


Press 1 after language selection


Email:[email protected]

Postal address: 

Licensing, Intermediaries

Securities and Futures Commission

35/F, Cheung Kong Center

2 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong


When applying for a license, you also need to describe in text how your work experience is related to the securities industry, and the case officer of the Securities and Futures Commission will review and manually decide whether to approve your application (because the competency guidelines are relatively vague, hence leaving a lot of wiggle room for the staff to apply their own manual judgment case by case, therefore the process is very subjective).


How can we help?

2CExam provides HKSI LE, IIQE, EAQE and SQE related exam preparation materials. We sell mock question banks for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 in Chinese and English; and bibles for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 in Chinese. We also offer 1 on 1 tutorial services. Besides, we have also made free tutorial videos for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and posted on public channels such as Youtube/ Bilibili/ Tencent/ Iqiyi. 2CExam has been an exam training expert for years. Should you need any help please visit www.2cexam.com or contact us through:

Phone +852 2110 9644 Email: [email protected] Wechat: hk2cexam WhatsApp: +852 9347 2064


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