Immigration Updates - Hong Kong

HK to relax restrictions on immigration scheme

   Hong Kong's chief executive Donald Tsang said yesterday the government would relax restrictions on the city's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, a program allowing favourable treatment for talent wishing to settle in Hong Kong.

   A total of 28,000 people from around the globe came to work and settled in China's special administrative region of Hong Kong last year, among whom 5,500 were from the mainland, Tsang said in the first policy address of his second term as chief executive.

   Tsang said he would ease restrictions on the scheme such as age limit and other prerequisites and actively promote the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme to attract more mainland and overseas talent to come and contribute to Hong Kong's development.

   "Global competition means that we have to compete for markets as well as talent. Hong Kong's future development requires more talent from the mainland and overseas," he said.

   Hong Kong launched the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme in June 2006, under which applicants do not need to acquire an offer of local employment beforehand, but would have to meet a series of strict prerequisites and pass points-based test.

   The current age limit for the scheme was between 18 and 50.

   While attracting celebrities like mainland pianists Lang Lang, badminton player Zhou Mi and former NHL star Barry Beck, the scheme has been known for its strict requirements, leading to an applicant number lower than the quota.

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