Hong Kong–Immigration Update:
Changes in Hong Kong immigration policies to attract talent and professionals from outside Hong Kong
3 February 2015
One of the key points that emerged in the Chief Executive of Hong Kong’s 2015 policy address on 14 January 2015 is that the government intends to tackle the issue of possible future talent shortages in the territory. The government is keen to maintain adequate and quality manpower resources to sustain socioeconomic development. Several immigration measures were announced, as a proactive approach, to attract, recruit, and retain talent from outside Hong Kong.
- Attract the second generation of emigrated Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents to return to Hong Kong
The Immigration Department will implement a pilot scheme to attract overseas-born second generation individuals of emigrated Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents to return to Hong Kong by granting them a one-year residence visa provided certain criteria are fulfilled. The residence visa will be renewable if the applicant secures local employment. Once the individual is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong for seven years, he/she will be eligible to apply to become a Hong Kong permanent resident.
- Relax the stay arrangements for Hong Kong residents
Professionals and entrepreneurs admitted to Hong Kong under the General Employment Policy, the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme will enjoy more flexible stay arrangements. The flexibilities may include the ability to change jobs and longer extensions for the stay provided certain requirements are met. Full details have not yet been announced.
- Adjustment to Quality Migrant Admission Scheme
The Immigration Department will adjust the “General Points Test” under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme to attract a larger pool of young talent with excellent education background or international work experience to come to Hong Kong.
- Suspend Capital Investment Entrant Scheme and attract more entrepreneurs from overseas to develop their business in Hong Kong
To adhere to the theme of attracting talent to Hong Kong, the government has decided to suspend the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, with effect from 15 January 2015. To supplement the suspension, clearer guidance will be provided on the factors to be considered for entrepreneurs to apply for an investment visa under the General Employment Policy to encourage more entrepreneurs from overseas to develop their business in Hong Kong.
- Attract diversified talent
The Immigration Department has made reference to overseas experience, and is studying the feasibility of drawing up a talent list to attract high quality talent to support Hong Kong's development as a diversified and high-value-added economy.
The focus of the policy addresses on encouraging talent to come to Hong Kong is good news for employers. With the full details yet to be announced, employers should monitor developments closely to be ready to make any necessary changes in their recruitment and hiring process strategies.
With a larger and more diverse pool of talent in the future, employers also should take this opportunity to revisit talent management, relocation, and business strategies.
Deloitte Hong Kong has experienced Global Mobility and Business Advisory professionals who can provide tax, immigration, and business advisory services.
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