Work ruling: It's the international norm

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2003, 12:00am

I refer to the article headlined 'Dependant visa rules may harm HK's allure' (South China Morning Post, July 12).

I disagree with the assertions made by many of the chambers of commerce in the article.

Many of the comments were to the effect that the new visa rules would dissuade professionals from relocating here because their spouses would have to apply for a work visa if they also wanted to take up work.

Prior to July 1, any dependant could hold as many jobs as he or she wanted.

I think the changes in the rules are in line with international standards.

Maybe the chambers of commerce representing different countries who commented should refer to their own country's rules for foreign workers holding work permits.

Can the spouses of foreign workers in their countries also work without having to apply for a work permit themselves? Also, can dependants there hold as many jobs as they want?

In most cases the answers would be 'no', and 'no'.

So why should Hong Kong not have similar rules?

Further, if the spouses of these professionals posted to Hong Kong are also professionals, they should have no problem securing a work permit for themselves. In fact, the only people who would disagree with the new requirements are those who lack qualifications and work experience in the first place.

Would the countries of these chambers of commerce issue a work permit to an unqualified person? The answer is no.

Maybe the chambers should do their job and help facilitate trade between businesses from their countries and Hong Kong instead of whining at any policy they do not like.