Results of quality migrant scheme please panel, despite quota shortfall

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2007, 12:00am

Competition for talent is intense the world over and an uptake of less than a quarter of the annual quota of 1,000 admissions to a quality migrant scheme since June last year was satisfactory, an advisory panel has said.

The Immigration Department had received 992 applications by Monday. Of the 356 who were eligible, 238 received approval to migrate to the city.

Lai Kam-tong, a member of the Advisory Committee on Admission of Quality Migrants and Professionals, said he was pleased with the response, given it was the first year.

'Some countries have run these admission schemes for years and we have just begun,' said Mr Lam, who is president of the Institute of Human Resource Management. 'Talents are sought after everywhere and we should focus on how much the talent has contributed instead of the numbers coming in.'

The government-appointed committee advises the Immigration Department on entry applications received under the scheme. The department had started an overall review of the scheme and it would be completed by the end of the year.

Mr Lai declined to comment on whether the criterion to approve applications should be loosened.

He reiterated the committee would consider various factors such as educational background, professional training and contributions, but the most important one would be how applicants could help Hong Kong's economic development.

Referring to someone who listed his profession as 'oil-rigging' and had his application rejected, he said his occupation had not been a factor and he had been turned down because he did not state his development plans. The application of an agricultural expert who said he would be gardening had been approved.

Green light

Of 238 successful applicants to the quality migrant scheme, mainlanders made up 79%