• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:17pm
NewsHong Kong

Number of quality migrant applicants rises 10pc in Hong Kong

Mainlanders account for the most, according Immigration Department's latest figures

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2012, 8:39am

Hong Kong has seen an increase of nearly 10 per cent in the number of well-qualified people who want to live here, says the Immigration Department. Most of those approved were from the mainland.

In the first 11 months of the year, 1,834 people applied for admission under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme - 9.5 per cent more than in the whole of last year - the department said.

Since 2006, the department has approved 2,392 applications - 77.6 per cent of them from the mainland. The programme was set up to attract highly qualified people without the prior offer of employment required for a normal working visa. The city issued 30,557 visas last year under the general employment policy.

The quality migrant scheme worries some commentators because of the large proportion of mainlanders.

Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said it showed a worrying trend of "mainlandisation" in Hong Kong.

"It is not surprising that mainland China has more talent given its 1.3 billion population, but I feel uncomfortable about the overwhelming figure," she said.

The next top sources of migrants are the United States, Australia and Canada - each accounting for 2.9 to 3.7 per cent.

Qi Jia, 28, first runner-up in the 2004 Asian Figure Skating Trophy championship, was admitted under the scheme for her sporting achievements.

Immigration figures show that more than half of those admitted as quality migrants were working in industries already well developed, such as finance, accounting, information technology, trading and commerce.

Mo said Hong Kong should admit quality migrants in areas where talent was scarce, such as the cultural and scientific sectors, to avoid competition with locals.

But assistant immigration director Chan Man-lang rejected claims the quality migrants were taking jobs from local talents.

"We do not see any Hongkongers with good qualifications who cannot find a job because of this [scheme]," he said.

Marjorie Yang Mun-tak, chairwoman of an advisory committee that vets applications, said more effort could be put into attracting talents from a broader variety of industries.


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This article is now closed to comments

Hong Kong doesn't have a future, whether the mainlanders come or not. But the fact that they do come, irrespective of their quality, will speed up the death of the HK identity. And that is a shame.
I don't think that Hong Kong has no future. Let's wait and see.
London or NYC in the early 90's could be the reference for HK as successful cases in attracting best-in-class international talent. Two key aspects lacking world-class leading status in HK are its academic institutions (think Columbia, NYU, Imperial College, UCL, even MIT and Harvard or Cambridge and Oxford all just 2h away from the cities) and the lack of global company HQs and research centers based there, as many international companies are increasingly choosing Singapore and Shanghai/Beijing versus HK as their China & SE Asia HQ.
HK has world-class legal, political and judiciary bases that are trusted world-wide (SH/BJ are far from that position yet), and its consistently ranked in top 2 countries globally for ease of doing business (with Singapore) and its efficient rule of law. HK is a bilingual (or multilingual) society where the top business languages in the world, English and Chinese, are fluently spoken. It has the logistical advantage of its proximity to China and also its integration into SE Asia region and the more developed countries in the West due to its history. All these are not easy conditions to replicate, certainly not in a single generation.
To me HK 'feels' like it's loosing part of its identity. I think HK has to attract diverse world-class talent, and for that it needs a plan with a clear direction for the next 20-30 years. World-class (high) education and research would attract global companies' HQ to HK again, so focus and invest on that!
Most of those approved were from the mainland. Why???
these are special than all from other world ?
why immigration is so polite to them?
but very very racist to other nations why ?
where the SAR future is going ?
Maybe other nationals don't apply to live in HK? Cause they can surely tell how hateful/ignorant/arrogant Hong kong people are, except to Westerners. Most talented/rich Indians will rather move to Singapore then ever setting foot in HK because of the local racism against them, calling them "stinky" and "ah cha".
I am actually more worried about good for nothing lawmakers like Claudia Mo who marries a westerners and think she is in a whole other level and her election platform which have nothing constructive but mainland bashing.
I also find it entertaining that Claudia who is of Shanghai origin wrote in the past in Ming Pao Magazine how her mother and her resent Cantonese calling us Souther barbarians, how a high class shanghai snob like her & her family have to endure living with us Southern Barbarians when they got to HK.
if india is so wonderful then stay there, you will not be missed
Apart from the overcrowding of HK, the 'mainlandization' of HK by quality people from China and elsewhere is not a bad thing. It might challenge the less elite locals to smarten up.
But we don't just want quality people from elsewhere to come to Hong Kong, we desperately need those with hunger and desire to reach their goals. Hong Kong has become too apathetic in accepting poor and low quality local service from previous generations of people who moved from other parts of China and became the elite tycoons. We desperately need fresh blood to innovate and deliver in the property sector, the retail sector and the transport sector.
That is a good point..........really good point!


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