HK to open the door wider in global fight for talent Immigration and employment restrictions for high-quality migrants are undergoing a major overhaul to ensure Hong Kong does not lag behind in the global fight for talent and investment, a government source has revealed. Measures set to be introduced include the issuing of a special visa to enable non-local students to stay in the city for up to a year after graduation to look for jobs. To avoid possible confusion that may arise from various talent and migrant admission schemes, a one-stop service centre would be launched so applicants would have to submit only one form and be directed to an appropriate scheme for processing, a senior government source said. The age restrictions under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme would also be scrapped, the source said, and the work experience requirement would be relaxed. To complement the government's plan to lure Islamic capital investment, officials are also considering allowing citizens from Middle Eastern countries to stay longer. The package of immigration amendments may be given to the Executive Council for approval as early as next month, according to the source. In his October policy speech, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced a wide range of initiatives to boost the city's competitiveness in attracting talent. At present, some 1,450 non-local students are allowed to study at Hong Kong's universities. The quota, about 10 per cent of total student population, is to be doubled in a bid to widen the city's potential pool of talent. The graduates will be allowed to stay for up to one year to look for jobs under the new plans to relax their employment restrictions and conditions of stay. The source said the special visa for graduates would be available this summer. At present, students must find a job before graduation if they want to stay. Since the handover, about 200,000 professionals have come to Hong Kong to work or live through the various admission schemes. These include the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, aimed at attracting highly skilled professionals and outstanding talent without the need of first securing employment here. The Admission Scheme for Mainland Talent and Professionals seeks to attract Chinese nationals to work in Hong Kong, while a Capital Investment Entrance Scheme allows wealthy residents from overseas to settle here. The source conceded that there was still room for improvement in the schemes. Currently, the quality migrant scheme involves a scoring system based on age, work experience, professional qualifications and language proficiency. Those aged above 50 score no points in the age category, while applicants with five years or less work experience get no points in that category. To broaden the pool of qualified people, officials would scrap the age limit and reduce the years of work experience required, the source said. Amid concerns that the various schemes may cause confusion, the Immigration Department plans a one-stop application service. An applicant would be required to submit just one form, after which he or she would be referred to the appropriate scheme for further processing. The Immigration Department is also considering extending the 14 to 30 day stay now given to people from Middle Eastern countries. Officials hope the extension would ease the restrictions on potential investors visiting the city.