Almost 3,400 visitors were refused entry to Hong Kong in August, the month the Olympic Games were held in Beijing and Hong Kong, the Immigration Department said yesterday. At the request of legislators, the department submitted a paper to the Legislative Council security panel, which showed 3,393 and 3,370 people were refused entry in August and September respectively. The figure for August was 10 per cent higher than the monthly average recorded for the first seven months of the year. Lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong said in May that he was concerned about freedom to enter the city when Jens Galschiot, the Danish sculptor of the Pillar of Shame, was refused entry. The Immigration Department said it gave a general reason for refusing entry to the person concerned in each case, but it followed international practice in not explaining background information, specific reasons or details of its decision. Another paper submitted to Legco noted that 56 per cent of the 3,820 candidates approved for work in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals in the past six months were paid less than HK$20,000 a month. Ninety per cent of 4,208 applications were approved to work in Hong Kong, an increase of 25 per cent on the number of approvals from October last year to March. The managing director of Centaline Human Resources Consultants, Alexa Chow Yee-ping, said the scheme had become a way for students from the mainland to apply to stay here, working as academics.