Too many mainland immigrants coming into Hong Kong with one-way permits

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 4:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 9:33pm

I refer to the letter by Winnie Chui, for the secretary for security (“Permit scheme allows mainland residents to reunite with families in Hong Kong”, February 28).

While the one-way permit scheme is good, it does create several issues.

First, some 132 new arrivals come from the mainland each day. This figure in a city this small is too many.

Secondly, about 90 per cent of them have received secondary education or above, comparable to the local profile. However, our local university graduates are already struggling to find decent-paying jobs.

One of my former university classmates, after her recent unemployment, is still waiting to find a new job. These new arrivals will mean that it will be even more difficult for our local university graduates to get work. The problem is compounded by the likelihood that most local graduates are probably not fluent in Putonghua and a lot of companies here are expanding their offices or branches on the mainland.

Thirdly, how many of these people are actually trained in professions which Hong Kong needs, and of these, how many hold qualifications that are recognised or transferable to Hong Kong equivalents? For example: someone who was a lawyer on the mainland may be counted as tertiary-educated, but that does not mean that they will be able to contribute meaningfully, since they still have to take the postgraduate certificate in laws (PCLL) course in Hong Kong before they can take the law licensing exam, in order to practise as a solicitor.

It would seem to me that currently it is too easy for immigrants from the mainland to be reunited with their families in Hong Kong, as in other parts of the world, family reunion immigrants have to meet certain conditions.

For instance, in the UK, the UK-based spouse must show that her or she is earning around £30,000 (HK$290,000) annually before they can apply for their spouse from outside the UK to enter. Shouldn’t Hong Kong have a similar policy?

I really hope that the government will do something about these issues I have raised.

Eunice Li Dan Yue, Shanghai