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LCQ7: Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

     Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him in the Legislative Council today (June 1):


     Regarding the policies and measures to attract outstanding talents to develop their career in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of talents admitted by the Government through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme ("QMAS") in each of the past three years, broken down by the applicants' nationality, age, sex, profession, as well as by the number of family members they brought along, and whether they came to Hong Kong to take up employment or start their own business (list in table form);

(b) whether the authorities have studied implementing any additional measures under QMAS (e.g. preferential policies such as providing tax concessions to people who migrate to Hong Kong through QMAS, and awarding extra points under the existing point-based tests of QMAS to applicants engaged in the six industries with competitive edge, etc.) so as to enhance Hong Kong's appeal to foreign professionals as well as the quality and competitiveness of Hong Kong's working population; and

(c) as it has been reported that after the serious earthquake and radiation leak incident in Japan, some senior echelons of multinational enterprises were evacuated, and that to attract such talents, the Hong Kong Immigration Department ("ImmD") has made a special arrangement to expedite the vetting and approval of applications for entry visas to enter Hong Kong (i.e. the vetting and approval time has been shortened from four to six weeks to two days), of the total number of entry visa applications submitted from Japan which have been vetted and approved by ImmD since mid-March this year (list by type of visa), and among them, the number of those applicants who have been granted a visa and have already come to work or reside in Hong Kong; the percentage of such number in the total number of applications received; the respective numbers of applicants who are Japanese and those who are of other nationalities; whether it has planned to co-ordinate through QMAS to attract these talents to stay in Hong Kong to develop their career?



(a) and (b) Since implementation in June 2006, the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) aims to attract talented persons of different sectors to settle in Hong Kong in order to enhance our competitiveness in the global market. We review the Scheme regularly to enhance its operation. For example, since January 2008, we have lifted the upper age limit of applicants, adjusted the marking scheme (to benefit younger applicants) and streamlined the application procedure for extension of stay. We will further improve the Scheme as necessary to contribute to the overall development of Hong Kong.

     From 2008 to 2010, 564, 593 and 329 people were admitted to Hong Kong respectively under the Scheme. The statistical breakdown of these 1 486 successful applicants is as follows:

Male: 977
Female: 509

18 - 24: 51
25 - 29: 381
30 - 34: 371
35 - 39: 350
40 - 44: 187
45 - 50: 111
Above 50: 35

Chinese: 1 136
American: 56
Australian: 47
Canadian: 46
Others: 201

Bringing dependants
Have not applied: 769
Applied: 717 (472 bringing spouse and children; 194 only bringing spouse; 51 only bringing children)

Financial and Accounting Services, Commerce and Trade: 536
Information Technology and Telecommunications: 250
Arts and Culture, Broadcasting and Entertainment: 128
Architecture, Surveying, Engineering and Construction: 120
Manufacturing Industries: 101
Academic Research and Education: 71
Human Health Service: 37
Others: 243

     Although the Immigration Department (ImmD) does not maintain the breakdown of the employment or investment of approved applicants, the above sector distribution of successful applicants shows that the Scheme has attracted talents from the six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.

 (c) Since the Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, up to May 27, the ImmD has received and approved 204 applications involving transfer of employees within multinational corporations from Japan to Hong Kong, among which 56 are Japanese nationals while the remaining 148 are of other nationalities. Besides, there are 38 spouses and 50 children approved as accompanying dependants. Approved applicants are free to exercise their entry to Hong Kong within a specified period of time from the date of issue of the employment or relevant visas. The specified period is normally three months.

Ends/Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Issued at HKT 14:47


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