LCQ16: Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

     Following is a question by Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, in the Legislative Council today (January 8):


     It has been reported that during the seven years starting from the introduction of the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) in 2006 until now, a total of over 2 000 applicants were granted approval for settlement in Hong Kong under QMAS, and 80% of such persons (talents) came from the Mainland.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) among the talents granted approval for settlement in Hong Kong, of (i) the respective numbers of them whose applications were assessed through the General Points Test and the Achievement-based Points Test under QMAS, (ii) the number of them who still live in Hong Kong, and (iii) the number of them who have already acquired the permanent resident status (and how many of them still live in Hong Kong);

(2) whether it has measures to attract talents from places other than the Mainland to apply for settlement in Hong Kong under QMAS; if so, of the specific measures; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) whether the talents or their dependants are entitled to the social welfare benefits for permanent residents before they have acquired the permanent resident status;

(4) of the current number of talents employed by the Government, and how many of them have a length of service not less than seven years; their academic or professional qualifications in general, together with a breakdown by government department set out in a table; and

(5) of the criteria and reasons for various government departments to employ talents; whether the reasons include the fact that too few local residents who meet the entry requirements applying for the relevant government posts; whether the talents applying for government posts will be exempted from the Common Recruitment Examination and the Basic Law Test?



     The reply is as follows:

(1)(i) The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) was implemented on June 28, 2006. Up till November 30, 2013, a total of 2 646 applicants have been allocated quotas, of which 2 432 were allocated under the General Points Test and the remaining 214 under the Achievement-based Points Test.

(ii) According to the Immigration Department (ImmD)'s statistics, there were around 1 600 QMAS entrants staying in Hong Kong as at November 30,@2013.

(iii) ImmD does not maintain the relevant statistics.

(2) Since its implementation, the QMAS has attracted quality talents from around the world to Hong Kong.  To ensure the scheme is in line with Hong Kong's overall development, the Administration will review the scheme from time to time according to Hong Kong's actual situation and socio-economic development needs.  The Administration will also enhance publicity of the scheme, including holding promotion events through the economic and trade offices outside Hong Kong, Invest Hong Kong, the Trade Development Council and relevant organisations and bodies, in order to promote the scheme abroad and to attract more quality talents to Hong Kong.

(3) Applicants may enrol in programmes or receive services administered by the Social Welfare Department so long as they meet the relevant eligibility criteria (including income and asset assessment and residence requirement, where applicable).  QMAS entrants and their dependants may apply for welfare services if they meet the eligibility criteria for the services concerned, even before they have attained permanent resident status.

(4)&(5) According to records, of all the newly recruited civil servants from 2006 to 2013, there were no individuals who had come to Hong Kong under the QMAS.  Regardless of whether a job applicant has come to Hong Kong under the QMAS, civil service appointment is based on the principle of appointing the most suitable person for the job on the basis of merit, and candidates are assessed on the basis of their ability, performance and character, and having regard to the stipulated entry requirements set according to the job requirements.  

Ends/Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:48