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LCQ11: Quality Migrant Admission Scheme
     Following is a question by the Hon Chung Kwok-pan and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, in the Legislative Council today (January 6):
  The Government launched the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) in June 2006 to attract highly skilled or talented persons globally to settle in Hong Kong so as to enhance the international competitiveness of Hong Kong. Given that the number of applications received under QMAS has increased significantly after the first "Talent List" was released in August 2018, the Government last year increased the annual quota of QMAS from 1 000 to 2 000, with a view to enlarging Hong Kong's talent pool. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the total number of talents granted approval to come to Hong Kong under QMAS since 2006, with a tabulated breakdown by (i) the year in which they came to Hong Kong, (ii) the industry/occupation in which they were engaged before coming to Hong Kong, and (iii) the countries/places from which they came;
(2) whether it has assessed (i) the effectiveness of QMAS in catering for the needs of various industries for talents, thereby promoting local economic and social development, and (ii) the actual benefits that QMAS has brought to Hong Kong society; if so, of the details; whether it knows the number of talents who continue to stay in Hong Kong for career development after obtaining the right of abode in Hong Kong; and
(3) whether it will, targeting at the development needs of Hong Kong's economy and industries (such as the innovation and technology as well as financial industries), step up publicity efforts and attract talents of the relevant industries to apply for coming to Hong Kong for career development; if so, of the specific plans (including which places the talents of which will be approached)?
(1) A total of 7 127 applicants were allotted a quota under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) since its launch in June 2006. The breakdowns of quotas allotted under QMAS by year of approval, the industry/sector to which the applicants belonged, and the places from which they came are tabulated as follows:
Year No. of applicants with quotas allotted
(June to December)
2007 239
2008 564
2009 593
2010 329
2011 286
2012 298
2013 332
2014 373
2015 208
2016 273
2017 411
2018 555
2019 874
2020 1 709
Total 7 127
Industry No. of applicants with quotas allotted
Financial and Accounting Services 1 767
Information Technology and Telecommunications 1 625
Architecture, Surveying, Engineering and Construction 535
Commerce and Trade 462
Academic Research and Education 438
Manufacturing Industries 429
Arts and Culture 310
Legal Services 275
Business Support and Human Resources 274
Human Health and Veterinary Services 215
Broadcasting and Entertainment 187
Sports 185
Logistics and Transportation 149
Catering and Tourism 47
Others 229
Total 7 127
Places where applicants
came from
No. of applicants with quotas allotted
Mainland China 6 179
USA 159
Australia 130
Canada 127
Others 532
Total 7 127
(2) QMAS is always an important channel for Hong Kong to attract highly skilled or talented persons globally to settle in the city, thereby enhancing our international competitiveness. With their international and Mainland perspectives, talents who have settled in Hong Kong under QMAS help the city fully capitalise on its advantages in closely connecting places around the world and Mainland China, and strengthen its status as Asia's World City.
  QMAS is not sector-specific. Eligible applications will be short-listed for further assessment by the Advisory Committee on Admission of Quality Migrants and Professionals (the Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee comprises official and non-official members from various sectors of the society appointed by the Chief Executive. Through a rigorous selection process by the Advisory Committee, quotas under QMAS will be allotted to highly skilled or talented persons who meet Hong Kong's development needs. The Advisory Committee will consider the socio-economic needs of Hong Kong, the backgrounds of the candidates (such as academic attainment, professional training/qualification, work experience, international perspective, language proficiency and future development plan in Hong Kong) and other relevant factors, and make recommendation to the Director of Immigration on the best approach to allocate the quotas.
  The Government will continue to review the arrangement and effectiveness of QMAS to attract more highly skilled and talented persons to develop their careers and settle in Hong Kong with a view to enlarging Hong Kong's talent pool.
(3) Attracting talents is one of the key foci in this year's Policy Address. The Government is stepping up publicity on QMAS through the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices and Invest Hong Kong's overseas offices, with a view to attracting highly skilled or talented persons globally to settle in Hong Kong.
  Eligible applicants who meet the requirements of the Talent List of Hong Kong (the Talent List) may enjoy immigration facilitation under QMAS after assessment to support Hong Kong's development into a high value-added and diversified economy. Currently the Talent List comprises 11 professions. Talented persons under the Talent List are those most needed by Hong Kong in the immediate to medium term for the development of economy (details at www.talentlist.gov.hk/). QMAS will continue to support the Talent List so as to attract, in a more effective and focused manner, high-quality talent to develop their careers in Hong Kong.
  Apart from QMAS, the Government also launched the Technology Talent Admission Scheme in June 2018 to provide a fast-track arrangement for non-local technology talents. Companies which have succeeded in application will be allotted a quota to admit those talents to undertake research and development work for them.
Ends/Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:00
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