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Hong Kong eases migrant assessment rules to attract talent

Immigration authorities are easing assessment rules to attract highly skilled descendants of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents.

The new policy will take effect on May 4, Apple Daily reported Wednesday, citing Law Chun-nam, assistant director of the Immigration Department.

The changes pertain to the quality migrant admission scheme (QMAS) under which the pilot program for second-generation descendants born overseas is being fast-tracked.

The program allows qualified applicants to obtain immigration approval within two to four weeks.

Law said the scheme is intended to promote Hong Kong’s long-term economic development.

Applicants who graduated from the top 100 universities on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings will receive an additional 30 QMAS points.

Those who also have two or more years of work experience in a multinational company will get an extra 15 points.

Last year, more than 31,000 foreign passport holders were given approval to live and work in Hong Kong and more than 9,300 Chinese mainlanders were granted right of abode.

Legislative councilor Gary Fan said Hong Kong has been absorbing mainlanders to the local population since the 1997 handover, affecting employment and promotion opportunities for locals.

Alexa Chow, managing director of Centaline Human Resources Consultants Ltd., said the new policy will attract potential migrants, especially second-generation Hong Kong Chinese.