Published: 12:55, December 13, 2023 | Updated: 16:59, December 13, 2023
HK sees talent applications grow almost fourfold to over 200,000
By Wang Zhan

Tourists walk along the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong to enjoy a sunny afternoon in this Aug 16, 2023 photo. (SHAMIM ASHRAF / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s campaign to attract global talent saw a nearly fourfold increase in the number of applications to over 200,000 compared to last year, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said Wednesday.

Answering a query at the Legislative Council, Sun said around 81,000 talents with visas approved under various talent admission programs arrived in Hong Kong in the first 11 months of 2023, which far exceeded the city’s annual target of admitting at least 35,000 talents.

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“The government's various measures to attract global talent have received positive responses since implementation at the end of last year. As at end-November this year, we received over 200,000 applications under various talent admission schemes, which is a nearly fourfold increase as compared to 2022,” Sun said.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government unveiled a slew of measures to attract talent back to the city following a brain drain traumatizing key industries of the international trade hub

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government unveiled a slew of measures to attract talent back to the city following a brain drain traumatizing key industries of the international trade hub.

These include the Top Talent Pass Scheme launched in December last year, aiming to entice overseas people who earn more than HK$2.5 million ($320,140) annually, and graduated from the world’s top 100 universities over the past five years.

The HKSAR government received 60,497 applications under the TTPS from January to November and approved 47,681, according to Sun.

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, an important channel for Hong Kong to attract highly skilled or talented persons globally to settle in the city, saw 71,946 applications as of November, compared to 16,396 last year. Sun said 12,521 applications were accepted, up from just 2,845 last year.

There were also 26,300 applications under the General Employment Policy and 24,159 of these were approved while the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates recorded 24,654 approved applications out of 25,790 submissions.

READ MORE: HK's talent admission programs get over 120,000 applications

The Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals had 20,564 applicants and 18,232 were allowed to work in the special administrative region.

On the other hand, the Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents saw 128 applicants and 88 were approved while 124 out of 138 applications were accepted under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme.

"The government will closely monitor the implementation of various talent admission schemes, and make timely reviews and adjustments where necessary, with a view to meeting Hong Kong's development needs," Sun said.