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HK Launches New Migrant Scheme to Attract Talents
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Hong Kong Quality Migrant Admission Scheme applications have opened with an initial annual quota of 1,000, Hong Kong Immigration Department said on Wednesday.

The new scheme, to be operated on a points-based system, aims to attract talented people from the Chinese mainland and overseas to develop their careers in Hong Kong.

Selection exercises will be conducted on a regular basis to allocate the quota to the best applicants. Successful applicants need not secure a local job offer before entering Hong Kong.

They may also apply to bring in their spouse, and unmarried dependent children below the age of 18.

According to the department, the applicants must be aged between 18 and 50 when lodging an application, be able to demonstrate that they are capable of supporting and accommodating themselves and any dependents without relying on public assistance during their stay in Hong Kong.

The department said the applicants are required to be proficient in written and spoken Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English and have a good education, normally a first degree from a recognized university or tertiary institution.

The applicants are not allowed to have a criminal or adverse immigration record in Hong Kong or elsewhere, the department said.

In special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may be considered.

Applicants can choose to be assessed under one of the two point-based tests--the General Points Test and the Achievement--based Points Test--and compete for quota allocation. The maximum points for both tests is 165.

Under the test, a minimum passing mark will be set. Interested parties should view this mark through the department's website and assess whether they have adequate credentials before they submit an application, according to the department.

The department said the point-scoring factors include the applicants' age, academic or professional qualifications, work experience and language proficiency.

Applicants may be awarded points if they are proficient in both written and spoken Chinese--Putonghua or Cantonese--and English.

Applicants may be awarded points if they have at least one immediate family member who is a Hong Kong permanent resident residing in Hong Kong, their accompanying spouse has completed a degree or equivalent level of study, or their accompanying unmarried dependent children are under the age of 18.

The department said the application forms, guidance notes and information pamphlets can be obtained from the department's headquarters and branch offices, overseas Chinese diplomatic and consular missions, overseas Hong Kong Economic & Trade Offices, Beijing Office's Immigration Section, and Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Guangdong's Immigration Division.

(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2006)

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