A marking scheme will be introduced to Hong Kong's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, which will be announced by the end of June, Hong Kong Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee said here Monday.
Speaking on the local radio RTHK's talk show on Monday morning, Lee said a committee will be formed to advise the Director of Immigration on applicants selection.
Talented people from the Mainland and overseas who meet the scheme's specific eligibility criteria can stay in Hong Kong for a certain period of time, without having to secure an offer of local employment beforehand, Lee said.
A marking scheme will be introduced, he noted, adding qualifications and experience will account for 60 percent of the marks. Applicants' age will account for 20 percent of the marks. Their language proficiency, spouses' achievement and the number of children to accompany them will account for the remaining marks.
A two-tiered approach will be adopted in the selection process. Applicants will first be assessed based on the marking scheme and the screened-in applications will be considered by a selection committee appointed by the Chief Executive.
The scheme's immigrants will be allowed an initial stay of one year, without having secured prior employment.
The Director of Immigration will then assess their situation to see whether they have taken steps to settle in Hong Kong by finding a job or establishing a business. He will decide whether or not to give extensions of stay.
Under the scheme, immigrants may be allowed to bring in their spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18, provided they are capable of supporting and accommodating them.
Turning to the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, Lee said more than 600 applications have been given formal approval. The entrants have made a total investment of over HK$4 billion (about US$516.13 million) with the average investment of each successful applicant was HK$7.2 million (about US$0.93 million). He said the scheme has been operating well and requires no adjustments.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government launched two talent import schemes for professional employment or capital investment in 2003.
According to the figures released in February, the Hong Kong Immigration Department has approved 9,457 of the 11,344 applications for the professional employment scheme, and each successful applicant has on an average created 1.5 jobs.
The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme was aimed at luring rich immigrants to Hong Kong.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2006)