January 25, 2024
HONG KONG – Skilled people totaling around 90,000 arrived in Hong Kong in 2023 via various talent admission schemes, far exceeding the special administrative region government’s annual target of admitting at least 35,000 talent.
Of those who arrived, 36,000 were approved applicants of the Top Talent Pass Scheme, Secretary for Labor and Welfare Chris Sun said while responding to a related query at the Legislative Council on Wednesday.
Highlighting that the TTPS has received enthusiastic responses since its launch at the end of 2022, he said, “As at end-December last year, we received around 65,000 applications and approved nearly 51,000. Of these, around 36,000 talents arrived in Hong Kong.”
We welcome talent from all over the world to come to Hong Kong for development by choosing appropriate talent admission schemes based on their backgrounds and needs.
Chris Sun, Secretary for Labor and Welfare, HKSAR
More than 70 percent of the approved TTPS applicants are aged 40 or below, and almost 80 percent of the approved applicants have an annual income of HK$2.5 million or more in the year immediately preceding the date of application, or are graduates from top universities with at least three years of work experience, Said Sun.
Since March 2023, the TTPS applicants with work experience are required to declare in their applications the sectors of their occupations.
As at late December 2023, more than 20 percent of the approved applicants came from the financial services sector.
Those from the commerce and trade sector and the innovation and technology sector each accounted for about 15 percent, while over 10 percent of the approved applicants came from the information and communication technology sector.
“These quality talent are young, with high income or good academic qualifications, and possess extensive work experience and global vision,” said the labor chief, adding that their arrival in Hong Kong could help fill the manpower gaps in the local market and promote the development of major sectors.
One of the key functions of Hong Kong Talent Engage, which was established in October 2023, is to maintain close contact with incoming talent and keep track of their development and needs in Hong Kong in order to assist them to settle down quickly in Hong Kong and contribute to the local economic development, he said.
Speaking about the refused applications, which account for 5 percent of the total number of applications, he told the LegCo that the main reasons for refusal were that the applicants did not meet the eligibility criteria of the TTPS, including the required annual income threshold, or not being a graduate from institutions in the aggregate list of eligible universities.
“Although it is not a requirement for approved applicants to have secured offers of local employment, they, upon applying for extension of stay before the expiry of their visas granted, will have to be employed, or have established or joined in business in Hong Kong,” he added.
An eligible outside talent is not required to have secured an offer of employment in Hong Kong before application for a two-year visa through the TTPS to explore opportunities in Hong Kong.
Welcoming talent from across the world to Hong Kong for development by choosing appropriate talent admission schemes, the labor chief said, “These schemes complement one another to proactively trawl for diverse global talent with different academic and professional backgrounds to come and settle in Hong Kong.”