Policy Address 2022: John Lee announces new visa to trawl the world for young talents
- By: Yixin Gao、Bella DingEdited by: WANG Jingyan 王婧言
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu unveiled a series of policies to attract young talents worldwide amid a brain drain caused by the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions and political situation.
Lee said in today’s speech that the government would extend the IANG visa, which allows non-local graduates of Hong Kong universities to stay in the city while job hunting, from one year to two years. The visa will also be extended to those students graduating from the universities whose campus is located in the Greater Bay Area in the mainland.
"Over the past two years, the local workforce shrank by about 140,000,” Lee said. More than 113,000 residents have left Hong Kong since June 2021, according to the latest data released by the Census and Statistics Department in June.
Haywood Guan, director of the Hong Kong Quality And Talent Migrants Association, said that some induction procedures are slow because of the pandemic as even if companies decide to hire non-local graduates, they might not be able to handle their entry process immediately.
“One year is too short for me to find an ideal job in Hong Kong. There could be fewer working opportunities,” said Zhang Yunhan, who is now studying for a master's degree in finance at Lingnan University.
The new policy boosts students’ confidence to stay in Hong Kong after graduation, said Guan.
Han Liuchenxin, a final-year undergraduate student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, said that this policy attracted him most as the visa extension could give him a sense of safety if he cannot find a job in Hong Kong immediately after his graduation.
“It is a symbol of stability which could increase my possibility of working here,” said Han.
Keith Lee, chairman of Yau Tsim Mong Youths Society, added that Hong Kong could reserve more young talents in different fields if the government provides temporary residences.
However, up till now, the government would only provide accommodation support for I&T talents.
The government will also provide employees from high‑potential and representative strategic enterprises with one‑stop facilitation services in areas such as visa application and education arrangements for their children.
“Apart from actively nurturing and retaining local talents, the government will proactively trawl the world for talents," said Lee.
The government also plans to implement the Top Talent Pass Scheme for a period of two years. Eligible talents include those who have earned an annual salary of HK$2.5 million or more in the past year, and those who have graduated from one of the top 100 universities in the world and have accumulated three years or more of work experience in the past five years. They are not required to have a job offer prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
《The Young Reporter》
The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.
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