HONG KONG: Changes to Immigration – Revisited

Following on from our article last month, our latest piece provides further detail on the recommendations that have been proposed by the Audit Commission in Hong Kong. This has been set out to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of The Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID), having been questioned over the past decade. The Commission”s aim was to find ways to improve the current procedures. We would also expect to see some online processes being implemented in the near future. The report confirmed the common belief that the visa application process in Hong Kong is too accommodating. The Commission has recommended several changes to the current process and guidelines which have subsequently been accepted by the government.

What are the proposed changes?

Immigration authorities will use stricter adjudication when they access the following types of visa applications:

  • Non-local graduates and foreign professionals should have applications monitored to ensure processing times aren”t too long
     
  • Intra-company transferees should be vetted in more detail
     
  • Local workers should be considered by immigration when processing applications by foreign graduated and non-local graduates, these guidelines should be set out by the immigration department
     
  • Authenticity verification methods for supporting documents submitted by non-local graduated in the IANG scheme should undergo stricter verification
     
  • Incorporating skills list in which the HKID would give preference in order to attract qualified foreign workers to apply for a QMAS visa
     
  • To ensure that processing times for many visa categories, including the investor stream, are not prolonged by government requests. The processing times for 50% of cases currently exceed 90 days

Who will these changes affect?

These changes are most likely to affect the adjudication of applications in the General Employment Policy, Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), and Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG) schemes.

How will the changes affect you?

It is important that employers are aware of these changes so they are able to prepare for stricter application standards; however the enhanced technological capabilities and reduced processing times should benefit applicants.

If you require any further information regarding the proposed changes to the Hong Kong immigration process, please contact a member of our team at enquiries@newlandchase.com.

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