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Hong Kong Eases Immigration Policy To Attract Tech Professionals




Hong Kong is looking to boost its economy by enticing professionals from 11 desired areas, including experts in distributed ledger technologies.

Those who wish to secure a tech job in Hong Kong may have a clear path due to a unique immigration policy and a talent list published by the city's government on August 28.

On Tuesday, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released what it is calling the city's first-ever "talent list" intended to attract professionals – both foreign and domestic – from 11 different areas seen as crucial to its economic development.  

According to the talent list, the Hong Kong government is seeking a variety of workers, including waste treatment specialists and engineers, experienced marine insurance professionals, and, most notably, "innovation and technology experts." That last portion of the talent list specifically calls for experts in data engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics, biometrics, and distributed ledger technologies.

The chief secretary for administration and chair of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, stated: "Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here."

According to the announcement, the list will be updated regularly to keep up with Hong Kong's changing economy and need for specific talents.

Hong Kong's immigration policies have shifted over the last several decades. In June 2006, Hong Kong regulators implemented the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) as a way to boost economic development.

Under this policy, anyone seeking employment in Hong Kong is required to pass either an achievement test, which rewards those holding noteworthy professional awards and distinctions, or a general assessment test, which assigns individuals' points based on factors such as age, level of schooling completed, and time spent working in their chosen field.

Typically, applicants must accumulate at least 80 points and have obtained an offer of employment in order to secure a regular work visa. While individuals in professions on the talent list must still score at least 80 points, they will receive bonus points. Moreover, they will not need an offer of employment to receive a visa.

The scheme has a quota of 1,000 people and is not open to individuals from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Nepal, North Korea, or Vietnam.

While this may be the first time Hong Kong officials have released a talent list, it is not the first time the city has looked to blockchain technology to further develop its economy. As early as July 2017, ETHNews reported that officials from Hong Kong's Monetary Authority were discussing the role blockchain technology could play in the city's FinTech scene. 

Nathan Graham

Nathan Graham lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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