Hong Kong Welcomes Foreign Blockchain Specialists, Introduces Special Immigration Policy

With its updates in immigration policy, Hong Kong shows real interest in attracting specialists working with cutting-edge technologies including blockchain.

Hong Kong. Photo: barnyz / Flickr

Hong Kong. Photo: barnyz / Flickr

The development of the technologies has led to the growth of the world’s demand in talented specialists having deep understanding of new spheres. Given that not all countries and regions can boast having a sufficient number of such talents on their local labor markets, they need to find some other solutions.

Hong Kong officials have taken a decision to update the country’s immigration policy with a view to attract highly demanded specialists. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released a Talent List that includes 11 professions.

This list includes such positions as marine engineers, naval architects, creative industries professionals and dispute resolution professionals. But what is more important, the Hong Kong government is also interested in attracting experienced professionals in fintech and innovation technology experts in artificial intelligence, robotics, distributed ledger technologies and some other areas.

Commenting this initiative, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, stated:

“Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here, bringing their talent into full play and further developing their careers. The promulgation of the Talent List is one of our major initiatives to enhance our competitive advantages in attracting international talents, creating cluster effects, stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.”

Offering some bonuses for specialists in the above-mentioned spheres, who will apply for the city’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, the government hopes to attract “quality people from around the world in a more effective and focused manner to support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy”.

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme was introduced in 2006 and it lets successful applicants enter Hong Kong and live in this the Chinese special administrative region without a necessity to receive an official job offer from a local employer beforehand.

Nevertheless, there is an established annual quota of 1,000 specialists who may have a right to enjoy the benefits of the Migrant Admission Scheme. Though even specialists representing professions not included into the talent list may apply for getting an immigration permission, it is obvious that specialist in the areas that the Hong Kong government considers to be vital to the development of their economy will have more chances.

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme’s selection procedure presupposes that applicants should meet several requirements and should be assessed in accordance with one of the two tests: General Points Test and Achievement-based Points Test.

Each applicant will get points that will be used to compete with other applicants. But those applicants who represent some of the high-demanded professions covered by the talent list will get bonus points in the framework of the General Points Test.

To prove their right to be qualified as specialists in the innovation and technology area, including blockchain, professionals should have a bachelor or above degree and experience in working with the blockchain technology used for financial services.

It is not the first initiative in Hong Kong that reflects the government’s desire to boost the tech development of all the spheres. CoinSpeaker has already reported that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced its plans to unite a number of banks in the region in a distributed ledger network, which would help minimize the time and paperwork required in finance transactions.

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