In a bid to address its ongoing talent drain, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced a series of measures on Wednesday to relax visa policies, aiming to attract workers from Laos, Vietnam, and Nepal.
The proposals, outlined by HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee in his second policy address to the government legislative council, signal a strategic move to rejuvenate the region’s talent pool.
Hong Kong has faced a growing challenge in retaining and attracting skilled professionals and students in recent years. In response to this concern, Lee disclosed the new policies.
In one of its first moves, the HKSAR government will substantially ease work visa criteria for skilled Vietnamese professionals, making it easier for them to seek opportunities in the region.
Additionally, there will be revised criteria for Vietnamese nationals applying for multiple-entry visas tailored for business and travel purposes. These changes are expected to facilitate increased engagement and collaboration between Vietnam and Hong Kong. A government source revealed that the multiple-entry visa will permit travelers from Vietnam to visit Hong Kong for a maximum of 14 days each time over a two-year period.
The HKSAR is also extending similar privileges to Laos and Nepal. Visa policies for Lao and Nepali talents are set to be eased for employment, training, and study opportunities. This move opens doors for aspiring students, academics, and young professionals to engage with Hong Kong’s work landscape.
To qualify, travelers must meet certain criteria, including having visited two or more countries at least three times in the past three years or having pursued educational or professional endeavors in Hong Kong over the past two years
In addition to those measures, the HKSAR will implement a “capital investment entrant scheme.” Eligible investors who invest a minimum of HKD 30 million (around USD 38 million) in assets such as stocks, funds, and bonds will be granted the opportunity to enter the country under this scheme.