Australia to compete for Hong Kong Nationals – are they set to become the world’s most sought-after migrants?

By 28 July 2020September 8th, 2020No Comments

As widely publicised by the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently, Australia will be extending new visa arrangements to Hong Kong nationals as a way of offering safe haven and longer-term stays.

The government is also trying to attract business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone else likely to bring wealth and job creation to Australia.

Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge said the government would prioritise applications to its Global Talent Scheme from Hong Kong, in a bid to attract “super talent”:

We’ll be prioritising applicants from Hong Kong for that scheme and providing some additional resources there as well, to target those particular individuals who are real job-multiplying people, who create businesses, who are entrepreneurs, who have that tech talent that the world is looking for, frankly.

Australia is not alone in its recent measures to attract talent from Hong Kong.

  • Taiwan has opened a new migration office to facilitate visa processing for Hong Kong residents announcing detailed plans “for their residence, placement, employment, & life in Taiwan”.
  • The UK are offering British National (BNO) Passports to eligible Hong Kong residents which could allow those born in HK before the 1997 handover to relocate to the UK for 5 years and later apply for settled status and citizenship.   This could draw up to 2.6 Million Hong Kong residents to the UK.
  • The US has introduced recent bills, that if passed, would offer asylum to Hong Kong residents and provide expedited residence for high-skilled workers such as those with graduate degrees, and owning businesses that meet certain requirements.
  • Japan has indicated it may award more “migration points” to those who can demonstrate talent in the financial sector in a bid to attract Hong Kong residents to migrate there.

No further details have yet been released by the Federal Government on the Australian measures to be taken. However the PM’s announcement is a welcome first step to attract some of Hong Kong’s best and brightest to our shores as the investment and business that they will bring to Australia may be vital to job creation and new economic activity post COVID-19.

Australian businesses are facing a unique and rare position to target recruit highly skilled Hong Kong talent looking to take advantage of these new proposals.

Businesses with Hong Kong employees already overseas may also wish to take advantage of the PM’s announcement to have them exempt from the travel ban to come in to work on an urgent skilled basis.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as of 14 July 2020 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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Author Ron Kessels

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