Constituent policy

Indian professionals and graduates should benefit from Hong Kong’s visa policy

New Delhi: India’s vast talent pool in fintech, logistics and banking could benefit from Hong Kong’s new visa regime, aimed at curbing the brain drain that has jeopardized the city’s status as a as an international financial center.

As the city’s workforce has shrunk by about 140,000 over the past two years, Chief Executive John Lee this month announced the “Top Talent Pass Scheme,” which includes incentives for high earners and the best university graduates.

The program grants a two-year visa to individuals earning at least HK$2.5 million ($318,000) per year and graduates of the world’s top 100 universities with at least three years of work experience during the course. of the last five years.

There are more than 42,000 Indians in Hong Kong, and nearly 33,000 of them hold Indian passports, says a July 2022 update on the website of the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong.

“Increasingly, a large number of Indian professionals are coming to Hong Kong, working in the service industry, banking and finance, information technology, shipping, among others,” he said. declared.

According to government data, Hong Kong approved 1,034 Indian visa applications under its general employment policy in 2021 and 560 applications in the first six months of 2022.

Before the pandemic, 2,684 visas were issued to Indian nationals in 2019 under the same general employment policy.

As for the Indian talent pool in Hong Kong, the city has been largely successful in retaining it, which means it remains a popular destination for aspiring Indian workers looking to relocate, industry insiders told the East Asian newspaper. Morning post.

Hong Kong has been home to a large Indian community for over 150 years, and its contribution to the city’s emergence as a hub of global finance and trade is well known.

Six public sector banks and two Indian private sector banks currently operate in Hong Kong.

According to the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong, many major global financial companies, investment institutions and fund managers operating in India have their regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

Apart from a major sourcing hub for Indian companies, Hong Kong has also become a major re-exporter of items imported from India to mainland China.

Due to their long presence, Indians have been able to integrate into traditional Hong Kong society.

People from Sindh, Gujarat and Punjab form the largest part of the community, and there are more than 40 Indian associations present in Hong Kong which are led by the diaspora/people of Indian origin.

Gautam Bardoloi, chairman of the Indian Professionals Forum in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post that “the exodus from the city over the past two years has not been reflected in the Indian professional community.”

Additionally, with Lee announcing a slew of proposals, including tax refunds, the easing procedure for employers recruiting foreigners, as well as easing immigration measures for foreign students by extending the limit of 1-2 year stay – Hong Kong seems to be the right destination for skilled Indian workers as well as students.

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