Expats Continue Exodus to Hong Kong

Expat Globe

Hong Kong has long been a choice destination for expats seeking a life abroad and recent figures suggest that nothing has changed.

The Chinese Special Administrative Region left British control 15 years ago but expat flows from the former colonial power continues to increase.

Under the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s General Employment Policy a record number of work visas were granted to expats seeking work.

Foreigners wishing to work in Hong Kong must demonstrate that they have a special skill or the company hiring them must demonstrate that it cannot find a qualified candidate in Hong Kong. Many expatriates gain their Hong Kong work permits by way of transfer from another country within the same company.

Given the Chinese territory’s colonial past it is perhaps unsurprising that Brits make up the second largest expat inflow with Americans coming close behind drawn by Hong Kong’s dominant financial services industry is another massive draw.

The number of UK citizens who were awarded work visas increased 45% to 3,907 while Hong Kong work visas issued to Americans seeking work abroad jumped a massive 96% to 4,290 in the last year. This represented record levels for both nationalities.

Hong Kong should continue to attract growing numbers of expats thanks to its vibrant economy and its location and political status giving it great potential to exploit Chinese markets.