Renowned Mainland ice dancer Qi Jia (centre) said Hong Kong is an ideal place for training ice-skaters, as the sport emphasises artistic and creative elements, as well as technical aspects.
American art therapist Jordan Potash was among the first batch of successful applicants and can soon apply for permanent Hong Kong resident status.
Immigration Department Assistant Director (Visa & Policies) Chan Man-lang (right) said the number of applications for the scheme has grown.
Talent migrant scheme boosts HK diversity
December 27, 2012
Renowned Mainland ice dancer Qi Jia and her partner Sun Xu were national silver medalists in 2002 and 2003. Having skated her way to the top of the medal charts, Ms Qi was determined to develop her career as a coach.
In challenge, opportunity
In 2009, she came to Hong Kong through the Immigration Department's Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents & Professionals. This year, she applied through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, and continues to live and coach in Hong Kong.
“I hope one day I can wear the Hong Kong China Squad uniform and lead the team to shine on the international stage,” she said, adding her students and their parents share this dream.
The immigration scheme she joined is a quota-based entrant scheme that seeks to attract highly skilled or talented people to settle in the city. Successful applicants do not need to secure an offer of local employment before they move here.
“My friend recommended this scheme to me. The scheme recognises my achievements and I am proud to have been accepted,” she said.
Ms Qi said she loves the city and easily adapted to her new home.
“At the beginning, language was a problem as I cannot speak Cantonese. But Hong Kong people are friendly and they like to speak with me to learn Putonghua. This has helped me make lots of new friends,” she said.
Hong Kong is a blend of East and West, in which new ideas flow freely, she said. This makes it an ideal place for training ice-skating athletes, as the sport emphasises artistic and creative elements, as well as technical aspects.
Immigration Department Assistant Director (Visa & Policies) Chan Man-lang said the number of applications for the scheme has been on the rise in the last few years. In the first 11 months of this year, the department received 1,834 applications, a 19% year-on-year increase.
The scheme has an annual cap of 1,000. In the past six years, though, just 2,392 cases have been approved.
The department, and an advisory committee for the scheme, look for top quality migrants who meet high standards, he said, adding they would not lower their standard just to fill the quota.
Diversified talent wanted
Mr Chan said around 70% of applicants who have been admitted would remain in Hong Kong. After they have resided in Hong Kong continuously for a period of seven years, they can apply to become a permanent resident.
“When they become permanent residents, that means they have integrated into the community and that the scheme is successful in attracting quality migrants to remain in Hong Kong,” he said.
Six years ago, art therapist Jordan Potash chose to relocate to Hong Kong from the US. He was among the first batch of successful applicants and is now working at the University of Hong Kong to devise art-therapy training programmes to develop local art therapists.
In another year, he can apply for permanent Hong Kong resident status.
“When you are living here as someone who is not a permanent resident, you are a part of the society but you are also a little bit separate, like you do not get to vote. I want to get more involved,” he said.
During the selection process, an advisory committee on Admission of Quality Migrants & Professionals will advise on the cases. Committee Chairperson Marjorie Yang said they looked for energetic and innovative applicants who could bring a wealth of professional skills and contribute to the city’s diversified development.
“We try to attract talented people who have a good understanding of Hong Kong, because Hong Kong is much more than just a financial centre. We have many opportunities for people of different talents,” she added.
for details about the scheme.