Hong Kong, in its effort to attract top talents to the country’s tech sector, designed and launched a fast track Immigration Scheme. Launched on June 25, 2018, the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS) reduced the immigration scheme from a processing period of a few months to just a few weeks. Great things were expected of the scheme but unfortunately, have not yielded anything close to the expectations. The innovation minister of the city said the scheme had met lukewarm response while reporting on the situation.
In the first three months of the scheme (the pilot program), only a little 150 applications were received and processed as reported by Nicholas Yang Wei-Hsiung, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology. The expectation of officials for the first year of the three-year scheme is to have a minimum of a thousand applications. While the one year is still a significant distance away, early signs do not point to the possibility of achieving this target. 3 months is one-fourth of a year. Hence, 150 applications for 3 months will give a cumulative of 600 applications for the whole year, and this is with the assumption that things don’t further deteriorate.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Yang, said that from the total of 150 applications received and processed, 123 were approved. While responding to the situation, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor (leader of Hong Kong), described it as “not ideal.” He said this is perhaps because of changes in the economy as well as the time needed to work out a comprehensive plan by business owners.
Benefits of Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)
- Certainty for business owners to proceed with recruitment and business plan
- Streamlined admission procedure which makes it considerably shorter
- A Shorter period of obtaining the visa/entry permit
- More local job opportunities
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