Hong Kong Visa & Immigration News

Canada immigration chief admits mainlanders flouting rules was one reason for visa axe
March 31,2014

New visa scheme doubles minimum investment and has stricter criteria, says immigration chief

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     Canada's immigration chief admitted yesterday that the flouting of residency rules by mainlanders was one of the reasons its investor visa scheme was axed.

But Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander was quick to point out that it was not the "principle reason" and that Canada's door was still open to Chinese migrants.

Announcing stricter criteria for a new investor scheme to be launched later this year, Alexander told the South China Morning Post during an interview in Hong Kong that the required amount needed to qualify for the new immigrant investor venture capital pilot would be more than double that of the previous visa's C$800,000 (HK$5.6 million).

"We want Chinese investors in Canada and the door is open, the pathways are multiple," Alexander said. "We are making these changes for them."

Canada scrapped its investor visa last month, dumping 65,000 applications, about 45,500 of which were filed by mainlanders applying in Hong Kong.

Alexander said the new fund would be privately managed and a competition would be held to select the managers. The funds would be invested in "at-risk" start-ups for more than five years, longer than the previous scheme.

He said money would be directed into industries such as the internet, biotechnology, entertainment, animation, film and television.

"We have very vigorous start-up hubs in Vancouver, in Calgary, in Toronto, in Montreal and in many smaller Canadian cities like Waterloo," he said.

Alexander said there would be one pooled fund for the pilot programme, so investors had little control over where their money went, but this could change when the programme launches.

Quebec continues to accept 1,750 applications a year for its parallel investor visa, with a maximum of 1,200 applications from any single country.

Alexander said investors, especially those from the mainland, not meeting residency requirements had been a factor in the termination of the original visa programme, but the main reason was the size and productivity of the investments.

It was not so much of an issue with Hong Kong applicants as it was with mainlanders, and there were thousands of investigations under way into immigrants who had gained Canadian citizenship, not just on the investment visa, without meeting residency requirements, he said.

"A significant number of people found ways to get around the residency requirement and that essentially means you're giving people status in Canada without actually benefiting from their presence," he said.

"The amount was small. The investment performance was weak," he said. "Last time we did the numbers, only about half of the resources distributed to the provinces had been actually invested in productive projects."

Alexander said another factor was the "almost insuperable" backlog of applicants, who would have to wait a minimum of six to seven years. He said the total backlog of visa applicants had fallen from nearly one million to less than 400,000 since scrapping the investment visa and the backlog of federal skilled worker visa applicants.

Alexander added that mainland investors' impact on rising home prices in cities such as Vancouver was "negligible to zero".

He also dismissed any growing resentment of rich Chinese immigrants for buying their way into the country. "You'll hear all kinds of anecdotal information, but the reality of Canada is that immigration is seen as part of our national vocation," he said. "There are voices in the United States, there are certainly voices in Europe, there are voices in Asia that really are negative about immigration. You will not find that point of view organised or prominent in Canada at any level."

Nearly 100 disappointed mainland investor applicants, some of who have been on the waiting list for several years, have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government over its decision to scrap the scheme. "We face litigation all the time," Alexander said, adding that many mainland immigration consultants openly admitted to helping investors who had no intention of meeting residency requirements.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Canada says door is still open to Chinese migrants

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Romania ‘welcomes Chinese with open arms’ as Canada tightens immigration policy
February 25,2014

Romania ‘welcomes Chinese with open arms’ as Canada tightens immigration policy

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As Canada tightens its immigration policies amid a crush of wealthy mainlanders, Romania is opening its doors wide to Chinese immigrants.

Chinese looking to move to the southeastern European country would be warmly welcomed, former Romanian prime minister Petre Roman said during a trip to Beijing.

"We're used to seeing people move out of our country to Western Europe, so we don't have problems with immigration like many countries do," Roman said. "We welcome immigrants from China."

He said that Chinese were "well accepted" in Romanian society.

A rising number of wealthy Chinese are moving to the United States and Europe. Another favoured destination, Canada, has signalled a change in policy with the termination of its Immigrant Investor Programme, which saw about 45,000 mainland applications cancelled.

Roman said there were about 40,000 Chinese in Romania, which has a population of roughly 20.1 million. An investor immigration scheme requires an applicant to invest at least €1 million (HK$10.6 million) or create 100 jobs to become a permanent resident in Romania.

Tang Feiyang, an immigration consultant with the Shenzhen-based Exchange International Service, said most Chinese immigrants applied to Romania for gaining access to the European Union, but that its language and culture made it a choice for only a small minority.

"Most people still want to move to the US, Hong Kong or Macau," Tang said. "European countries, including Portugal, Cyprus and Greece, are also considered, but Romania is uncommon. There are better options for rich Chinese."

Former Dutch prime minister Wim Kok also travelled to the capital with Roman. The two men were in Beijing representing the Club of Madrid, a group of former democratically elected leaders. They were invited by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs to a forum on social inclusion.

Kok said the Netherlands, in contrast to Romania, was becoming more selective in admitting immigrants owing to a lack of jobs, but added that the country still welcomed skilled people and students.

He said there were about 100,000 Chinese in the country. An investor immigration scheme requires that immigrants invest at least €1.25 million in a Dutch company.

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Happy Chinese New Year!
February 06,2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

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     Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Prism wishes all our valued clients have a prosperous year of horse!

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10 Million Chinese Immigrated in 23 Years
January 22,2014

10 Million Chinese Immigrated in 23 Years

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     By the end of 2013, more than 9.3 million Chinese people immigrated overseas, marking a 128.6 % rise over the past 23 years. China has now become the fourth largest immigrant-producing country in the world, compared to the seventh in 1990.

The revelation comes from a newly published survey conducted by the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG).

Investment immigration has grown rapidly in recent years. According to the survey, the number of Chinese investing in America has increased drastically in the past three years, from 772 in 2010 to 6124 in 2012.

Data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) supports this statistic. It shows that 3/4 of the Investors Routes were issued to Chinese migrators in 2012.

With the momentum of investment immigration, rich people from China are buying more properties overseas. The Chinese have become the second largest overseas buyers of American real estate since 2011.

Chinese buyers are also expanding their choices when purchasing property overseas. European countries like Germany and Belgium, cities like Edinburgh, Detroit and Kuala Lumpur are all among their choices, says Song Quancheng, director of Immigration Study of Shandong University.

Meanwhile, the CCG has also found that about 70 % of the interviewees describe the environment and medical services as their major points of consideration in immigration

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H.K. court finds social security requirement unconstitutional
December 18,2013

H.K. court finds social security requirement unconstitutional

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      Hong Kong's top court on Tuesday found a requirement that social security applicants must have resided in the territory for seven years before applying for welfare to be unconstitutional.

"The government's policy, which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2004 requiring all recipients of comprehensive social security assistance to have been a Hong Kong resident for at least seven years, is not constitutional," Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma said in the 47-page ruling.

The previous residence requirement was one year, which will now be reinstated.

The Court of Final Appeal's five judges unanimously decided the seven-year requirement infringes Article 36 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution in effect since the former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, which stipulates Hong Kong residents' right to social welfare.

A daily quota of 150 people from mainland China were allowed to settle in Hong Kong under the "one-way permit" system, which falls in the jurisdiction of Chinese authorities and is out of Hong Kong's hands, since the handover and of all social welfare recipients new arrivals have accounted for 10-14 percent in the past decade.

Mainland Chinese woman Kong Yunming came to live with her Hong Kong husband Chan Wing in 2005. He died the day after she arrived and she was left homeless but was not eligible to apply for social welfare.

Both the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal turned down her case.

The ruling found that the increased financial expenses incurred by the government will not be significant and that the seven-year requirement contradicts government policies.

"It runs counter to the avowed policies of respecting the rights of mainland children with the right of abode; of promoting family unity; of promoting immigration of mainland children to rejuvenate our ageing population when they are young and integrate more easily into our society," the ruling reads.

Social assistance expenses were HK$18.5 billion ($2.4 billion) in the 2011 fiscal year, according to government figures.

Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organization that helps new immigrants settle in Hong Kong, said about 7,000 families will be affected and increased government spending on the new ruling will be about HK$400 million annually.

But others were worried about the impact on social welfare resources derived from future dole applicants.

"Now a precedent is set, those who have resided in Hong Kong less than seven years could apply and that would bring pressure on the CSSA (Comprehensive Social Security Assistance) scheme," legislator and former security secretary Regina Ip said.

The Social Welfare Department said it is seeking legal advice on the ruling.

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Canada Announces Immigration Plan for 2014
November 20,2013

Canada Announces Immigration Plan for 2014

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     Canadian government targets to attract hundreds of thousands of new permanent residents in 2014 as part of an immigration plan to drive economic growth and position the country for success in the years ahead.

After tabling the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on October 28 announced the immigration plan which involves attracting 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents in 2014, with record admissions under both the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Under the plan, Canada aims to welcome up to 15,000 permanent residents under the CEC in 2014, the highest number since the program was launched in 2008, and between 44,500 and 47,000 permanent residents under the PNP, also the highest-ever levels for this program.

"Securing economic growth is and will remain our Government's top priority," said Minister Alexander. "Canada is in a global competition for the best and brightest immigrants, and this plan is crafted with attracting the people we need for Canada to succeed."

"While Canadians will continue to get the first crack at available jobs, getting the right people in the right places is key to addressing regional labour needs and fueling Canada's long-term prosperity. We need newcomers willing to put their skills, ideas and energies to work," the Minister explained.

According to the plan, economic immigration is predicted to increase to 63 percent (164,500) in 2014. The remaining 37 percent will consist of family class immigrants (26.1 percent ? 68,000), refugees and others admitted under humanitarian programs (10.9 percent ? 28,400).

"We will continue to drive down backlogs, reduce wait times and improve service. We will continue to reunite families. We will continue to give refuge to the world's most vulnerable," said Minister Alexander.

Annual immigration plan is developed based on consultations with provinces, territories and stakeholders across Canada every summer, as well as feedback from the Canadian public. This year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada received more than 4,700 responses between June 21 and August 31, 2013.

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Visa-free access for HKSAR passport holders to New Caledonia
August 17,2013

Visa-free access for HKSAR passport holders to New Caledonia

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     The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has received confirmation from the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau that HKSAR passport holders do not need a visa for visiting New Caledonia for a stay of up to three months over a period of six months. This exemption does not apply when the entry is for the purpose of gainful employment.
Including New Caledonia, 147 countries/ territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders.(Publications and Press Releases)

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Malaysian courier jailed for possession of forged travel documents
August 06,2013

Malaysian courier jailed for possession of forged travel documents

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     A Malaysian courier involved in possessing four forged Malaysian passports of others' identities was jailed by the District Court today (August 1).
The 30-year-old male Malaysian courier was charged with one count of possessing forged travel documents and was sentenced to jail for 32 months today.
This April, the defendant was stopped by Immigration investigators near the boarding gate of the Hong Kong International Airport for a flight to Paris, France, via Istanbul, Turkey. Upon searching, an envelope containing four suspected forged Malaysian passports was found in the defendant's luggage. He admitted under caution that he was paid RMB9,000 by a middleman as a reward to deliver the forged passports to Istanbul to another middleman via Hong Kong.
Under the Immigration Ordinance, it is an offence to possess a forged travel document. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Those aiding and abetting such crimes are liable to the same penalty.(Publications and Press Releases)

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Pregnant Mainland visitor jailed for making false representation and obstructing members of Immigration Service
July 31,2013

Pregnant Mainland visitor jailed for making false representation and obstructing members of Immigration Service

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     A pregnant Mainland visitor was convicted of one count of making false representation and one count of obstructing members of the Immigration Service at the Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today (July 29). The defendant was sentenced to seven months' imprisonment for the first charge of making false representation and two weeks' imprisonment for the second charge of obstructing members of the Immigration Service. One week's sentence of the second charge will run concurrently with the sentence of the first charge, making a total sentence of seven months and one week's imprisonment.
On June 24, the 29-year-old defendant presented for arrival clearance at Lo Wu Control Point. As she was about to give birth, she was admitted to hospital. She subsequently gave birth to a baby girl on the same day. However, according to records, the defendant had been refused permission to land on June 22 at Lok Ma Chau Control Point in view of her doubtful purpose of visit. On that occasion, she claimed she was 24 weeks pregnant. The defendant was suspected of making false representation on her pregnancy to an immigration officer on June 22. Investigation was conducted. On July 24, the defendant reported bail to the Immigration Department but she once refused to leave the premises.
The defendant had earlier made false representation at Lok Ma Chau Control Point and later refused to leave the immigration premises upon reporting bail to the Immigration Department; thereby obstructing members of the Immigration Service. She pleaded guilty to both charges on July 29.
"Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to an immigration officer commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. It was also an offence in law for any person to assault, resist or obstruct any member of the Immigration Service. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $2,000 and imprisonment for six months. Furthermore, the Immigration Department will continue to step up checking at control points to prevent non-local pregnant women who do not have confinement booking from coming to Hong Kong," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
(Publications and Press Releases)

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Bogus marriage syndicate smashed by Immigration Department
June 24 ,2013

The Immigration Department has smashed a syndicate arranging cross-boundary bogus marriages.

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     The Immigration Department has smashed a syndicate arranging cross-boundary bogus marriages.
An Immigration Department spokesman said today (June 24) that the Immigration Department has been very concerned about non-Hong Kong residents obtaining residency by means of contracting bogus marriages with Hong Kong residents. In 2008, a syndicate was identified to have arranged for Hong Kong residents to contract bogus marriages with Mainlanders. During investigation, a mastermind and a core member were identified. At the dwelling of the mastermind, a pile of documents related to the bogus marriage of more than 20 Hong Kong residents was found. The mastermind was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Immigration Department at the District Court this morning and she was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment. The core syndicate member's case will be sentenced on July 4 at the District Court.
"During the operation, one mastermind and one core member were arrested. Fifteen Hong Kong residents involved in the scam were convicted of conspiracy to defraud and aiding and abetting others in making false representation to immigration officers. In addition, relevant Mainland authorities have been notified about the cases of the Mainlanders," the spokesman added.
"The Immigration Department will continue to spare no effort in combating bogus marriages and other related illicit activities. For people who have obtained their residence in Hong Kong by fraudulent means, their Hong Kong identity card and residence status will be invalidated according to the laws of Hong Kong. They will also be subject to removal back to their place of origin," the spokesman said.
Under the laws Hong Kong, it is an offence to make false representation to immigration officers. Offenders are liable to prosecution and to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and the same penalties.
Anyone who commits the offence of conspiracy to defraud is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.

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Russia to implement APEC Business Travel Card Scheme
June 6,2013

Russia to implement APEC Business Travel Card Scheme

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     Russia has begun processing APEC Business Travel Cards (ABTCs) under the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme.
An Immigration Department spokesman said the scheme aims to enhance the mobility of business travellers within the APEC economies, thereby promoting business within the region.
Including Russia, there are 19 economies participating in the scheme, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Hong Kong, applications for ABTCs are open to people holding Hong Kong permanent identity cards and valid national passports. Applicants must be bona fide businesspeople, must have no criminal record, and must not have been refused entry to any of the participating economies. Applicants also need to travel frequently on short-term business visits to the APEC economies.
The ABTC is the size of a credit card and is normally valid for three years. The card is good for multiple visits of two to three months to participating economies without the need for a visa. Cardholders enjoy streamlined immigration clearance through special lanes at the control points of the participating economies.(Publications and Press Releases)

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Malaysian courier and Mainlanders jailed in immigration scam
May 10,2013

A Malaysian courier and three Mainlanders involved in using forged Malaysian passports for an intended trip to Brazil

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     A Malaysian courier and three Mainlanders involved in using forged Malaysian passports for an intended trip to Brazil were jailed by the District Court today (May 10).
The 34-year-old Malaysian courier, pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception. He was sentenced to jail for 24 months today.
The three Mainlanders, aged from 18 to 21, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception. Two of them had previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail for 21 months and 20 months respectively, whereas the third was convicted following trial and sentenced to 30 months in jail. All three were sentenced today.
The case revealed that the four defendants were refused permission to land by the Dubai authorities and were deported to Hong Kong in October, 2012. They were arrested on suspicion of conspiring with a middleman to use forged Malaysian travel documents and dishonestly obtain air travel services from an airline.
Under caution, the three Mainlanders admitted that they had initially been helped by a middleman to use their Chinese passports to depart Hong Kong for Dubai. In Dubai they then switched to using the forged Malaysian passports provided by the middleman, with the intention of taking a flight to Brazil, but were refused permission to board by the airline. Under caution the courier admitted that he was paid by the middleman to accompany the three Mainlanders in order assist them in using the forged Malaysian passports for the connecting flight to Brazil.
Under the Immigration Ordinance, it is an offence to possess a forged travel document. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of HK$150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Those aiding and abetting such crimes are liable to the same penalty.
"Under the Theft Ordinance, people who by any deception dishonestly obtain services from another shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for up to 10 years," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
(Publications and Press Releases)

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2012 Approved of applications for entry
May 2, 2013

Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES)

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     The CIES was launched in October 2003 with the objective of facilitating the entry for residence of capital investment entrants, i.e. persons who wish to make capital investment in Hong Kong but would not be engaged in the running of any business here. The entrant is allowed to make his choice of investments among permissible assets without the need to establish or join in a business.
Since March 16, 2009, applicants under the CIES have been able to, at their own cost, engage a Certified Public Accountant (Practising) (who is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) to issue a report) to demonstrate that they meet the asset requirement under paragraph 2.1(b) of the Scheme Rules. The arrangement is optional and will not affect the result of their application. As at the end of 2012, 12 391 applicants had submitted applications with a CPA report, amounting to around 64 per cent of the new applications received, and 8 864 of them were granted Approval-in-principle or Formal Approval.
In 2010, the Government reviewed and amended the rules of the CIES. The following amendments were introduced to the CIES with effect from October 14, 2010:
i) the threshold of investment (and net assets/net equity requirement) for admission to Hong Kong under the CIES is raised from $6.5 million to $10 million;
ii) real estate is suspended temporarily as a class of Permissible Investment Assets (PIA) under the CIES; and
iii) an insurer authorised to carry on Class C business as specified in Part 2 of the First Schedule to the Insurance Companies Ordinance is permitted to act as a financial intermediary for the purposes of the CIES.
The Government will review the CIES in 2013 in order to ensure that the Scheme is up to date and would continue to serve the overall best interests of Hong Kong.
As at the end of 2012, 26 492 applications had been received. A total of 16 915 applicants had made the requisite investments and were given formal approval to reside in Hong Kong. They invested a total of $129.8 billion in permissible investment assets, representing an average of $7.67 million per entrant. Additionally, a total of 1 724 applicants were given Approval-in-principle to enter Hong Kong to make the requisite investments. The monthly average of applications received was 542 in 2012.

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2012 Approved of applications for entry
April 30, 2013

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)

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     Under the QMAS launched in June 2006, talented people from around the world can apply to settle in Hong Kong without first securing an offer of local employment. Up to the end of 2012, 8 684 applications had been received. Twenty-five selection exercises were conducted and 2 392 applicants were allotted places - 2 202 under the General Points Test (GPT) and 190 under the Achievement-based Points Test (APT). Successful applicants under the GPT were mainly from financial and accounting services, information technology and telecommunications, and commerce and trade. Under the APT, successful applicants mainly came from the sports, arts and culture sectors.
Changes have been made to the scheme since January 2008 to attract more aspiring young talents as well as professionals with significant accomplishments and proven ability. These changes include lifting the upper age limit and adjusting the marking scheme under the GPT. From February 2008 to December 2012, the average monthly applications intake was 164, a substantial increase when compared with the average monthly intake of 67 before the changes. It indicates that the changes have been effective in attracting more applications from quality migrants.

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2012 Approved of applications for entry
April 27, 2013

Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)

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     The ASMTP has attracted a wide variety of qualified talents and professionals from the Mainland to come to work in Hong Kong since its implementation on July 15, 2003. Up to the end of 2012, a total of 67 523 entry applications for employment had been received. The main sectors of employment were academic research and education, arts and culture, and commerce and trade. In 2012, 8 105 applications were approved, representing a slight increase of 0.2 per cent when compared with 8 088 applications in 2011.

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Singapore Protest Biggest Since Independence
February 19,2013

In rare show of anger, crowd voices opposition to policy of increasing immigrat numbers, especially Chinese immigrats

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     Singapore rare anti-government demonstrators rally, 4,000 people braved the rain to take to the streets to protest the input immigration policy, the Chinese immigrants is regarded as "public enemy". Singapore economic growth outperformed Hong Kong in recent years, but the introduction of a large number of professionals also bring social conflicts and grievances deepen.

A rare anti-government demonstrations in Singapore last Saturday's rally has been described as the largest since Independence. The flashpoint in Singapore late last month, the Government published a White Paper on Population. The Government has made it clear that with the aging population, low fertility, it is necessary to introduce a more the young immigrant balance population structure will be introduced each year 15,000 to 25,000 immigrants, by 30,000 citizens. The White Paper is expected that the population will grow from the current 5.3 million people in 2030 from 6.5 million to 6.9 million, that is up to 30% increase.

Contradiction increases by increasing population from mainlanders who become "public enemy"

In fact, Singapore absorbs an alarming number of immigrants from 2001 to 2011, the population increased by more than 100 million, majority from importing population. But immigration policy is not welcomed by the local people, he bear the brunt of Chinese immigrants to become conflict spearhead. Demonstrations leader Mr. Wu had published an article last year, criticized the Chinese immigrants rude, Chinese women were regarded as "grab the others husband of woman", but also refers to Chinese immigrants is "public enemy number one" of the local population.

Singapore locals and immigrants intensify the conflict, the Singapore Government certainly see in the eyes, then why still insisted absorb a large amount of immigrants? Behind it is to continue to maintain like magic, "Singapore speed". After the Asian financial crisis, Singapore is more than out of the woods, the more enviable economic growth in recent years, Singapore speed "amazing, It is driven by its successful in attracting a large number of highly educated young working population!

CityU Mr. Tsang Yan Chong, Associate Professor, Department of Management at the author last year, analysis of Singapore outperformed Hong Kong reason is the difference between the population structure of the two large: less than 50% of the working population in Hong Kong, but the constant introduction of foreign workers in Singapore, foreign professionals, they almost full participation in the work. Yan Chong projections up to 64% the proportion of the working population in Singapore, higher than Hong Kong, even though the total population is less than the number of Hong Kong, but the per capita income, the total GDP surpassed Hong Kong, is not surprising.

In fact, the Singapore published the Government's new White Paper on Population mentioned, if the future does not continue to bring in immigrants, the local population will be in 2025 began to shrink, it will affect economic development. "Singapore speed slow down, the Singapore government had to maintain to absorb immigration policy, but the resulting grievances intensified, but also on the impact has always been a stable political and social atmosphere.

Locals dissatisfaction too many immigrants, complained that Singapore is like "Little China" immigration grab a high price, snatched jobs, even if the fast growth of the economy as a whole, but the ordinary people pay no synchronous growth, natural disgruntled directed at China immigrant contradiction spate. In August 2011, Chinese immigrants complained to the Government Indian descent neighbors cook curry pungent, triggering the "National Day cook curry, to counter Chinese immigrants do not integrate into the local culture; increase in Chinese broadcast the end of last year, the Singapore subway stop announcement systems, locals criticized for accommodating new immigrants from China, the last to be cut.

Learn from Sin Chew Valley economic consideration for the subject

Public discontent also reflects on the ballot paper, even if the economic development of miracles, but the 2011 Singapore parliamentary election, the ruling People's Action Party vote was only 60.1%, the lowest level since statehood, a bumper crop of the opposition, which won six seats; beginning of this year, Congress The by-election, the opposition to overwhelm the People's Action Party won the by-election seats, the Sin Chew political arena set off considerable controversy, is declared as public votes on immigration policy dissatisfaction.

The best of both worlds, not to slow down the face of international economic competition, but increase the other hand, we should take into account the people's grievances. Star Government after 2009, each year a new batch of permanent residents the right to reduce from 79,000 in 2008, up to now 30,000 a year. After the publication of the White Paper on Population cause people to anti-immigrant sentiment, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also changed to say, the population of 6.9 million is just a reference to the figures.

Hong Kong, enter a number of immigrants, and Singapore are far apart, but the immigrant population brought about social unrest and resentment, but also somewhat similar.

Leung Chun-ying, before he took office in June last year, the local economy in the past 20 years the average annual growth of 3.96%, Singapore 6.6%, Hong Kong half 10 years ago, Singapore's total economic output, now more than Hong Kong, "speed" means "fast" past, and in recent years have been as "slow". Admittedly, Hong Kong, Singapore speed rush, but judging from the Singapore example, even with suit optimization immigration policy, has seen it fit to highly educated professionals, but the price to pay on the Hong Kong people are willing to withstand?

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Prism is moved to a new office!
November 06,2012

New Address: Suite 1404, Tung Wai Commercial Building, 109-111 Gloucester Road, Wanchai

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     Dear Valued Customers & Partners,

We would like to first express our gratitude and sincere thanks for all the support & co-operation you have given us through these years.

With our business growing and the needs arising for us to provide you all with better and higher service levels, please be informed that we will be relocating our office to the following new address effective November 3, 2012:

Suite 1404, Tung Wai Commercial Building, 109-111 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Our phone, email and fax remain unchanged:
Tel.:(852) 6073 3208
Fax: (852) 8343 1098
Website: www.prismvisas.com

We still keep old email addresses so you can contact to us as usual. We will look forward to your continued support & goodwill going forward in the future.

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Taiwan visitors embrace online service
September 23, 2012

Taiwan visitors embrace online service

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     Taipei resident Emily Tseng is a self-proclaimed Hong Kong fan who visits Asia’s world city six or seven times a year. Since the September 1 launch of the free online pre-arrival registration for Taiwan residents, she is poised to visit even more often.

"I love Hong Kong!" Ms Tseng exclaimed after she seized the chance to use the new service and enjoyed a weekend getaway earlier this month.

In its first two weeks, about 27,000 Taiwanese residents had already registered through the service, the Immigration Department said. Before, I had to pay several hundred (New Taiwan Dollars) to apply for a visa through a travel agent in Taiwan, but now I can do it myself online and the service is free. I just print out the slip and fly to Hong Kong - and I can spend more in Hong Kong from the money I saved," Ms Tseng said.

She and her companion are particularly fond of Hong Kong food and can state in Cantonese the names of their favourite dim sum dishes. They are attracted to Hong Kong’s energetic vibe.

“I really love this place. It's full of unlimited fun. I can come more frequently in the future,” Ms Tseng said.

Taiwan tourist Joyce Lin also used the convenient online service for a two-day vacation with her husband. Upon landing at Hong Kong International Airport, they headed straight to Hong Kong Disneyland.

“I didn't know what to expect,” Ms Lin said about her first time using the service. “But I felt happy and excited when I cleared the immigration counter.”

Eligible Taiwan residents can submit their pre-arrival registration to visit Hong Kong through the e-service platform on the GovHK website (www.gov.hk/par) and instantly know the result. Successful applicants can print their own notification slips for pre-arrival registration for Taiwan residents generated by the system, and present them with their travel documents upon arrival to Hong Kong.

Each pre-arrival registration is valid for two months and is good for two entries to Hong Kong, with a stay of up to 30 days as a visitor on each landing.

Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman James Tien said the new service will attract more Taiwan tourists to Hong Kong, especially the younger generation. The forthcoming Halloween season with its myriad parties and events, and the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival will be major draws.

To tie in with the new service, the Tourism Board has collaborated with four airlines and more than 50 travel agents across Taiwan to launch promotions and discount travel packages.

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Mainland visitor jailed for possessing false instrument
August 3, 2012

Mainland visitor jailed for possessing false instrument

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      A male Mainland visitor was convicted of one count of possession of false instrument at Shatin Magistrates' Courts today (August 3) and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.

On March 27, 2012, the 29-year-old defendant and his Mainland pregnant wife, who did not have a confinement booking in Hong Kong, presented their People's Republic of China passports for arrival clearance at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. During examination, the defendant represented to an Immigration Officer that he and his wife were in transit to Jakarta, Indonesia. Two sets of electronic air tickets in their names were produced as proof. At that point, his wife requested medical assistance as she was at an advanced stage of pregnancy. She subsequently gave birth to a baby at the Lok Ma Chau Control Point.

Upon further investigation, the defendant admitted that he purchased the fake electronic air tickets for Indonesia in Shenzhen at a cost of RMB40. He had then presented the said electronic air tickets and falsely represented that he and his wife intended to transit Hong Kong to Indonesia so that his wife could enter Hong Kong for confinement. In fact, they had no intention of going to Indonesia.

"Possession of false instrument is a serious offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

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Mainland visitor sentenced for offering dance teacher
July 19, 2012

A female Mainland visitor pleaded guilty to her charge of breach of condition of stay by establishing business as a dance teache

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      A female Mainland visitor pleaded guilty to her charge of breach of condition of stay by establishing business as a dance teacher and was sentenced to two months' imprisonment at Shatin Magistrates' Court today (July 19).

During an anti-illegal worker operation mounted on June 21, 2012, the Immigration Task Force visited a centre which provided a dancing venue at North Point. A female Mainland resident, aged 54 and with visitor status, approached two undercover immigration investigators and offered to act as a dance teacher on her own in the centre and charged $400 per two hours as a teaching fee. She was then arrested for the offence of breach of condition of stay.

"Visitors are not allowed to take up employment in Hong Kong, whether paid or unpaid, or to establish or join in any business without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years' imprisonment," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

The spokesman also appealed to the public to report illegal worker activities through the 24-hour immigration enquiry telephone hotline on 2824 1551, by fax on 2824 1166, by email to anti_crime@immd.gov.hk or through the "Online Reporting of Immigration Offences" System in the website www.immd.gov.hk.

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Immigration Department investigating on stay-out foreign domestic helper
July 7, 2012

A foreign domestic helper should work and reside in the employer's residence in accordance with clause 3 of the contract.

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      During a surprise inspection conducted this morning (July 7) at Pok Fu Lam Village, immigration officers detected a foreign domestic helper who resided at a place other than his employer¡¦s residential address as stated in the employment contract, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said today.

During the operation, immigration officers conducted a total of 25 proof of identity checks. One foreign domestic helper was suspected to have made false representation with his employer upon his domestic helper visa application and was held for inquiry. The department is also investigating on his employer as to whether he had provided false information during visa application. The department will consider prosecution against any person who intentionally made false representation or provided false information about the live-in arrangement of foreign domestic helper. Case will also be referred to the Labour Department and Lands Department to see whether the employer had violated the Employment Ordinance and whether approval had been granted for owners of the leased flats to change the use of land.

Under prevailing policy, employers who wish to employ foreign domestic helpers shall enter into a Standard Employment Contract (ID 407). A foreign domestic helper should work and reside in the employer's residence in accordance with clause 3 of the contract. Any application for variation or addition to the terms of the contract during its duration shall be made in accordance with the provisions under clause 15 of the contract. On the other hand, employers who have obtained approval before April 1, 2003 for their foreign domestic helpers to stay out may continue to do so, as long as they continue to employ the foreign domestic helpers without a break of more than 6 months.

If employers or helpers breach the undertaking that the helper would work and reside in the employer's residence, such conduct will be taken into consideration in their future foreign domestic helper visa or extension of stay applications. The applications may thus be refused.

According to the spokesman, it is an offence to make false representation to Immigration Officers. Offenders are liable to prosecution and to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.

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Another Mainland resident jailed for arranging for non-local pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong
May 22, 2012

Another Mainland resident jailed for arranging for non-local pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong

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      A 30-year-old female Mainland resident involved in arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong to give birth pleaded guilty today (May 4) in Sha Tin Magistrates' Court to five counts of breach of condition of stay.

She was sentenced to two months' imprisonment each for the first four charges, which related to four Mainland pregnant women with hospital confinement bookings in Hong Kong, and six months for the fifth charge, which related to a Mainland pregnant woman who had no hospital confinement booking. One month's imprisonment for each of the first four charges is to run consecutively to that of the fifth charge, making a total sentence of 10 months' imprisonment.

On May 2, 2012, the defendant was stopped for further examination at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point as she was suspected to be involved in arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong to give birth. Investigation revealed that the defendant had been employed by a Mainland agency since September 2011 to assist Mainland pregnant women in coming to Hong Kong for medical checks and delivery. She was initially assigned to escort the pregnant women to Hong Kong for antenatal checks and was paid RMB200 yuen per trip. Later, in December 2011, she started to receive a monthly salary of RMB2000 yuen instead of a reward per trip. The defendant also assisted the women in applying for extensions of stay, Hong Kong birth certificates and re-entry permits for their newborn babies. During the period from October 2011 to February 2012, the defendant assisted a total of five Mainland pregnant women in coming to Hong Kong. Four of the women had confinement bookings in Hong Kong while the fifth, who had no such booking, gave birth in February 2012 at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.

"This is the fourth case of its kind since the successful conviction on February 10 of an intermediary who assisted Mainland pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for medical services. We are very concerned about the activities of Mainland agents arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for confinement, particularly those who have no prior confinement booking. We will continue to spare no effort in combating any immigration offences detected," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

The spokesman warned that visitors are not allowed to take employment, or establish or join in any business in Hong Kong without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years.

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Extension of e-Channel service to Mainland
March 22, 2012

Extension of e-Channel service to Mainland frequent visitors at Hong Kong International Airport control point

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     The Immigration Department announced today (March 22) that it will extend its Mainland frequent visitors e-Channel service to the Hong Kong International Airport control point with effect from next Monday (March 26).

A spokesperson for the Immigration Department said Mainland frequent visitors who have successfully enrolled with the department will be able to use e-Channels for immigration clearance at the Hong Kong International Airport control point. Currently, Mainland frequent visitors can use e-Channels at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Lo Wu, Shenzhen Bay, China Ferry Terminal and Macau Ferry Terminal control points. The arrival and departure halls of the Hong Kong International Airport control point will be equipped with six and four e-Channels respectively for enrolled Mainland frequent visitors.

The e-Channel service is available to Mainland frequent visitors who have successfully enrolled. The enrolment offices are located at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Lo Wu, Shenzhen Bay, China Ferry Terminal, Macau Ferry Terminal and Hong Kong International Airport control points. Enrolment is free of charge.

Macao permanent residents who have successfully enrolled with the department will also be able to enjoy the e-Channel service at the Airport control point starting from March 26.

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Appointment of Director of Immigration
March 21, 2011

Chan Kwok-Ki will be the Director of Immigration from March 28

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      The State Council has, on the nomination and recommendation of Chief Executive Donald Tsang, approved the appointment of Deputy Director of Immigration Chan Kwok-ki as Director from March 28.

He will succeed Simon Peh who is retiring after 33 years' government service. Mr Tsang said Mr Chan has served in the Immigration Department for 28 years and has extensive knowledge and experience in its operations and management.

Mr Chan has made great efforts in enhancing the efficiency and professionalism of the department. I am confident he will lead the Immigration Department in meeting the challenges ahead.

Speaking on the retirement of Mr Peh, Mr Tsang said: “Since taking up the appointment as Director of Immigration in April 2008, Mr Peh has put in commendable efforts in ensuring effective immigration control and enforcement of immigration laws, leading the Immigration Department to become one of the most efficient and effective immigration services in the world. We sincerely wish Mr Peh a happy retirement.”
Mr Chan, 52, joined the department as an Assistant Immigration Officer in October 1982. He was appointed Assistant Director in April 2007 and Deputy Director in September 2009.

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HK signs Working Holiday Scheme with Korea
Nov 12, 2010

Working Holiday visa allows young people to stay in Korea for traveling and working for a period up to 12 months

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      Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) effective January 1, 2011to mark the establishment of a new bilateral working holiday scheme to benefit the young people of the two places from January 1, 2011. The MoU was signed by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong, Mr Jun Ok-hyun.

The working holiday scheme provides an opportunity for young people to broaden their horizons and gain first-hand living and working experience in a foreign place.

Speaking at the Signing Ceremony, Mr Cheung said that Korea had been a growing tourist destination for Hong Kong people, thanks to its beautiful landscape, rich cultural heritage, pop culture and economic dynamism. Over 165,000 HongKong visitors travelled to Korea in the first nine months this year.

He said, "Through exchanges in person, I believe that our youngsters will better understand not only Korea, but also themselves and their own strengths and weaknesses through the experiences they gain throughout their adventures.

By the same token, Hong Kong can offer to young Koreans an attractive and vibrant cosmopolitan environment where the West meets the East, a can-do spirit and increasingly close economic integration with Mainland China. It is encouraging to note that some 660,000 Korean visitors came our way in the first three quarters this year.

The scheme with Korea is the seventh bilateral working holiday scheme that Hong Kong has drawn up with other places. There are 200 places available per year from each side under the scheme. Participants will be allowed to stay upto 12 months for holiday and take up employment to finance their stay.

Hong Kong has also established bilateral working holiday schemes with New Zealand and Australia in 2001, Ireland in 2005, and Germany, Japan and Canada in 2009. Over 14,000 Hong Kong youngsters have benefited from the scheme whilst about 1,500 young people from these countries have experienced Hong Kong's cosmopolitan and vibrant way of life.

Under the Hong Kong/Korea Scheme, the Hong Kong Immigration Department or the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong will issue a working holiday visa to a successful applicant from Korea or Hong Kong respectively who meets the following eligibility criteria among others:

* the applicant must be either a Korean national possessing a valid passport of Korea, or a HKSAR or British National (Overseas) passport holder ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, who is aged between 18 and 30 and intends primarily to holiday in Korea or Hong Kong for a specified period of not more than one year;

* the applicant must not be accompanied by dependent family members;

* the applicant must possess a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such ticket, and sufficient funds for their maintenance during the initial period of stay in Korea or Hong Kong; and

* the applicant must hold comprehensive liability and medical insurance for the entire period of stay.

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Immigration facilitation measures for Taiwan visit
October 27, 2010

Enhanced cross-strait relations between HK and Taiwan - both citizens can be allowed to apply entry permit online

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      Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr. Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Wong Ting-Kwong in the Legislative Council.

Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Wong Ting-kwong in the Legislative
Question: The SAR Government has indicated that to enable Hong Kong to complement enhanced cross-strait relations, it is strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that since January last year, the Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented two new measures for the convenience of Taiwanese residents, which are the removal of the restriction that they may submit iPermit applications only twice within a 30-day period and extension of the limit of their stay in Hong Kong to 30 days, of the number of visits by Taiwanese residents visiting Hong Kong in the whole of last year, and how such figure compares with that in the year before the implementation of these measures;

(b) given that since September this year, Taiwan allows Hong Kong and Macao residents who were born in Hong Kong or Macao, are holders of a valid SAR passport and have visited Taiwan before, to submit an on-line application for entry permit and print their own permit for travelling to Taiwan with the fee waived, whether it knows the number to date of visits to Taiwan by Hong Kong people by means of this method and how the number of visits to Taiwan by Hong Kong residents since September this year compares with that for the same period in the previous year;

(c) whether the authorities have further explored relevant facilitating measures in respect of immigration arrangements for residents in both places; if so, ofthe specific contents; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) whether the authorities will conduct a research on the possible impact on the local tourism industry of the measures for facilitating immigration clearance implemented by the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan for residents of the three places; if they will, of the specific contents; if not, the reasons for that?

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Amendments on Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES)
October 13, 2010

investment fund is raised from HK$6.5M to HK$10M and real estate is suspended temprarily as a class of Permissible Investment As

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      The Government has announced that subsequent to a review, the following amendments will be introduced to the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES) with effect from October 14, 2010.

i) The threshold of investment (and net assets/net equity requirement) for admission to Hong Kong under the CIES is raised from HK$6.5 million to HK$10 million; and

ii) Real estate is suspended temporarily as a class of Permissible Investment Assets (PIA) under the CIES. Furthermore, with effect from the commencement date, an insurer authorised to carry on Class C business as specified in Part 2 of the First Schedule to the Insurance Companies Ordinance is permitted to act as a financial intermediary for the purpose of the CIES.

A government spokesman said: "The amendments aim to ensure that the scheme is up-to-date and continues to serve the best overall interest of Hong Kong. During the review, the Government has taken into account overseas practices, changes in relevant economic indicators, and views of the public and Legislative Council members.

Following the amendments, the scheme remains competitive compared with similar overseas schemes. The investment threshold (and net assets/net equity requirement) will be reviewed once every three years. The arrangement of the temporary suspension of real estate as a class of PIA will also be assessed at the next regular review, or earlier as necessary.

The amendments to investment threshold (and net assets/net equity requirement) and suspension of real estate as a class of PIA will not affect applications received before the commencement date, whether alreadyapproved or still under processing.

Under the existing scheme rules of the CIES, applicants are allowed to take into account the required investment made within six months prior to the date of lodging an application or within six months after being granted the approval-in-principle. According to past statistics, around 11% of the CIES entrants actually made the required investment before submitting an application.

In view of the above, as a transitional arrangement, new applications involving investment (including real estate) of no less than HK$6.5 million made within six months immediately preceding the commencement date are eligible for approval, subject to the applicant meeting the other criteria. For these cases, the scheme rules prevailing before the commencement date apply. However, any investment in real estate completed on or after the commencementdate, irrespective of the amount, will not be accepted as PIA for new applications under the CIES.

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