Continue reading this on our app for a better experience

Open in App
Home News Labour market

How Hong Kong's new expat visas stack up against Singapore's

Bloomberg10/20/2022 11:26 PM GMT+08  • 2 min read
How Hong Kong's new expat visas stack up against Singapore's
For some, Hong Kong’s visa changes are sorely needed. Photo: Bloomberg
Font Resizer
Share to WhatsappShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInMore Share
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

Hong Kong is overhauling visa rules to attract foreign talent as it battles with rival finance hubs like Singapore for talent following nearly three years of pandemic isolation.

Chief Executive John Lee said in his maiden policy address that the city will grant a two-year visa to high earners who earned at least HK$2.5 million ($453,210) in the past year, as well as for graduates from the top-ranked universities. The city will also suspend the annual quota of its current program for skilled talent and extend the limit of stay for non-local graduates from one to two years.

The moves seek to stem a brain drain following Hong Kong’s slow reopening of its international borders, with many foreigners leaving the city for alternative locations like Singapore, which has relaxed Covid restrictions much faster.

Singapore in August announced its own long-term work visas to ease a tight labour market, targeted toward foreigners earning $360,000 annually.

For some, Hong Kong’s visa changes are sorely needed.

The new policy “is even better and more aggressive than Singapore’s talent policy -- it’s stronger and more flexible,” said Ricky Chiu, chairman and chief executive officer of PHASE Scientific International Limited, a biotech firm that has struggled to find experienced candidates to help handle a Covid testing-induced boom. “This is a very sincere policy change from before.”

See also: Global headwinds and slower growth may weigh on labour demand going forward, says MOM

“If you really want to win in this talent acquisition war, then you really need to have a policy that is more favourable than your competitors,” he added.

Here is a breakdown of how the two Asian hubs compare on foreign visas:

Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
Subscribe to The Edge Singapore
Get credible investing ideas from our in-depth stock analysis, interviews with key executives, corporate movements coverage and their impact on the market.
© 2022 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.