Mainlanders have discovered that becoming a full-time adult student is a way to build up the years of residency required to obtain the right of abode in Hong Kong.
Care House-Integrated Family, an agency in Shenzhen, has been helping mainlanders get admitted to schools in Hong Kong to take self-funded post-secondary courses, Apple Daily reported Saturday.
The company, in partnership with the Hong Kong Outstanding Education Center, targets mainland parents who are not Hong Kong permanent residents but have young children with permanent residency studying in the city.
It charges 100,000 yuan (US$16,090) per person.
Those parents, during their period of study in Hong Kong, can not only take care of their children but also accumulate residency toward an application for the right of abode, the firm said in its promotional materials.
The maximum of one year they are allowed to work in the city after graduation will also count toward the requirement of seven years of continuous residency, it said.
Once they are successfully admitted as students, they can apply for their spouses or other children in the mainland to come to live in Hong Kong as dependants, and all of them can become Hong Kong permanent residents once they fulfill the requirement, the firm said.
Subjects in Chinese, including language courses, are popular among the parents.
At least seven or eight middle-aged mainland women were enrolled in a 30-student tutorial class in the last academic year, a student at the Caritas Institute of Higher Education was quoted as saying.
The total cost to study for six years in Hong Kong is about HK$500,000, only 5 percent of the investment threshold of HK$10 million required by the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme.
Legislator Ip Kin-yuen, who represents the education sector, urged the Education Bureau and the Immigration Department to see whether there are loopholes in the education system that mainlanders are taking advantage of.
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