While rising living costs are prompting many young Hongkongers to think of moving out from the city, some second-generation emigrants have been expressing interest in rediscovering their roots.
Between May and September, the Immigration Department has received 142 applications for permanent residency from the children of overseas Hong Kong people, according to Sky Post.
Of those, about 80 applications have been approved, allowing the people to return to the city.
In May, the government launched the “Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents”, making it easier for the kids of overseas Hong Kong people to move to the city.
Cheung Ka-hei, an official with immigration consultancy Goldmaxi, told Sky Post that his firm had just lodged an application for permanent residency for a 24-year-old Canada-born young man.
“He studied business administration in university. He thinks that Asia provides more opportunities in the financial sector, so he decided to move here,” Cheung said.
“He always wanted to come back, but before this scheme was launched, he could only apply for Hong Kong residency through the Admission Schemes for Talent, Professionals and Entrepreneurs, whose procedures are much more complicated.”
The Immigration Department takes three to four weeks on average to process an application.
Law Wing-yu, 30, was born and grew up in France. Her parents moved to France when they were young. Law has postgraduate degrees in interior design and architecture; she is fluent in French, English and Cantonese.
“You won’t have many opportunities if you are a fresh graduate in France. But working in Hong Kong is different; I had the chance to participate in many big projects soon after I came back,” Law said.
Leung Mei-yee, chief executive of human resource consultancy firm ExcelNet, said the second generation of Hong Kong emigrants has better English proficiency than local young people.
Many of them are also fluent in Cantonese and Putonghua.
Moreover, they are generally more outgoing and have better social skills, making them an attractive proposition for prospective employers, Leung added.
However, Eddie Kwan King-hung, chairman of EK Immigration Consulting, said the high living costs, especially the steep rents, are a dampener for some people wishing to move back to Hong Kong.
People may have to sacrifice their living standard if they want to pursue their careers here.
According to a human resource professional named Lam King-sun, the second generation emigrants don’t have any special attachment to Hong Kong as they did not grow up in the city.
Many of those who are coming here may not stay for long, he says.
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