Record numbers of expats flocking to Hong Kong

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Record numbers of expats flocking to Hong Kong

Record numbers of expats applied for work visas in Hong Kong last year, with a 45 % annual rise in UK citizens applying to be able to work in the city.

3,907 applications were processed from British citizens, while for Americans visa requests rose 96% to 4,290 people. The number of applications was an all-time high for both countries, according to Immigration Department figures. Expat relocation to Hong Kong has been on a steady increase for the last decade, with the total number of work visas issued annually under the government's General Employment Scheme growing 65% from 18,520 to 30,557.

The city is an economic hub, well positioned geographically and culturally, meaning that many from the financial services are arriving in search of jobs, especially in light of the global economic recession. Among the benefits for expats are low taxes (which mean that the average worker takes home 20-30% more pay than in the UK), efficient public transport and the widespread use of English.

Fiona Foxon, managing director of international concierge service Quintessentially, said: "Hong Kong continues to attract strong global talent, with an increase in talent from the UK. Hong Kong is a country that rewards hard work, enjoys life to the fullest, and offers something for everyone to make them feel at home."

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