Are most Hong Kong residents moving to other countries due to political conflicts? Have they cramped living spaces? All these factors have driven people to consider emigration. According to a recent survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 44 percent of respondents would emigrate if they had the opportunity. Thirty-five percent of respondents had prepared for the move already. The most popular destination was the United Kingdom, followed by Australia and Taiwan.
A new trend in Hong Kong is a growing number of middle-class residents emigrating to other countries, mainly the United States and Taiwan. The movement may be related to the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. These individuals have an educational and occupational background that is often a step up from the norm for Hong Kong residents. While this trend is not new, the reasons for the increase in emigration are complex and varied.
Many believe that buying a property in another country is an investment and an insurance policy. Indeed, this is one reason why mainland Chinese have been buying properties in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. However, the policy of the mainland limits homeownership and lifestyle immigration aspirations to the Hong Kong middle-class. While super-rich Hong Kong residents occasionally visit their properties, most middle-class Hong Kong residents are unlikely to see their overseas properties.
The migration trend began last year and has become increasingly intense since this year. The reasons for the migration of these families are varied, ranging from economic concerns to a desire to escape the high property prices in Hong Kong. But most of them are high-skilled professionals with no desire to settle in one place forever. While this migration trend isn’t entirely new, it is still a worrying trend.
The average cost of a property in Hong Kong has grown to almost 20 times the average household income, putting home ownership out of reach for many people. With such high prices, many Hong Kong residents have sought property in other markets, including Japan and Thailand. As a result, the middle-class of the city has begun to seek property abroad. The high cost of living in Hong Kong has forced many to flee, and they are now unable to afford it.
Are most Hong Kong residents moving to other countries for better opportunities? Thousands of people are leaving every day. This trend started a few years ago, but it’s continuing today. Immigration data will tell us if this trend is permanent. Despite the lengthy quarantines, residents are increasingly unsatisfied with their conditions in Hong Kong. Some blame the Covid policy for the recent spike in departures.
The reasons are varied, but the general trend is similar. Those at the beginning of their careers are more likely to leave Hong Kong to find more opportunities elsewhere. A recent survey revealed that almost a quarter of university-educated young people plan to leave Hong Kong shortly. That’s a problem because educated people are essential to Hong Kong’s service and knowledge-driven economy. And this trend is hardly surprising.
In recent years, the number of emigrants has increased by a third. While violent protests may be one of the main drivers, many others may also have other reasons. Business opportunities, schooling opportunities, and personal reasons contribute to the trend. If quarantine measures remain in place, the departure may turn permanent. The Chinese and Hong Kong governments have not commented on the issue.
A recent survey by the British government suggests that around 40% of Hong Kong residents are considering or applying to leave the city. This potential movement could last for up to 10 years. While the BNO program was launched to help those born in the 1980s and 1990s, those born after 1997 were left out. Some people have sought asylum in the U.K., while others remain because they fear their safety in Hong Kong.
A new study suggests that about 40 percent of Hong Kong residents consider moving abroad. In addition to economic reasons, others may leave for business, schooling, or personal reasons. In any case, the influx of immigrants may last for years. The government has no official statement on why the residents of Hong Kong are emigrating. Still, the Office of the Hong Kong Liaison Bureau, Beijing’s representative body in the city, has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
The findings of this study are based on data from the 2016 Hong Kong Population Census. Specifically, the survey included Hong Kong residents aged 23 and older who were born before the handover of sovereignty to China in 1997. The survey excluded people who had already moved to the U.K. and Australia. The respondents completed a questionnaire before being interviewed via telephone or another interface. The survey included a representative sample of Hong Kong residents.
The reasons for this influx of young residents to other countries are many. The restrictions on Covid and a lack of democratic norms are factors behind this influx. As a result, many residents who have emigrated are taking significant risks. Many of them have sold off their assets and savings, amounting to between HK$500,000 and HK$5 million. Many of these people have since learned that British life has its benefits and drawbacks. Many are running small businesses, occupying unfamiliar roles, and earning lower salaries despite their expertise.
Despite the recent rise in Chinese immigration to Britain, the Chinese government has tried to tighten its grip on Hong Kong. The city was once a British colony with wide-ranging freedoms but returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Many Hong Kong residents are fleeing for the same reasons as their parents. And it is not just the influx of migrants — but also a broader trend in the region.
In recent months, China has tightened its grip on Hong Kong, resulting in net outflows of more than 1,000 residents daily. When the city was under British rule, residents were promised broad freedoms. But since the handover to Beijing in 1997, the government has tightened its grip even further. While the city continues to experience disruption, many emigrants have chosen Britain as their haven.
Besides the economic crisis, the rise in Covid cases has also contributed to the outflow. A recent survey revealed that 83 percent of the residents had migrated overseas. In addition, many mothers and children had left the city after the Covid-19 policy was announced, though many fathers stayed and sought transfer to another country. According to official figures, Hong Kong is set to lose nineteen thousand residents in 2020 and another 23,000 in 2021, with early estimates showing a more pronounced loss in 2019.
Despite political tensions, several new pathways have been opened for Hongkongers to leave the city. According to data from Australia, 2,500 Hong Kong nationals have their visas extended. In addition, a program to resettle people with British National (Overseas) passports is set to see hundreds of thousands more leave the city. Some Hong Kong residents have already started their preparations for the move, and Taiwan is among the top destinations for those who wish to emigrate.
However, some Hong Kong residents are unwilling to migrate to Singapore. The Singapore government accepts more than 40,000 applications for immigration each year, but only six thousand have taken up residency. Singapore offers to live to parents of Hong Kong students who study there. In comparison, Taiwan’s immigration rules relaxed significantly before 1997 and cut the required investment rate by half. Yet, most Hong Kong residents prefer Canada and Taiwan. The number of people leaving the city is one of the most significant issues in the city.
The political disputes and cramped living conditions have caused many Hong Kong residents to consider migration. A survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, dated September 2020, found that 44 percent of respondents would emigrate if given the opportunity, and 35 percent had already prepared to leave. The United Kingdom and Australia are first and second among the most popular destinations. Taiwan, however, is also on the rise.
As for the reasons for the mass exodus, there are many factors at play. One push factor is the «stringent» measures against the pandemic. Meanwhile, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has deemed the brain drain an «unarguable phenomenon» and has said that departing residents could return to the city in the future. As for Edwards, she’s unsure whether she’ll be returning to Hong Kong after her home visit this September.
Even though Hong Kong has a growing population of migrants, most are young, unemployed, and disgruntled with the city’s governance. They expect greater freedom in Britain but face the reality of lower earnings. Even skilled migrants are having trouble finding jobs in the short term. Many still haven’t even received their National Insurance number. The question is a crucial one.
The government estimates that as many as 1.2 million people may emigrate from Hong Kong shortly. These figures are even higher if you consider that around one-quarter of the potential migrants would choose the United Kingdom. Such a high number would represent 16 percent of the Hong Kong population, and the economic consequences would be enormous. While the U.K. has been a primary target for emigration, it has yet to implement a comprehensive immigration policy that will benefit the entire region.
Dual nationality refers to those who hold both Chinese and foreign passports. Dual nationality permits a dual-national to live and work in Hong Kong while retaining citizenship in their parents’ countries. They are considered Hong Kongers even though they have two identities: one that is Chinese and the other that is foreign. Hong Kong has historically traded on its Chinese and Western identities to foster a multicultural society. It also doesn’t place much stock in crude nationalism.
B.N. (O) passports
The British government is under pressure to extend the B.N. (O) visa scheme after a recent study revealed that one-third of residents in Hong Kong are BNO passport holders. The proposed law also outlaws acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and interference with internal affairs by foreign forces. However, Hongkongers have recently been rushing to renew their B.N. (O) passports. The British government has been coordinating immigration schemes for BNO passport holders. Meanwhile, some countries have announced their immigration measures for Hong Kong residents.
Despite this, you should know a few things about the B.N. (O) passport. Hong Kong residents born before 1997 are entitled to apply for one. They can also apply for renewals on BDTC passports. It is essential to renew your passport before it expires because you cannot travel to the mainland without it. Those who already hold B.N. (O) passports should check whether the visa has expired or not.
During the 1997 handover, Hong Kong citizens acquired foreign citizenship. At the time, many were granted citizenship by Commonwealth countries, which had liberal immigration policies. With the crackdown on unrest in Hong Kong, more pro-democracy activists have begun applying for asylum overseas. What can be done to ensure people continue living in Hong Kong peacefully? What are their legal rights?
The U.K. Home Office has provided CNN with data about how many people in Hong Kong hold B.N. (o) passports. The figures were obtained from an analysis of Hong Kong’s emigration data. The high estimates assume that those who recently applied for B.N. (O) passports are highly likely to move to the U.K. However, the lower calculations assume that the number of BNO passport holders will fall significantly, making it impossible to process more applications than necessary.
Canada is worried about Hong Kong’s new laws on dual nationality, which were only introduced a few months ago. While Hong Kong has not officially recognized dual nationality since 1980, local authorities have begun to enforce it more broadly in recent weeks. Canadians who are dual nationals have been denied consular access and even detained for declaring themselves Chinese. Global Affairs Canada is investigating the issue to determine how it will impact the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong.
The main problem with the current system is that the government has failed to address the identified issues of Hong Kong citizens. There are very few dual nationalities, as Hong Kong has only a small population of «Chinese» people. Moreover, dual citizens of Hong Kong and Mainland China have no corresponding identity with each other. In addition, the pro-establishment camp has avoided discussing the issue due to fears that it will affect the economy. But in fact, many return migrants are Hong Kong citizens and Chinese citizens.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has failed to respond to SBS News’ questions about the issue. According to its website, the Hong Kong government does not recognize dual nationality, and they do not grant consular access to dual nationality holders. Therefore, it’s up to Australian citizens to seek consular access to Hong Kong if they plan to leave the city. Dual nationality is a growing issue in the region.
China’s Nationality Law prohibits dual nationality, but in practice, this law has made life difficult for many migrants, especially those with children who have both Chinese and foreign nationality. This law was initially intended to address historical circumstances and has caused many migrants and their children problems. For the past 30 years, China’s Nationality Law has prohibited dual nationality. However, the situation is changing with the globalization of the world.
China’s assertive role in the region
The CCP’s aggressive role in Hong Kong surpassed its national boundaries. Chinese citizens were routinely subjected to censorship. Chinese authorities issued internal notices calling for films promoting Chinese culture and growth. For example, censors noted that the heroes of the film The Eight Hundred rallied around the flag of the Republic of China, which is still used in Taiwan. To rectify this, the film was re-edited.
After Xi Jinping ordered tightening social media control, the government took action. Several citizen media outlets and writers were barred from posting sensitive stories on the web. In January 2019, Wei Zhili, editor of the citizen media magazine New Generation and labor rights activist, was arrested. He and his wife were denied access to their lawyers, and police installed surveillance cameras in their homes. The Chinese government also seized a citizen journalist, Li Zehua, after he published an essay on the coronavirus.
The detention of Guo Chun-Fung, a Swedish citizen, has increased tensions in Hong Kong. His family members visited him in prison in September and reported that he was subjected to physical abuse. His family members also noted that the food was substandard. They also complained about unfair treatment by prison authorities. Guo was first arrested in 2004 for «economic disputes» with a Jilin Electronic Hospital. His family complained that he was being unfairly treated by the court system and later filed a petition to expunge his prison records. Eventually, the Chinese government granted him the freedom to pursue his previous employment.
The Chinese authorities began placing many citizens under house arrest and imposed censorship in Hong Kong. They sometimes blocked online blogs, social media, and television reporting in China. Some citizens were also quarantined in remote regions under the guise of pandemic response. Despite all these measures, Chinese journalists and writers faced increasing pressure to stay within the CCP’s boundaries.
Immigration to Hong Kong
While it is true that expatriates are an essential part of Hong Kong’s economy, it is also true that it is a highly competitive labor market. Advanced economies have low fertility rates, so they must recruit high-skilled foreign workers to fill these jobs. Hong Kong’s economy depends on international trade and financial services, and the city constantly seeks global talents. Despite the competitive labor market, Hong Kong remains a desirable destination for many.
The number of dual nationals in Hong Kong is significant, and most come from countries with a high proportion of their citizens in Hong Kong. Most dual citizens in Hong Kong are return migrants who emigrated from Hong Kong in the past and then returned. While this could be a negative factor for some immigrants, it is not a cause for alarm. It is simply a fact that life in the city has a vibrant and diverse culture.
The British government is considering extending citizenship rights to BNO passport holders. BNO passport holders born in Hong Kong before 1997 are already eligible for a British National Overseas passport. The new laws would extend their study and work rights to a year and could even create a pathway to citizenship. Nonetheless, the U.K. has denied the authority to dictate what foreign passports are acceptable for Hong Kong.
Before the British government implemented their B.N. (O) scheme, Hong Kongers didn’t see the benefits of having a B.N. (O) passport. The BNO was a valid temporary document, allowing Hong Kong citizens to visit the U.K. without obtaining a visa. Besides, BNO was helpful for ‘old Hongkongers’ born before 1997. But its power lies in the fact that it is a reminder of Hong Kong’s history, core values, and freedom of movement.
Cost of holding a foreign passport
To obtain a foreign passport in Hong Kong, applicants must apply for one. The service fee for an application is HKD 47. Applicants can also add value-added services to their applications. These services can be obtained at other places. If possible, fill out the application form online beforehand, and bring a printout to the office. This can save time and money. However, all applicants must submit their applications in person.
The U.K. is currently considering allowing more rights for BNO passport holders. As a former colony of Britain, Hong Kong now belongs to China. Those born before 1997 may obtain a BNO passport. This passport is a travel document without citizenship rights and is only valid for transiting in and out of Hong Kong. BNO passport holders also enjoy consular assistance outside of Hong Kong.
A Hong Kong passport must be renewed every six months after arrival. Several ways can be taken to renew a passport. Make sure to put sufficient postage on the envelope. Any application returned as «postage due» will not be accepted or sent back to the sender. There are also several online options available. A Hong Kong passport is relatively inexpensive and convenient. However, it is essential to choose the proper renewal method for you.
In Hong Kong, a Chinese passport is required for permanent residency. The key is valid for ten years and five years for minors. The ticket is issued by the Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong. The passport is written in traditional Chinese characters and English but is valid for just five years if you are under 16.