Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 11 News List

HK speeds work visas for expats fleeing Japan

GREENER PASTURES:The natural disasters and ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, have prompted many top-level expat managers to move their work out of that country

AFP, HONG KONG

A sculpture is seen outside the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as an executive passes by in the Central financial business district yesterday. The head of the Hong Kong Immigration Department said the office has received enquiries from about 600 high-end managers in multinational companies who want to move their work to Hong Kong from Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Photo: EPA

Hong Kong is speeding up approval of work visas for professionals fleeing quake-hit Japan, immigration officials said yesterday, as the territory tries to snap up top-class staff in the finance sector.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department said 270 one-year visas from people leaving Japan were approved through an expedited system that took only two days, compared with the usual four-to-six weeks.

HIGH-LEVEL APPLICANTS

The applications were received between March 17 and Thursday last week from high-level managers and professionals at multinational companies in the finance -industry earning between HK$100,000 (US$13,000) and HK$200,000 a month, a spokesman said.

“Countries all around the world are fighting over talent exiting Japan because of the earthquake,” the department’s information officer Angus Leung (梁士初) told reporters.

“We hope that they will consider Hong Kong,” he said, adding that the government had received 600 enquiries from high-end financial workers in Japan since the disaster.

Japan is struggling to recover from the March 11 quake and tsunami, which battered the northeast coast and crippled a nuclear power plant 250km from Tokyo, causing radiation leakages and fears of contamination.

SCHOOLS

The Hong Kong International School and Hong Kong Japanese School said they had received an increase in enquiries and applications from parents looking for child places.

They could not immediately provide an exact figure.

However, some banks said they would keep their staff in Japan.

A spokesman from Citigroup’s Hong Kong office said the company was not facilitating any permanent moves and that all of its Tokyo-based employees will remain in the city.

Luxury hotels in Hong Kong — the JW Marriott, Four Seasons and Shangri-La — have seen a jump in room requests from firms moving staff and individuals fleeing the stricken country.

The Bank of Japan said -yesterday that businesses’ confidence in the outlook for the next three months had plunged following the March 11 disaster and subsequent nuclear crisis.

This story has been viewed 3121 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top