Consultancy says immigration inquiries surge 39-fold

Business | 5 Jun 2020 6:29 pm

The immigration inquiries received by Midland Immigration Consultancy surged 39 times year-on-year, or expanded by 4.3 times to 800 in May, amid escalating political tensions and fluctuating economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The institution said they recorded a daily average of 80 inquiries during the second half of last month.

Asian countries remained top destinations with around 60 percent of the total cases, while inquiries about European countries accounted for 20 percent, said the institution. Inquiries about traditional destinations, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, took up only 15 percent of the total.

Inquiries about Taiwan took up 70 percent of the cases for Asia destinations, mainly from younger residents and parents, given a relatively lower immigration expense of around HK$1.56 million, said Tina Cheng, director of strategy at the consultancy. Living costs in Taiwan are also lower than elsewhere, she said.

Around 4,000 Hongkongers moved to Taiwan each year during 2016-2018, and immigration applications to the region rose to over 5,800 last year, Cheng said.

She reckoned that Hongkongers’ interest in emigrating increased not only due to the political factors, but grew as the pandemic was under control. She reminded that it may not be a proper time for migrants to sell their homes in Hong Kong in a low-interest-rate environment, but they may consider refinancing for their units and cash in the amount for immigration applications.

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