13 March 2017
In connection with a media report on a suspected case of purchase of equity or bond in exchange for employment contracts for obtaining visas for employment in Hong Kong, the Immigration Department (ImmD) today (March 13) made the following response:
The ImmD has all along been assessing applications for visas/entry permits in a rigorous manner. Pertaining to the media report, the ImmD will initiate investigation on the matters and take follow-up actions in accordance with the law if required. In assessing each application, the ImmD will consider whether the applicant meets the specific eligibility criteria under the relevant admission scheme/arrangement and general immigration requirements, and will take into account the individual circumstances of each application. The ImmD has always been processing each visa application professionally in a fair and impartial manner. We do not have any connection with the private organisations or companies as described in the report.
It was also reported that applicants can apply for working in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) by acquired shares in or debentures of which such statement was not true. The issue of whether the applicant has made any investments or acquired shares in or debentures of his/her employing company in Hong Kong is not one of the vetting criteria of the ASMTP.
A Mainland resident applying for working in Hong Kong under ASMTP is required to have a confirmed offer of employment which cannot be readily taken up by the local work force in a short period of time; a good education background and good technical qualifications or proven professional experience. An application may be favourably considered only if the applicant is employed in a job relevant to his/her academic qualifications or work experience, and meet the relevant criteria as set out under ASMTP. The ImmD reiterated that in assessing an employment visa application, one of the vital considerations is whether there is such a job vacancy in the employing company. The employing company also needs to furnish information to prove that the applicant indeed works in the employing company.
The ImmD further reiterated that it is an offence for any persons or companies (including the applicants, intermediaries or employing companies) to furnish false information or make false representation to ImmD in their visa applications. Upon conviction, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Aiders and abettors will also be prosecuted. Apart from rejecting such applications, the ImmD will also initiate criminal investigations into the cases concerned. In addition, should any person being unveiled for obtaining his residence in Hong Kong as well as any visa/entry permit by fraudulent means, such obtained visa/entry permit will become null and void. Also, regardless the person had obtained the permanent residence status, his Hong Kong identity card and residence status will be declared invalid according to the laws of Hong Kong. He/she will also be subject to removal back to his/her place of origin.
The ImmD urged applicants not to defy the law and be misled that employment or residence could be obtained by fraudulent means or false information. If any person unveils any suspected offences, he should report it to the ImmD via our 24-hour hotline on 2824 1551, by fax on 2824 1166, by email to email@example.com or through the "Online Reporting of Immigration Offences" system on ImmD's website at www.immd.gov.hk.