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Increasing number of Hong Kong people want to emigrate to Taiwan

2015/02/23 17:36:40

Protesting parade in Hong Kong on Feb. 1, 2015

Hong Kong, Feb. 23 (CNA) The number of people emigrating from Hong Kong has been declining, although the number applying to move to Taiwan has surged sharply, according to data from the Hong Kong and Taiwanese authorities.

The latest Hong Kong Security Bureau statistics show that 4,900 Hong Kong people emigrated to Canada, Australia and the United States in 2014, the lowest figure in nearly a decade.

The three countries are the most popular destinations for Hong Kong emigrants.

According to the statistics, the number of Hong Kong emigrants to Canada reached 800 last year, down from 1,000 the previous year, while the number for Australia declined 13 percent to 1,900 in 2014, and that to the U.S. increased 300 to 2,200.

The bureau explained that the figures only represent the numbers of people applying for police clearance certificates for their emigration bids and do not reflect the exact number of people who have managed to move overseas.

Meanwhile, Taiwan gave the green light to 7,498 applications by Hong Kong people for residence permits in 2014, the highest in more than 20 years, according to statistics compiled by Taiwan's National Immigration Agency.

In that year along, 697 Hong Kong people acquired long-term resident certificates, the statistics released Dec. 31, 2014 show.

A report in the Sing Tao Daily's Monday edition cited Cheung Ka-hei, head of the Hong Kong-based Goldmax Immigration Consulting Co., as saying that apart from the traditional emigration destinations, more and more Hong Kong people have chosen Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific countries like Malaysia as homes for the future.

Cheung said the 2014 Occupy Central movement, which was aimed at pressing the People's Republic of China government into allowing an electoral system that meets international standards in terms of universal suffrage, prompted Hong Kongers to think about moving to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Apply Daily cited investment immigration consultant Eddie Kwan as saying that compared with the U.S. and countries in Europe, the amount of investment required for those planning to move to Taiwan is relatively lower, at around NT$10 million (US$315,000), a figure that Kwan said is affordable for most Hong Kong residents.

(By Stanley Cheung and Elizabeth Hsu)