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back to index backGLOBALtalk August,  2006


Hong Kong: Spouses of Expatriates in Hong Kong now Permitted to Work Again

On March 8, 2006, the Deputy Secretary of Security of Hong Kong, Michael Wong, announced that the law barring expatriate spouses from obtaining a job in Hong Kong would be abolished. In 2003, the Hong Kong government issued a restriction barring expatriate dependents from obtaining jobs in Hong Kong unless they could demonstrate specific skills that were not available in Hong Kong.

After this restriction was issued, many foreign companies criticized the Hong Kong government for the policy, arguing that the limitation made Hong Kong a less attractive place for expatriates to work as their wives/husbands could not obtain a job. In turn, this made it more difficult for foreign companies to find high quality employees from abroad. The Hong Kong government implemented the restriction in 2003 after the SARS epidemic when the unemployment rate in Hong Kong was extremely high

As the economy has rebounded significantly since the post-SARS period, the Hong Kong government recently decided to abolish the previous law. Deputy Secretary Michael Wong acknowledged the criticism voice by companies operating in Hong Kong stating on Hong Kong radio: There were a lot of views reflected to the government that this policy created a huge disincentive for Hong Kong companies to attract the talents they need.”

Source: Pacific Bridge, Inc.GAI


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