Immigration Expo Well Attended, With Parents Citing Care for Their Children’s Education Main Reason for Leaving Hong Kong

In the wake of Article 23 of the Basic Law coming into effect on March 23, the general public expects it is likely to trigger a new wave of emigration. Coincidentally, starting March 23, a two-day “International Immigration and Property Expo” was held at the Wan Chai Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event was well received, with more than 25,000 early bird registrations, and the venue was crowded on the first day. Among the attendees were parents bringing their children along, and the many seminars and talks on site were invariably packed with patient audiences. Most of the people interviewed said that the main reasons for their intention to emigrate were closely tied to the scare they have in their children’s education, as well as the deterioration of the political environment (in Hong Kong), among others.Ms. Wong, who attended such an expo for the first time, admitted during an interview with the Epoch Times that she began thinking about emigrating to the UK with her family a few years back. Her current plan is to stay for another two years until their two children, aged 15 and 16 respectively, complete their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examinations (HKDSEE) and then move to the UK for their further studies. She hopes to obtain more information at the exhibition to help her make an optimal emigration plan, such as how she could best manage the tax issues arising from her properties in Hong Kong, etc., after landing there. As regards employment, Ms. Wong, who works in the accounting industry, said that she does not plan to continue working after emigrating, but her husband may try to find a “blue-collar” job again.Regarding the reasons for leaving Hong Kong, Ms. Wong said that the educational environment in Hong Kong is too stressful for her children. There are more and more Mandarin-speaking mainland students in the public secondary schools where her children attend, and she is worried that their children may not be able to adapt to get along with them. She also pointed out that her children told her that, to date, seven or eight of their classmates have emigrated, leaving about twenty-plus students in the class. Moreover, she was told by the children that they did not want to study the few subjects, such as Citizenship and Social Development, and National Education, which were added to their curriculum in recent years. She felt that they were being forced to take them. There were also occasions when they were asked to go on a one-day return trip to visit the mainland, which they found highly intimidating.Although she said that she did not leave Hong Kong because of the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law, she guessed the legislation would no doubt trigger more Hongkongers to consider leaving because the legislation would act as another gag to stop people from expressing their views.“Mr. R,” who is in his 30s and is currently working in the IT industry, visited the immigration expo for the third time. He said frankly that due to political considerations starting with the National Security Law, he planned to emigrate with his brothers and sisters. The countries he favored included the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. However, he said that neither he nor his parents held BNO passports, so it was difficult to emigrate to the UK, making him consider Canada and Australia. He also said that if he had held a BNO passport, he would have emigrated and left Hong Kong long ago.As regards employment post-emigration, “Mr. R” plans to continue working in the IT sector. He said that he is not worried about the difficulty of finding a job, but he does not expect to find a job with a comparable salary over there because the salary in Hong Kong is higher than elsewhere. His siblings are, however, not in the IT industry, so they are more concerned about employment prospects.Related Stories12/29/2023He added that emigration is a hard act primarily in the best interest of the next generation. “If I do have children in the future, I can hardly see the so-called’ benefits of prosperity from good governance’ as claimed by the SAR administration. I can hardly accept a Hong Kong with ever-decreasing scope in freedoms, so I decided to leave.”Just a few days ago, the expo organizer highlighted in red, saying, “With Article 23 passed, there was an immediate increase in number of registrations to the Immigration Expo,” in its invitation letter for the media, causing a heated discussion on the Internet. According to polling results on emigration intention among those who plan to leave, 70 percent of the respondents say they will execute such a plan within two years, while 16 percent hope to make the trip within six months. The main reasons for doing so are the prevailing education system, and the political environment, as well as not feeling optimistic about future economic prospects in Hong Kong.An “International Immigration and Property Expo,” held from March 23 to 24 at the Wan Chai Convention and Exhibi

Immigration Expo Well Attended, With Parents Citing Care for Their Children’s Education Main Reason for Leaving Hong Kong

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In the wake of Article 23 of the Basic Law coming into effect on March 23, the general public expects it is likely to trigger a new wave of emigration. Coincidentally, starting March 23, a two-day “International Immigration and Property Expo” was held at the Wan Chai Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event was well received, with more than 25,000 early bird registrations, and the venue was crowded on the first day. Among the attendees were parents bringing their children along, and the many seminars and talks on site were invariably packed with patient audiences. Most of the people interviewed said that the main reasons for their intention to emigrate were closely tied to the scare they have in their children’s education, as well as the deterioration of the political environment (in Hong Kong), among others.

Ms. Wong, who attended such an expo for the first time, admitted during an interview with the Epoch Times that she began thinking about emigrating to the UK with her family a few years back. Her current plan is to stay for another two years until their two children, aged 15 and 16 respectively, complete their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examinations (HKDSEE) and then move to the UK for their further studies. She hopes to obtain more information at the exhibition to help her make an optimal emigration plan, such as how she could best manage the tax issues arising from her properties in Hong Kong, etc., after landing there. As regards employment, Ms. Wong, who works in the accounting industry, said that she does not plan to continue working after emigrating, but her husband may try to find a “blue-collar” job again.

Regarding the reasons for leaving Hong Kong, Ms. Wong said that the educational environment in Hong Kong is too stressful for her children. There are more and more Mandarin-speaking mainland students in the public secondary schools where her children attend, and she is worried that their children may not be able to adapt to get along with them. She also pointed out that her children told her that, to date, seven or eight of their classmates have emigrated, leaving about twenty-plus students in the class. Moreover, she was told by the children that they did not want to study the few subjects, such as Citizenship and Social Development, and National Education, which were added to their curriculum in recent years. She felt that they were being forced to take them. There were also occasions when they were asked to go on a one-day return trip to visit the mainland, which they found highly intimidating.

Although she said that she did not leave Hong Kong because of the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law, she guessed the legislation would no doubt trigger more Hongkongers to consider leaving because the legislation would act as another gag to stop people from expressing their views.

“Mr. R,” who is in his 30s and is currently working in the IT industry, visited the immigration expo for the third time. He said frankly that due to political considerations starting with the National Security Law, he planned to emigrate with his brothers and sisters. The countries he favored included the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. However, he said that neither he nor his parents held BNO passports, so it was difficult to emigrate to the UK, making him consider Canada and Australia. He also said that if he had held a BNO passport, he would have emigrated and left Hong Kong long ago.

As regards employment post-emigration, “Mr. R” plans to continue working in the IT sector. He said that he is not worried about the difficulty of finding a job, but he does not expect to find a job with a comparable salary over there because the salary in Hong Kong is higher than elsewhere. His siblings are, however, not in the IT industry, so they are more concerned about employment prospects.

He added that emigration is a hard act primarily in the best interest of the next generation. “If I do have children in the future, I can hardly see the so-called’ benefits of prosperity from good governance’ as claimed by the SAR administration. I can hardly accept a Hong Kong with ever-decreasing scope in freedoms, so I decided to leave.”

Just a few days ago, the expo organizer highlighted in red, saying, “With Article 23 passed, there was an immediate increase in number of registrations to the Immigration Expo,” in its invitation letter for the media, causing a heated discussion on the Internet. According to polling results on emigration intention among those who plan to leave, 70 percent of the respondents say they will execute such a plan within two years, while 16 percent hope to make the trip within six months. The main reasons for doing so are the prevailing education system, and the political environment, as well as not feeling optimistic about future economic prospects in Hong Kong.

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An “International Immigration and Property Expo,” held from March 23 to 24 at the Wan Chai Convention and Exhibition Centre, was well attended. Many parents came with their children, and almost all of the seminars and talks on site were fully participated in. (Kiri Choy/The Epoch Times)
An “International Immigration and Property Expo,” held from March 23 to 24 at the Wan Chai Convention and Exhibition Centre, was well attended. Many parents came with their children, and almost all of the seminars and talks on site were fully participated in. (Kiri Choy/The Epoch Times)

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Organizer: Hongkongers Rush for the ‘Final Train’ of Emigration

To many, it is no coincidence that the passing of Article 23 of the Basic Law, which has aroused so much controversy over the years, will re-ignite a new wave of emigration intent, as evidenced by the huge crowd attending this “International Immigration and Real Estate Expo,” a two-day event on Match 23 and 24. Mr. Tse Pui-ho, director of the expo organizer, said that compared with an average of about 300 to 500 pre-registrations per day in January, on the eve of the passage of Article 23, the average number shot up to more than 1,000. However, he added that such an increase closer to the exhibition was also common in previous years, and whether the steep increase this time is a one-off, we need to see the actual figures on the day. Anyway, the current registration number is undoubtedly a high post-pandemic. Compared with the first expo in 2021, it is still not the highest.

The organizer invited those registered to fill in a questionnaire this month (March) and got more than 500 responses. Among them, more than 70 percent of respondents were parents, mostly between the ages of 31 and 50; more than 3.5 percent had an annual salary between HK$700,000 (US$90,000) and HK$1 million (US$128,000), and another 30 percent in the range of HK$500,000 to HK$700,000 (US$64,000 to US$90,000); about 45 percent of people own assets of HK$1 million to 5 million (US$128,000 to US$640,000), less than 30 percent have assets below HK$1 million (US$128,000). About 20 percent of them have assets valued at HK$5 million to 10 million (US$640,000 to US$1.3 million).

Mr. Tse pointed out that those (more than 60 percent) of respondents between 31 and 50 years old, he believed they belonged to the management level in their workplace and were in the golden era of their careers. Once these people leave in the years to come, it might have a severe impact on the local labor market. He called on the authorities to introduce various policies and incentives to retain these people and encourage them to continue contributing to society.

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Economic Prospect and Education System Highest on the List

The survey also found that nearly 70 percent (68.7 percent) of the respondents planned to leave Hong Kong within two years. The things that make them feel most uncomfortable are Hong Kong’s future economic prospects and the education system, accounting for 23.9 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively. Nearly 20 percent (19.9 percent) said it was to prepare one more option for themselves, while 15 percent said it was due to the political environment in Hong Kong. Respondents were mainly concerned about local employment and tax arrangements after emigrating.

Mr. Tse analyzed that the survey showed that Hong Kong people are adjusting to signs of tightening in the immigration policies of many countries, and even though some of them do not possess enough income or assets, they still hope to take the opportunity to “catch the last train” of emigration. The survey also showed most people still took the UK, Canada, and Australia as the three most popular countries to settle in, accounting for 34 percent, 22.1 percent, and 19.4 percent, respectively. These three countries are also the number one choices favored by parents to arrange for their children’s education.

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