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By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial
23 December, 2013
A thousand young people from Hong Kong and an equal number from the UK now have the opportunity to live, work or study in each other's territory for up to two years, following Hong Kong's inclusion in the UK's Youth Mobility Scheme.
The arrangement was announced by UK Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, Caroline Wilson, and Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. Wilson said that the agreement "strengthens long-standing social ties between the UK and Hong Kong, and should promote greater cultural, economic and business links."
The scheme will be open to any British citizen holding a valid British Citizen passport, and to any ordinary resident of Hong Kong possessing a valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport, aged between 18 and 30. However, HKSAR passport holders must also obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship from the Hong Kong Labour Department prior to making their application.
British National (Overseas) passport holders are already eligible to apply for a visa under the Youth Mobility Scheme to the UK and are not subject to any quota or sponsorship requirements.
The UK also has similar arrangements with several other countries as part of the scheme. These are: Australia (35,000 places), Canada (5,500 places), Japan (1,000 places), Monaco (1,000 places), New Zealand (10,000 places), South Korea (1,000 places), and Taiwan (1,000). Applicants from South Korea and Taiwan also need certificates of sponsorship.
The UK Border Agency classifies the scheme as Tier 5 for immigration purposes. It warns that the scheme should not be viewed as a route for establishing a long-term career in the UK, as there is no guarantee that a participant will be able to return straight away as a Tier 2 or Tier 5 migrant to work for the same employer in the same job.
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