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By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial
08 May, 2014
The UK has opened a new Visa Application Center in Hong Kong, and has issued the first Youth Mobility Scheme visas to eligible Hong Kong passport holders.
The Government says that the facility will provide greater convenience and choice to customers, through extended opening hours and a range of premium services. In 2013, over 10,500 visas were issued to Hong Kongers, representing a 10 per cent year-on-year increase and reflecting the UK's popularity as a destination for studying.
Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds presented the first Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visas to eight successful local applicants, together with a special certificate. He said: "The scheme provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen cultural links and deepen mutual understanding between the UK and Hong Kong. I hope these young people from Hong Kong will enjoy their stay with us and broaden their horizons by experiencing life and culture in the UK, and I wish them the best of luck."
The scheme now allows 1,000 Hong Kong passport holders, aged between 18 and 30, to live, work and study for up to two years in the UK. Previously, it was open only to British National (Overseas) passport holders. The same number of young Britons can come to Hong Kong under similar arrangements.
Simmonds opened the center alongside Britain's Consul General to Hong Kong Caroline Wilson and representatives from UK Visas and Immigration and from VFS Global, who are administering the YMS program for the UK Government.
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