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One in Four Hong Kong Residents Plan to Emigrate, Said Survey

Since March 2021, the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI) has been conducting semiannual online surv percenteys on immigration related opinions. The most recent one was conducted from March 21 to March 24).  In that survey, 6,723 Hong Kong citizens aged 12 or above were being interviewed via an online questionnaire.

The results showed that 24 percent of respondents have plans to emigrate, of which 3 percent are “ready to leave at any time,” 7% are “preparing,” and 14 percent “have plans but haven’t prepared.”

When asked about confidence in Hong Kong’s future, 58 percent of the surveyed showed no confidence in Hong Kong’s future political environment, 57 percent were not confident in the personal freedom, and almost half, or 4 percent, were pessimistic about its the economic outlook.

As for the factors affecting respondents’ desire to leave Hong Kong permanently, 85 percent worried about the deterioration of personal freedom or personal safety; 79 percent worried about the future of their families, the education of their next generation or the deterioration of Hong Kong’s economic prospects; and 50 percent complained about the epidemic situation in Hong Kong or the government’s ineffective measures.

According to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, from the fifth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak to early March this year, the net departure of Hong Kong residents exceeded 92,000, including as many as 65,300 in February this year, a significant increase of more than three times compared to January this year. The vast majority of those departed were via the Hong Kong International Airport.

The number of residents leaving Hong Kong with money is also on the rise. According to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the number of claims for withdrawal of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong in 2021 was 33,800, an increase of nearly 12 percent over 2020. The applications for Certificates of No Criminal Conviction (commonly known as “Good Citizen Certificates”), a necessary document for emigration, has risen to 38,000 in 2021, from 29,000 the year before, or an increase of over 30%.

Source: Voice of America, March 28, 2022