Chinese mainland cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area started piloting a new policy on February 20 that allows for the issuance of travel endorsements to travel to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Macao SAR for professional talent working in the mainland.
The policy, as outlined by the National Immigration Administration (NIA), designates six categories of eligible talents: excellent talents who contribute greatly to the area's development or are much-needed; scientific research talents; education talents; health talents; legal talents; and other qualified talents in the Greater Bay Area.
Eligible applicants can apply for travel endorsements either to the HKSAR and Macao SAR, respectively, or together, with validity periods ranging from one to five years, depending on the candidate's category, according to the policy.
The policy allows for multiple trips between Hong Kong and Macao SARs within the validity period, with each stay in the respective regions limited to no more than 30 days.
Currently, for individual travel endorsement, a qualified applicant can stay in Hong Kong or Macao SARs for no more than seven days for each application.
Excellent talents can submit their applications to any immigration management authority above the county level in the Greater Bay Area. However, other talent categories can only submit their applications to such authorities above the county level within the place where they work.
The policy will substantially boost the smooth, efficient and orderly flow of talented individuals and technical skills in the area, injecting new momentum into the socio-economic development of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, stated the NIA.
(With input from Xinhua; Cover image via CFP)