Hong Kong's immigration consultants have fielded hundreds of new calls since China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) unveiled the controversial plan on May 21, bypassing the local legislature. Some are accelerating their decision to buy property overseas, while others are cutting their asking price for local properties.
“The day after that proposal, we received over a hundred calls,” Andrew Lo, chief executive at Anlex, a Hong Kong-based immigration consultancy firm, was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post. “People are restless. They ask if they can leave the next day.”
“The foreign property market is picking up,” said David Hui, managing director of Centaline Immigration Consultants, whose firm received up to 100 requests for investment ideas this week, compared with a dozen previously, on daily basis. “If the pandemic or external economy does not suddenly worsen, more purchasing power [from Hong Kong residents] will be released in June.”
(Source: Hong Kong Police Force, Midland Immigration Consultancy)
“People who were just engaging us on basic information before are now firmly committing by putting down deposits,” Gillott said, citing one customer who asked to move his “millions and millions of dollars” to Portugal. “Never seen that before.”
Taiwan is an attractive destination for many seeking to flee the turmoil in Hong Kong. The self-ruling island allows foreigners to gain citizenship with NT$6 million (US$199,680) in investments in a business that hires local staff.
Almost 2,400 Hongkongers filed residency applications for Taiwan from January to April this year, compared to 948 last year in the same period, said Midland’s director of strategy Tina Cheng, citing government data. In all, 5,585 people left Hong Kong for Taiwan in 2019, an increase of 41 per cent, the government said.