Immigrate to Taiwan at middle age

Over fifty years old, Raymond Lui has planned to immigrate to Taiwan for years. But, he still needs at least HK$500,000 to knock down the door to Taiwan. Apart from the unstable income from stock market, he has HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 income on average, which he said is just a bit better than grassroots.

“The thought of immigration occurred to me when CY Leung, the chief executive of Hong Kong, went to the office,” he explained, “Leung’s policies on Hong Kong and compliments to Beijing have determined me to immigrate.” The current system is ridiculous for him.

Four years ago, the rent of where he lives now in Tin Shui Wai was HK$7,700, but now, they are charged of HK$10,000 for 55㎡, doubling that of a flat measured 92㎡ in Taiwan-Taichung. “We don’t have much deposit, so it is important to find a place less expensive for our retirement,” he added, “Taiwan has a better environment and less living pressure.” Another reason is Taiwan is close, they can come back if necessary.

However, only he and his wife leave when time is ripe, away from their parents, son and relatives. He said parents are too old to adjust a new life and they have their own routine. Brothers will take care of them; also they will often make calls. His son will go to college and he can decide by himself.

What he memorizes most is Hong Kong in 80s when young people had opportunities, even global-oriented, as long as they worked hard. Even though you didn’t have good education background, diligence still brought you 10% increase of wage. “But now, no matter what degree you have, you are to work for others and little chance can you start from scratch without experience and relations,” he said.

According to statistics of National Immigration Agency of Taiwan, 7,498 Hong Kong and Macau people, including students and immigrant investors, received Taiwan residence permits, among which more than 90% were from Hong Kong. It tripled compared to that in 2004, setting a new record.

Ming Fok, a Hongkonger who has lived Taiwan for more than ten years, said he heard of many cases when new Hong Kong comers want to run a coffee shop. “They don’t know Taiwan,” he said, “They take it for granted that many customers would queue up in front of their shop as long as they have one.” But, he assured that these people have had a deep consideration; after all, they are leaving their hometown, even families.

Due to the policy adjustment, Lui have to invest in and run a business, which he hasn’t thought clearly. But he said he would frequent to Taiwan before leaving and do more investigation. So, at the beginning when they go there, deposits will be the main source of finance. “The uncertain investment doesn’t worry me,” he said, “I may as well hunt for opportunities outside because Hong Kong is hopeless.”