This Feb 21, 2023 photo shows a view of buildings from the Peak in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / AFP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong authorities announced on Sunday that several talent recruitment schemes in the city will require applicants to declare whether they have any criminal convictions during the application process.

Apart from the Top Talent Pass Scheme, the schemes will include the General Employment Policy, Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, Technology Talent Admission Scheme, Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates as well as Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents, the government said in a news release.

READ MORE: New talent scheme applicants to undergo criminal record checks

The adjustments for talent admission schemes will be put in force from Monday, it added.

The adjustment to the application procedures of the Top Talent Pass Scheme took effect on Wednesday

“The Immigration Department has all along been assessing each application for visa/entry permits in a rigorous manner and will adjust from time to time application procedures and information required for applications,” reads the release.

The adjustment to the application procedures of the Top Talent Pass Scheme took effect on Wednesday.

It came after it was found that Chinese mainland scientist He Jiankui, who was jailed for three years in 2019 for illegal medical practices linked to gene editing in babies, was granted approval to work in the SAR under the new scheme.

An SAR government spokesperson said on Feb 21 the Immigration Department had revoked He’s work visa in Hong Kong as he’s suspected of having obtained his work visa through false representations. A criminal investigation into the case will be conducted later.

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The spokesperson stressed it’s an offense for any person to provide false information when applying for a visa to visit or work in Hong Kong. Offenders face a maximum fine of HK$150,000 ($19,230) and 14 years’ imprisonment if convicted.