Hongkongers who have left or intend to leave Hong Kong permanently will not be eligible for the second phase of the consumption vouchers, the remaining HK$5,000 of which will begin to be disbursed on August 7.

The forthcoming round of payouts will also see non-permanent residents who are eligible to become one – such as those under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme – collect HK$5,000. Residents who have become eligible for the scheme since the first consumption voucher cycle last year, such as those who turned 18 on or before Monday, can receive HK$10,000, with registration opening on June 23. However, migrant workers are still excluded from the scheme.

Consumption vouchers handout
The government’s consumption vouchers scheme website. Screenshot, via www.consumptionvouchers.hk.

During a press briefing on Monday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that the government would determine whether residents have left or intend to leave the city permanently by checking if they were away from June 18, 2019, to June 12, 2022, without an acceptable reason, such as if they were studying overseas.

Those who have applied to withdraw their Mandatory Provident Fund early due to permanent departure from the city would also be seen as ineligible for the second phase of consumption vouchers. The government will also look at other evidence.

Paul Chan
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan meeting the press on June 13, 2022. Photo: GovHK, via video screenshot.

Chan said that the new eligibility requirements were an “advancement” and the changes were made after receiving feedback from society and lawmakers.

“This took reference from an idea about whether we should give consumption vouchers to those who have already emigrated,” Chan said.

Chan announced plans to distribute electronic consumption vouchers worth HK$10,000 in this year’s budget. Eligible residents who had registered for last year’s consumption vouchers began receiving the first HK$5,000 in April.

Registration and distribution dates

With two more new electronic payment methods added to the scheme – HSBC’s PayMe and Bank of China’s BoC Pay – Hongkongers can register to change their method between June 23 and July 23. Other platforms included Tap & Go, AliPay, and WeChat Pay HK.

An Octopus card. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Chan reminded people to consider which payment method to swap to, or whether to make a change at all, as once a new payment method has been registered, they will not be able to make another alteration.

For those who do not wish to change their payment platforms, the vouchers will be distributed to their accounts automatically, provided they pass the eligibility vetting conducted by the government using previously-submitted information.

The first HK$2,000 will be distributed from August 7, and the remaining HK$3,000 will be distributed on October 1 for all those not using Octopus cards. All vouchers will expire on February 28 next year.

Octopus card users will also receive HK$2,000 from August 7, followed by a further HK$2,000 on October 1. The remaining HK$1,000 will be disbursed to on the 16th of the month after their cumulative spending has reached HK$4,000.

To help citizens with registration, the government will set up eight temporary service centres across the city. The centres will operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and will be closed on public holidays.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.