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LCQ18:HKSAR passports
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    Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Lau Kong-wah in the Legislative Council today (May 28):

Question:

    Regarding the issue of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") passports by the Immigration Department ("ImmD"), will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the respective numbers of relevant applications received and HKSAR passports issued by ImmD in the past three years;

(b) the trend of the number of relevant applications in the past three years;

(c) the main grounds on which the applications concerned were rejected by ImmD; the number of applications rejected in the past three years, together with a breakdown by the grounds of rejection; and

(d) the foreign passports the holders of which are eligible for the issue of a HKSAR passport and the reasons for that; whether HKSAR passport applicants are required to indicate if they are holding any foreign passport when they submit applications, and the number of persons currently holding both HKSAR and foreign passports?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a) & (b) In the past three years, the numbers of and increase in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport applications and HKSAR passports issued are as follows:

Year  Application  Issue
ówów  ówówówówów  ówówów
2005    479,685    437,790

2006    496,736    448,576
        (+3.6%)    (+2.5%)

2007    538,723    459,413
        (+8.5%)    (+2.4%)


    The trend of the annual increase in this period is denoted in ( ) at the above table.

(c) Pursuant to Section 3(2) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passports Ordinance (Chapter 539), the Director of Immigration shall not issue a HKSAR passport, unless the applicant is:

(i) a Chinese citizen; and
(ii) a permanent resident of the HKSAR and a holder of a valid Hong Kong permanent identity card.

    If the applicant has not satisfied the above conditions, the Director of Immigration will refuse his application. In the past three years, the number of HKSAR passport applications refused by the above reasons are as follows:

Year The applicant  The applicant  Others      Total
    is not a      resident of    (For example:
    is not a      the HKSAR and  identity
    Chinese        a holder of  cannot be
    citizen      a valid Hong  established)
                  Kong permanent
                  identity card
ówów  ówówówówówów  ówówówówówów  ówówówówów  ówówów
2005  106          10              1          117

2006  104            6              2          112

2007    40            2              1          43


(d) Pursuant to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China ("Nationality Law") and the explanations by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on May 15, 1996 concerning the implementation of the Nationality Law in the HKSAR, Chinese citizens of the HKSAR holding the "British Dependent Territories Citizens passport" or "British Nationals (Overseas) passport" or with right of abode in foreign countries may use the relevant documents issued by the British or foreign governments for the purpose of travelling to other countries and territories. If there is a change in the nationality of a Chinese citizen of the HKSAR, he may, with valid documents in support, make a declaration at the Immigration Department (ImmD). In other words, Chinese citizens holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card, even if holding passports issued by foreign governments, may still apply for HKSAR passport.

    When applying for a HKSAR passport, the applicant is required to declare that he is a Chinese citizen and has not made any declaration of change of nationality to the ImmD. He is not required to indicate whether he is holding any foreign passport. Therefore, the ImmD does not maintain the statistics on persons holding both the HKSAR and foreign passports.

Ends/Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Issued at HKT 13:12

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