Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article news.gov.hk
LCQ17: Hong Kong people returning from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong
*******************************************************

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Ting-kwong and a written reply by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, in the Legislative Council today (March 30):

Question:

     It has been reported that owing to the dual impact of continuous rise in inflation on the Mainland and persistent depreciation of Hong Kong dollar against Renminbi, the number of Hong Kong residents who used to live in the Pearl River Delta Region returning to settle in Hong Kong has surged recently. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows the number of Hong Kong people who returned in the past three years from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong; the age distribution of these people and the number of elderly people among them;

(b) whether it knows the number of applications for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance made by Hong Kong people in the past three years after they had returned from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong, and among these applications, the number of those rejected; what other assistance the authorities will provide to the people who have returned from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong; and

(c) whether, according to the authorities' estimation, there will be an increase in the number of Hong Kong people returning from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong in the coming three years, and of the estimated number of these people; if such a trend is anticipated, whether the authorities have assessed the impact of such a trend on the economic, social and other aspects of Hong Kong; if they have assessed, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

(a) Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong residents have freedom to travel and to enter or leave Hong Kong. The Immigration Department does not require Hong Kong residents to declare their places of residence when they depart or enter Hong Kong. As such, the Immigration Department does not have statistics on the number of Hong Kong residents residing in the Mainland or returning from the Mainland to Hong Kong for settlement.

     According to a survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) in 2007, it was estimated that about 500,700 Hong Kong residents had resided/stayed substantially in the Mainland for at least one month during the six months before the enumeration. Among them, about 121,800 were elderly people aged 60 or above. C&SD is conducting a similar survey to update statistics on the number of Hong Kong residents at age 50 or above who are residing or will reside in the Mainland in the future.

     Persons aged 18 or above must have been Hong Kong residents for at least seven years if they wish to apply for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA). Since whether an applicant is a returnee from other places does not affect his/her eligibility, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) does not keep formal record of such background information. SWD also does not compile statistics on the number of CSSA applications submitted by persons who have returned from the Mainland to settle in Hong Kong, and the number of such applications rejected.

     For persons in need of social welfare support (including Hong Kong residents who have returned from the Mainland), CSSA is not their only option. Where there are proven needs, and subject to them meeting the respective eligibility criteria, they can receive other appropriate welfare services.

(c) Hong Kong residents residing in the Mainland will take into account different considerations before deciding whether or not to return to Hong Kong for settlement. These include their jobs and family needs; the financial situation of the individuals and their families; the living standard and living environment of the Mainland vis-j-vis that of Hong Kong, etc. Since their reasons for returning to Hong Kong for settlement vary and the impact of each reason at different times also varies, it would be difficult for the Administration to project the number of Hong Kong residents returning from the Mainland to Hong Kong for settlement in the coming three years.

Ends/Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:35

NNNN

Print this page