LCQ20: Applications for Certificates of No Criminal Conviction
It has been reported that earlier on, the Security Bureau, based on the number of applications for Certificates of No Criminal Conviction (commonly known as "Good Citizen Certificates") made by Hong Kong people to the Hong Kong Police Force, estimated that 7 600 Hong Kong people had emigrated to foreign countries last year, with the United States, Australia and Canada being the most popular emigration destinations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of Good Citizen Certificates ("GC Certificates") issued by the Police in each of the past five years;
(2) of the number of the applicants for GC Certificates, in each of the past five years, who ticked the option of "emigration" in the column of "purpose of application" on the application form and were issued with GC Certificates; a breakdown of such numbers by:
(i) the number of years (i.e. (a) three years or below, (b) four to seven years and (c) over seven years) filled by the applicants in the column of "length of stay in Hong Kong so far (in full year)" on the application form; and
(ii) the option ticked by the applicants (i.e. (a) Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] Passport, (b) Hong Kong Certificate of Identity, (c) Hong Kong Document of Identity, (d) other Hong Kong travelling document, (e) passport of other nationality and (f) other type of travelling document) in the column of "type of travelling document held" on the application form;
(3) of the top five countries/regions which were filled by most applicants in the column of "country for which visa application has been made" on the application form for GC Certificates, in each of the past five years; and
(4) whether the Government will consider compiling directly statistics on Hong Kong people emigrating, for use as a reference in formulating population policy; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Hong Kong residents departing Hong Kong are not obliged to inform the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) of their purpose of travel. Therefore, we do not have direct statistics on emigration of Hong Kong residents. The HKSAR Government estimates the number of emigrants on the basis of the number of applications for the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) to the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and other relevant available information. There are, however, limitations in this estimation, for instance, there are other purposes for applying for CNCC including overseas study, exchange visitors, etc. apart from emigration. In addition, not all successful CNCC applicants whose purpose is emigration can eventually obtain immigrant visas from the relevant countries and not all people who received immigrant visas will actually emigrate to the destination countries. The estimates should therefore be construed with these qualifications.
In consultation with relevant bureaux and departments, the reply to Hon Chan's question is as follows:
(1) The issuance of CNCC is a chargeable service provided by the HKPF. In the course of handling an application for an immigration visa, for the adoption of a child, etc., if a recognised body (such as a consulate, immigration authority or government authority) requires confirmation of no criminal conviction in respect of the applicant, it may issue a letter of request to the applicant, who may then submit this letter to the HKPF for checking. If there is no criminal conviction data recorded on the applicant, the checking result will be sent directly to the corresponding recognised body by registered mail and will not be sent to the applicant. The number of applications for CNCC received by the CNCC Office of the HKPF over the past five years is as follows:
|Number of applications received||21 066||20 290||21 709||20 777||21 426|
(2) and (3) Based on the statistics collated by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) from the voluntary survey conducted locally among applicants for CNCC (hereunder referred to as local applicants), the relevant statistics over the past five years (2012 to 2016) are given below. As the relevant statistics are compiled based on information collected from questionnaires returned on a voluntary basis and some applicants did not submit the questionnaire, the figures do not reflect the situation of all CNCC applicants. The figures should therefore be interpreted with these limitations taken into consideration.
Distribution of CNCC applications by category of visa application (%)
|Category of visa application||Year|
|To obtain/renew student/exchange visitor visas||5.4||7.0||7.3||8.7||9.4|
Distribution of local applicants applying CNCC for "Emigration" by length of stay in Hong Kong (in complete year) (%)
|Length of stay in Hong Kong||Year|
|Three years and below||21.6||20.2||20.5||13.5||13.9|
|Four to seven years||10.5||9.7||10.0||7.8||9.0|
|Over seven years||66.1||67.8||67.5||77.0||75.9|
Distribution of local applicants applying CNCC for "Emigration" by type of travelling document held (%)
|Type of travelling document held||Year|
|Hong Kong Document of Identity||4.4||4.5||3.0||2.9||2.5|
|Other national passport||34.3||30.7||32.1||23.5||24.9|
|Other types of travelling document||0.0||0.1||1.0||0.1||0.1|
Note: Individual figures may not add up to the totals due to rounding.
The top five countries/territories to which local applicants applying CNCC for "Emigration" apply for visa over the past five years (2012 to 2016) include Canada, the United States of America, Australia, Taiwan and the Mainland of China/Macau.
(4) The Government keeps track of the demographic changes in formulating population policy. Net movement is one of the components taken into account in population projections, and is estimated from the statistics of the inflow and outflow of persons into and out of Hong Kong for various purposes, including employment, study and emigration, etc. The current projection method of C&SD accords with the population policy requirements of the Government and we have no intention to make any alternation.
Ends/Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
Issued at HKT 18:00