Government spokesman responds to media enquiries

     In response to media reports that an applicant under the Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS) was issued with a visa/entry permit despite having been imprisoned for illegal medical practice, a Government spokesman said today (February 22) that the Immigration Department (ImmD) has all along been assessing applications for visa/entry permits in a rigorous manner. After reviewing the application, the ImmD suspected the visa/entry permit was obtained by false representation, and the Director of Immigration had declared the visa/entry permits invalid in accordance with the law, and would conduct a criminal investigation to follow up. The ImmD emphasised that applicants must provide accurate, complete and true information in their applications. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a statement or gives information that he/she knows to be false or does not believe to be true when applying for entry into Hong Kong commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment of 14 years upon conviction. The law enforcement departments concerned will handle these cases seriously.

     In addition, in response to recent comments made by some Mainland pregnant women on the Internet that they were trying to make use of the TTPS to give birth in Hong Kong, an ImmD spokesman stressed that the department has been carefully analysing the practices and trends of Mainland pregnant women coming to Hong Kong to give birth, and has strengthened immigration controls over Mainland pregnant women. The purpose of a visit of any visitors who enter Hong Kong should be consistent with their declared one, or otherwise they may be refused entry.

     In response to the grave concern of the public about the application assessment of the TTPS, the ImmD will adjust the application procedures concerned starting from today. Applicants will be required to declare whether they have any criminal convictions on the electronic application form. For applications which have been submitted but are still under processing, the ImmD will also require applicants to further provide the relevant information. As at February 14 this year, the ImmD has approved 7 819 applications under the TTPS.

     In addition, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Government will adjust and review visa policies and the related application procedures from time to time, and make adjustments when necessary.

Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 13:45