8th February 2023 – (Hong Kong) Recently, a letter issued by the Immigration Department has been circulated on social media requiring a Hong Kong citizen who is located overseas to return to Hong Kong in person to collect the SAR passport he applied for, instead of going to a Chinese embassy or consulate in a foreign country according to the current practice.
A spokesman for the Immigration Department said today (8th) that it will not comment on individual cases or disclose information about individual cases, emphasising that each case will be handled in accordance with laws and procedures. The letter involved was issued by the Travel Documents (Issue) Section of the Immigration Department, stating that the application for the SAR passport was temporarily suspended. After considering the circumstances of the case, the applicant was notified to return to Hong Kong within the validity period of the new passport (that is, October 2032 at the latest) to go to the Wanchai Immigration Office to collect the document in person, but he is not allowed to collect the passport at Chinese Consulate General in Manchester, United Kingdom.
However, the related posts did not explain the background of the applicant, the channel used to apply and other information, and the public has no way of knowing the full facts of the incident.
A spokesman for the Immigration Department said that the application and issuance of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports is handled in accordance with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport Ordinance, Cap 539 of the Laws of Hong Kong. The Immigration Department will handle cases in accordance with relevant applicable laws, policies and procedures, and take into account all relevant factors, including the individual circumstances of each case. The Immigration Department will not comment on individual cases or disclose information about individual cases.