Secretary for Security says govt will not provide assistance to HK residents holding BN(O) passports who seek help from overseas

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6th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) A committee of the Legislative Council today (6th) discussed the assistance provided by the Immigration Department to Hong Kong residents who have trouble abroad. The Secretary for Security, Chris Tang, said that the Immigration Department received a total of 46 cases requesting for help from January to 28th November this year regarding work scams in Southeast Asia. 10 Hong Kong residents asked for help, 42 of them were confirmed safe, 30 of them have returned to Hong Kong with assistance, the task force is actively assisting the remaining 2 people to return to Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, 10 Hong Kong residents in Southeast Asia said that they do not need further assistance. When asked whether he would strengthen liaison with overseas Chinese groups in order to help Hong Kong residents in the local area immediately, Tang continued that he could not verify the reliability of the background of the local Chinese groups, and at this stage he gave priority to seeking help from the foreign economic and trade offices or embassies and consulates. Regarding whether the Hong Kong government will provide assistance to Hong Kong residents who hold British National (Overseas) passports BN(O) but do not have a SAR passport, Tang emphasised that the SAR government does not recognise BN(O) as a travel document or identity document. It is recommended that the relevant persons “seek their own country” for help, but reiterate that as long as Hong Kong residents seek help, even if they are not Chinese citizens, or those who do not hold HKSAR passports, Hong Kong government will still provide assistance.

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