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Warning issued to pregnant 'students'

January 30, 2013
Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man has warned that pregnant Mainland women illicitly coming to Hong Kong to give birth under the guise of being university students, face heavy penalties.
Addressing lawmakers today, he cited a press report that claimed agents are helping pregnant Mainland women apply for permission to land in Hong Kong on the grounds of university study. They allegedly then apply for a suspension once they have obtained Hong Kong identity cards, and then stay in Hong Kong to give birth as local residents.
Dr Ko said after being admitted by a higher education institution in Hong Kong, Mainland students can apply to the Immigration Department for an entry permit.
However, he warned that applicants must provide accurate, complete and true information in their applications. Those caught abusing the system face 14 years in jail and a $150,000 fine.
Dr Ko said applications for deferment from both local and non-local students are processed according to the same set of standards, such as for overseas exchange or internship, medical reasons, financial hardship, and family emergencies. The deferment period most institutions approve does not exceed one year.
To complement the zero-quota policy's implementation, Dr Ko said the Government has formed a liaison mechanism with Guangdong authorities to enhance the exchange of intelligence on the birth issue, to deter Mainland women without delivery bookings from using hospitals' accident and emergency departments, and to enhance enforcement measures against illicit intermediaries.

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