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Tough stance

Tough stance:  Director of Immigration Eric Chan (fourth left) and other officers review the department’s major activities in 2012 during a media briefing on February 8.

Immigration increases effectiveness

February 08, 2013
The Immigration Department plans to introduce stamp-free clearance for all visitors in the first quarter, Director of Immigration Eric Chan said today.
Speaking at the department's year-end briefing, Mr Chan said arriving visitors will be issued with a landing slip bearing the conditions and limit of stay rather than having their travel documents stamped, to increase efficiency. No landing slip or stamp will be needed upon departure.
As at January 31, 599 Mainland visitors were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by trading in parallel goods, of which 92 were convicted and sentenced to up to two months' jail, and 10 local employers were arrested for employing illegal workers. As at February 6, around 2,400 Mainland visitors had been refused permission to enter due to suspected involvement in parallel trading activities. 
Mr Chan said the department has established a monitoring list of suspected parallel traders, including information on arrested and convicted persons, intelligence and analysis of immigration data. Visitors will be denied entry and sent back to the Mainland immediately if their purposes for entry are in doubt.
The department will exchange intelligence with local and Mainland law-enforcement agencies to step up efforts against parallel trading, he said.
In 2012, the department prosecuted 359 Mainland pregnant women who had overstayed their visas to give birth in Hong Kong, as well as four Mainland intermediaries.
Mr Chan also expressed concern about non-Hong Kong residents staying in Hong Kong by way of bogus marriages, for which 25 Mainland residents and 215 Hong Kong residents were convicted and sentenced to up to 32 months' jail.

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