Immigration reviews 2023 work

February 8, 2024
Annual summary
Annual summary:

Director of Immigration Benson Kwok (centre) chairs a press conference reviewing the department’s work in 2023.

The Immigration Department (ImmD) today reviewed its work in 2023, covering responding to the demand for travel document services, law enforcement, and support for Hong Kong residents in distress outside the city, among others.


The department noted that with the gradual resumption of normalcy in society, it received a total of more than 1.45 million Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport applications in 2023. Over 195,000 applications were recorded in the single month of March. Both the numbers of applications for the whole year or by month reached record highs since the department began the issuance of Hong Kong SAR passports in July 1997.


During the year, the department conducted a total of 13,370 related inspection operations at various immigration control points and intercepted 20,811 passengers for enquiries. A total of 23,464 passengers were intercepted for enquiries.


With effect from October 2023, the department relaxed the visa policy in respect of employment for Vietnamese talent and the criteria for Vietnamese applying for a multiple‑journey visit visa to come to Hong Kong.


Meanwhile, Laotian and Nepalese talent have also been allowed to come to Hong Kong for employment, training and study in full-time locally accredited local programmes at undergraduate or above level offered by the University Grants Committee-funded institutions.


In February 2023, the Hong Kong SAR Government sent a rescue team including two ImmD officers to Türkiye to take part in the earthquake rescue mission. This was the first overseas rescue operation conducted since the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR.


In October 2023, the department received 59 requests for assistance from Hong Kong residents in relation to the heightened tensions between Palestine and Israel. After liaison with various parties, it helped all assistance seekers leave or take flights to return to Hong Kong safely.


Looking ahead, the department is scheduled to relocate offices and facilities concerned to the new headquarters in Tseung Kwan O in phases starting from March this year, and the new headquarters will officially provide services to the public starting from June 11.


The new Personal Documentation Submission Kiosks and Personal Documentation Collection Kiosks will be set up at the new headquarters. The public can pick up both identity cards and Hong Kong SAR passports in a fully automated manner using the new collection kiosks.


To facilitate the Government's measures for attracting and retaining talent, the department will implement the new Capital Investment Entrant Scheme and the Vocational Professionals Admission Scheme in 2024.


To enhance the 1868 hotline system, the department is planning to introduce advanced functions in the current quarter, including instant messaging in the Hong Kong Immigration Mobile Application and the 1868 assistance hotline in the department's WeChat official account.

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