11 February 2014
Three Mainland women who were each charged with one count of breach of conditions of stay pleaded guilty at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts on February 7 and 10. They were sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
The defendants arrived separately in Hong Kong as visitors on August 31, November 16 and September 8 last year and overstayed in Hong Kong when their limits of stay had expired. The defendants dashed to Accident and Emergency Departments for delivery without prior booking on December 23 and 24, 2013, and January 5, 2014, respectively. They were subsequently arrested for having overstayed in Hong Kong.
During the trials, all three defendants admitted that they had been pregnant before arrival in Hong Kong. They also confessed to having no prior booking for obstetric services in Hong Kong hospitals.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of overstaying Mainland pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong. Great efforts are made to strengthen the examination of Mainland pregnant women at the control points. Vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat immigration offences committed by Mainland pregnant women and the persons who have aided or abetted Mainland pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means," an Immigration Department spokesman said today (February 11).
The spokesman warned that under the laws of Hong Kong, visitors who breach their conditions of stay will be liable to prosecution under the laws of Hong Kong and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years.