Immigration Department follows up on parents who did not register births of children within time limit

16 Sep 2015

The Immigration Department (ImmD) recently reviewed relevant arrangements and conducted investigations regarding parents who have not registered births of children within the prescribed time limit.

Under the prevailing mechanism, if parents fail to register the birth of their child within the prescribed time limit, ImmD will send reminder letters to their last known address three, six and nine months after the birth of the child by ordinary and then registered mail to remind them of their duty to register the birth of their child as soon as possible. During the period, ImmD will attempt to contact the parents through other means if considered necessary. If the parents concerned are yet to be reached or the birth registration records are outstanding after repeated reminders, the cases will be forwarded to the Investigation Division for follow-up. ImmD will consider bringing prosecution against related persons for their failure to comply with the duty of registering the birth of their child as stipulated in the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance (Cap. 174).

Given the circumstances, ImmD has retrieved case records and 55 cases require further investigation. ImmD has attempted to contact the parents by phone and through home visits. In 22 of these cases, ImmD has been able to locate the parents and is arranging for the post-registrations of birth for their children. Investigations on 10 cases have been completed and ImmD is seeking legal advice on prosecution matters. The remaining 12 cases are still under investigation. As for the other 33 cases, ImmD will continue its efforts to contact the parents and investigate the cases. If no connections can be established, ImmD will place the parents' particulars into its computer system so that, when they use the services of ImmD in the future, their contact method can be secured for follow-up action. When necessary, ImmD will also seek assistance from the Police for locating the persons with no known trace.

An ImmD spokesman said today (September 16), "Under the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance, parents of every child born shall apply for the registration of the child's birth at a birth registry within a period of 42 days after birth. It is an offence if anyone deliberately fails to register the birth of a child as required by the law. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine or up to six months' imprisonment."

The spokesman added, "Parents must fulfil their obligations under the law to register the birth of a child so that the rights to medical treatment, education and welfare benefits entitled to their children are not harmed due to delay in following the relevant procedures."