17 May 2016
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is very concerned about the recent surge in the number of Vietnamese illegal immigrants being smuggled into Hong Kong. There is also a trend of Vietnamese illegal immigrants lodging claims for non-refoulement protection to resist removal immediately after being arrested or surrendered, which constitutes a serious abuse of Hong Kong's non-refoulement screening mechanism.
In view of the above, a delegation headed by Assistant Director of Immigration Mr Fung Pak-ho and comprising officers from the Immigration Department (ImmD) and the Hong Kong Police Force will depart today (May 17) for a duty visit to Vietnam. The purposes of the visit are to introduce to the relevant Vietnamese authorities the stringent legislative provisions in Hong Kong against illegal employment and human trafficking, the objectives of the Unified Screening Mechanism, and to explore co-operation with the Vietnamese authorities on intelligence gathering and liaison on enforcement.
ImmD reiterates that, as stipulated in section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, illegal immigrants or people who are the subject of a removal order or a deportation order are prohibited from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or establishing or joining in any business. Offenders are liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years' imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has issued a guideline ruling that a sentence of 15 months' imprisonment should be applied in such cases.