Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment

Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment Branch

Under the command of an Assistant Director, the Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment Branch comprises the Enforcement Division and the Torture Claim Assessment Division. Each division is headed by a Principal Immigration Officer.

Organisation Chart of the Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment Branch as at March 31, 2010.

The Enforcement Division is responsible for formulating and implementing policies in respect of investigation, deportation and removal, and managing the detention centre for the detention of persons (18 years old or over) under the Immigration Ordinance. The Torture Claim Assessment Division is responsible for handling claims made to the Department under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention), immigration related prosecution and litigation cases relating to enforcement.

Investigation and Intelligence


As a law enforcement agency, the Immigration Department has to uphold the laws of Hong Kong. The Enforcement Division is responsible for investigating into offences under the Immigration Ordinance and the Registration of Persons Ordinance, and offences relating to the registration of births, deaths and marriages in Hong Kong; instituting removal and deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants and undesirables; and maintaining intelligence on global immigration matters. The Torture Claim Assessment Division is responsible for handling claims made to the Department under the Convention, and matters relating to prosecution of immigration offenders and litigation cases relating to removal, deportation and torture claim matters.

Anti-Illegal Migration Agency

To further strengthen law enforcement actions against the use of forged travel documents and human smuggling activities at the Airport, the Department established an Airport Investigation Group (AIG) when the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok came into operation on July 6, 1998. AIG together with the Tactical Intelligence Group (TIG) were put under the management of the Anti-Illegal Migration Agency (AIM) since its formation on June 28, 2004. The main charter of AIM includes investigation of forgery and illegal migration cases intercepted at the Hong Kong International Airport, focused investigations on forgery syndicates relating to abuse of HKSAR passports, and collection and analysis of the latest trend of modus operandi of forgery syndicates and users.

Mainland Illegal Immigration

In 2009-2010, the number of Mainland illegal immigrants intercepted was 1 885, representing a decrease of 17.5 per cent when compared with 2 285 arrested in 2008-2009. Some of the illegal immigrants came to Hong Kong to take up unlawful employment while some came here to meet their families and relatives. The number of Mainland illegal immigrants involved in sex work decreased from 269 in 2008-2009 to 255 in 2009-2010. The number of pregnant Mainland illegal immigrants in 2009-2010 was 10, representing a decrease of 28.6 per cent when compared with 14 in 2008-2009.

After the gazettal of the application procedures for the Certificate of Entitlement in July 1999, the number of surrendered minor illegal immigrants from the Mainland declined sharply. In 2009-2010, there was only one, which was the same figure in 2008-2009.

Unlawful Employment

During the year, the Department maintained high vigilance on the problem of illegal workers and continued to take tough and effective enforcement actions against unlawful employment of illegal immigrants, visitors, foreign domestic helpers and imported workers who were subject to specific employment conditions to protect the local labour market. Measures taken included publication of related government policies and regulations, and frequent surprise checks on factories, restaurants, food production factories, shops, markets, foot reflexology centres, residential and commercial premises under renovation, cemeteries, refuse collection points and waste materials recycling factories, container depots and warehouses situated in the border and rural districts in the New Territories. In 2009-2010, 5 729 illegal workers, including 3 746 persons engaged in sex work, were arrested, representing a decrease of 7.5 per cent as compared with 6 196 in 2008-2009. Most of the illegal workers were prosecuted and fined or imprisoned before repatriation to their places of domicile.  Besides, the Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance 2009 came into effect on November 14, 2009.  It prohibits illegal immigrants or people who are subject of a removal order or deportation order from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or from establishing or joining in any business.  Since the enactment of the amended ordinance till March 31, 2010, the Department conducted 3 243 operations against illegal employment with 1 270 illegal workers and 231 employers arrested.  Among the illegal workers, 90 were arrested for breaching the amended ordinance.

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The Department is committed to combating immigration-related crimes.

To strengthen crime prevention measures and enforcement actions against illegal activities, including unlawful employment, an inter-departmental task force comprising the Immigration Department, Hong Kong Police, Customs and Excise Department, Labour Department, Correctional Services Department and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department was set up in April 2003.

Besides, for enhancing the effectiveness of curbing the problem of unlawful employment, the Department set up an Anti-illegal Workers Combat Squad in January 2005 to provide for a more speedy and robust combat force against illegal workers and their employers. The squad conducts plain-clothes patrol duties at black spots for illegal workers and takes speedy actions on reports of illegal workers.

'Don't employ illegal workers' leaflet

Employers of illegal workers were also prosecuted. In 2009-2010, 350 employers were prosecuted for employing illegal workers. Many of the prosecuted employers were sentenced to jail. As a deterrent measure against unlawful employment, the Court of Appeal (CA) laid down a sentencing guideline in September 2004 reaffirming that employing one not lawfully employable person is a serious offence, the employer of an illegal worker should be sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence even for the first time of commitment. The CA also stated that the presence of aggravating features, such as an element of exploitation, multiple employment of illegal workers or that the offence is a repeated one, will in most cases substantially increase the guideline sentence.

To prevent illegal workers from taking up renovation works in public and private housing estates, the Department issued guidelines to enhance proper record keeping of flats under renovation and the particulars of the flat owners, contractors and workers. As a result, the number of illegal workers taking up renovation work in well-managed housing estates decreased.

On the issue of illegal workers using or in possession of a forged or other person's identity card, the CA handed down a sentencing guideline in March 2005. The Court found that for an offence of possession of a forged/other person's identity card, even when the offender's presence in Hong Kong is legal, the sentence should be 12 months' imprisonment after a guilty plea. If the forged/other person's identity card had been presented/used to conceal one's status, so as to seek unlawful employment or to further one's illegal stay in Hong Kong, the sentence should be 15 months' imprisonment after a guilty plea.

An Announcement in the Public Interest reminding employers about the consequence of hiring illegal workers.

Besides, apart from the existing Announcement in the Public Interest (API) on television to remind the public of not employing illegal workers, the Department has since March 1, 2010 launched a new API on radio in Punti dialect, Putonghua and English to raise public awareness of the serious consequences of employing illegal workers who are holding immigration recognizance forms.  The API highlights the sentencing guideline and aims to disseminate the message to members of the public that employer of illegal worker will be given immediate custodial sentence.

The Department encourages members of the public to provide information on unlawful employment by letter (address: 5/F, Skyline Tower, 39 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon), through the Department's 24-hour hotline (2824 1551), by fax (2824 1166) or e-mail (anti_crime@immd.gov.hk).

Members of the public can make use of the 'Online Reporting of Immigration Offences' service to submit an online report to the Department of suspected immigration offences.

To provide members of the public an additional venue for reporting suspected immigration offences, the Department has implemented the 'Online Reporting of Immigration Offences' (www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/eservices_b2.htm). Members of the public can make use of this service to submit an online report to the Department of suspected immigration offences, e.g. overstaying and employing illegal workers, etc. The Department will, through various channels, continue combating unlawful employment and appeal to members of the public not to employ illegal workers.

Immigration Task Force

Apart from conducting enforcement operations against immigration offenders, the Immigration Task Force also reinforces offices which require additional manpower resources to cope with the upsurge of workload. During the year, 10 501 enforcement operations, including 260 large-scale joint operations with other government departments were conducted. A total of 4 004 immigration offenders were arrested.

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Immigration Task Force and the Police conducted joint anti-illegal worker operation.

During the year, to cope with the prevailing trend of unlawful employment, the Task Force conducted special operations under code names 'Greenlane', 'Fastrack' and 'Twilight' targeting illegal workers working in various businesses. To protect job opportunities for the local workforce, the Task Force will continue stepping up enforcement actions against illegal workers and their employers.

Press conference held after enforcement operations.

The Department from time to time distributes leaflets to store-keepers and appeals to them not to employ illegal workers.

To step up publicity campaigns against the hiring of persons not lawfully employable and to raise public awareness of the serious consequences of unlawful employment, a special team and a propaganda vehicle are often deployed to station at black spots of illegal workers. On the other hand, the Department from time to time distributes 'Don't Employ Illegal Workers' leaflets to the store-keepers and disseminates the message in the talks or seminars organised by estate management companies, other government departments and public organisations.

Investigations into Forged Documents

Immigration staff making use of an advanced video spectral comparator to examine suspected forged and unlawfully altered travel documents.

The Department is extremely concerned about the use of forged travel documents, either for illegal migration, crimes or terrorism. Such illicit activities pose threat to immigration control and the security of the countries concerned and undermine the probity of the passports being forged. As syndicated forgery activity is a global problem, the Department works closely with the local, Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies. Resolute actions are taken to detect the use of forged travel documents by travellers and illegal migrants who are in transit through Hong Kong to other countries. In 2009-2010, the number of passengers spot-checked during enforcement operations in the Hong Kong International Airport increased by 31 per cent to 30 212 from 23 139 in 2008-2009 while the number of forged travel documents detected decreased by 21 per cent to 1 122 as compared to 1 415 in 2008-2009. Consequential to our continuous and stringent enforcement measures in curbing clandestine migration, the deterrent effect was obvious.

Since the issue of Hong Kong smart identity cards in June 2003, the Hong Kong smart identity card has become a target of forgery syndicate. In various operations conducted by the Department in 2009-2010, a total of 70 forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were seized. To tackle the problem, the Department will continue launching various operations, intelligence collation and information exchange with relevant parties.

To achieve more effective results, the Department uses sophisticated equipment to assist in the detection of forged documents. Such equipment includes the Electronic Documentation of Information System on Networks (EDISON), which is a computerised system keeping a large collection of digitised colour images of genuine travel document specimens. The Department is also equipped with Video Spectral Comparators which are particularly effective in the immediate detection of forged and unlawfully altered documents.

The Department also makes use of compact hand-held forensic devices and forged document detectors to enable frontline officers to conduct quick examination of doubtful documents on the spot as well as the Face Recognition System (FACES) which is an effective ancillary tool in enhancing the detection of cases of multiple identities.

In addition, the Department uses advanced investigative analysis software to assist in the investigation and for detail analysis of intelligence on forgery and migrant trafficking syndicate activities.

Operational Research

The Operational Research Section is responsible for collecting, analysing and disseminating information relating to matters of interest to the Department. It keeps track of the modus operandi of human smuggling and the trends on the use of forged travel documents.

The work of the section not only enables the provision of intelligence on immigration matters to the staff within the Department but also enhances the exchange of intelligence with other government bodies, consulates and counterparts of the Mainland and overseas.  The section sent an officer to attend an exchange programme with Korea Immigration Service to share working experience and forgery detection skills in Korea during the year.

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Representatives of the Korean Immigration Service visited the Department to share working experience and forgery detection skills.

During the year, workshops on the identification of forged travel documents and forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were given to our in-service officers, local and overseas enforcement agencies. Moreover, talks on security features of Hong Kong smart identity cards and detection points of forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were delivered to personnel of other government departments, banks and private sectors whom regularly involved in the handling of identification documents.

The section also maintains an Enforcement Exhibition Gallery. The gallery highlights the diversity of work and various achievements of the Enforcement Division through the display of photographs, reports of enforcement actions, seized exhibits and various kinds of enforcement equipment. Besides, the gallery stores over 32 000 forgery items unearthed by the Department. These items include forged documents such as passports, identity cards, certificates and implements fit for forgery such as stamps and dies. Samples are also displayed for training and exhibition purposes.

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The Enforcement Exhibition Gallery of the Department displays photographs, reports of enforcement actions, seized exhibits and various kinds of enforcement equipment.

Prosecution, Deportation and Removal

In 2009-2010, 8 836 charges were laid against persons who had committed offences under the Immigration Ordinance and the Registration of Persons Ordinance, and offences relating to the registration of births, deaths and marriages in Hong Kong.  Besides, a new section 38AA about prohibition of taking employment and establishing business, etc. was enacted under the Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance 2009, which came into effect on November 14, 2009.  A person committing the offence is liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for three years. After the commencement of the amended ordinance till the end of March 2010, 84 people were prosecuted under the new offence.

The Department also processes deportation and removal order applications to keep out undesirables. In 2009-2010, 659 and 279 persons were deported and removed respectively from Hong Kong.

Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

The Department's detention centre at Ma Tau Kok has been operating since February 1998. The centre runs round-the-clock and can accommodate up to 87 detainees at any one time. In 2009-2010, there were 18 640 immigration offenders admitted to the detention centre.

Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre

Takeover of the Management and Operation of Castle Peak Bay
Immigration Centre

The Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (CIC) is an immigration detention facility for detaining immigration offenders (18 years old or above) who are awaiting repatriation/removal/ deportation in accordance with the Immigration Ordinance. The CIC commenced operations in 2005. Owing to the then manpower situation, the Department and the Correctional Services Department (CSD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2004 which provided the CSD to manage the CIC for a period of five years. Pursuant to the MoU, the management and operation of the CIC will be reverted to the Department in April 2010.  For the purpose of the takeover, the CIC Sub-division was formed on October 5, 2009.  The new Sub-division is headed by an Assistant Principal Immigration Officer for co-ordinating all preparation work relating to the taking over of and subsequently managing and operating the CIC. The related Ordinances, including the Immigration (Places of Detention) Order (Cap 115 sub. leg.B) and Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) Order (Cap 115 sub. leg.E) have been amended accordingly.

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Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre provides round-the-clock detention facilities for immigration offenders.


In view of different nature of work between managing the CIC and other Immigration work, Immigration Service staff responsible for the operation of the CIC have to receive necessary training in relation to the management of a detention centre.  Between May and October 2009, more than 140 staff attended the training courses organised by the CSD.  The training courses lasted for three weeks, including a one-week penal management training and a two-week tactical training.  The penal management course focused on the daily operation of a detention centre while the tactical training was concerned with staff's response during riotous situation.  Moreover, for better understanding of the daily operation of the CIC, the concerned staff had since January 2010 attended a shadowing attachment programme whereby they could work in tandem with staff of the CSD stationing in the CIC.

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Immigration Service staff responsible for the operation of Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre received penal training and tactical training.

Torture Claim Assessment


The Convention against Torture has been extended to Hong Kong since 1992. Pursuant to a Court of Final Appeal (CFA) judgment in a judicial review case in June 2004, the HKSAR Government has put in place an administrative mechanism for handling claims made under Article 3 of the Convention. Since then, there has been an upsurge in the number of torture claims made by persons coming mainly from the South Asian and African countries. Inquiries revealed that most of these torture claimants lodged their torture claims only after their having been arrested for contravening the laws in Hong Kong; having been notified of their removal; or having been rejected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of their refugee claims.

Torture claims are assessed in accordance with the assessment mechanism that complies with the requirement of a high standard of procedural fairness as laid down by the CFA. For torture claimants who have failed to establish their claims, they will be removed from Hong Kong in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. Torture claimants whose claims are established will not be removed to places where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture. However, removal to places where they may be admitted without the danger of being subjected to torture may be considered. Furthermore, if subsequent changes in conditions of a place such that a torture claim established earlier in respect of that place can no longer be substantiated, removal to that place may be considered.

Besides, unsuccessful torture claimants may petition against the Director of Immigration's determination on their claims to the Chief Executive (CE) under Article 48(13) of the Basic Law or apply for judicial review to challenge the Director's decision. The petition will be considered under the delegated authority from the CE. If the claimants are aggrieved by the refusal of their petitions, they may apply for judicial review to challenge the refusal.

In 2008, a number of large-scale litigation cases were instituted by legally-aided torture claimants. There were judicial review applications challenging, inter alia, the Administration's policy of not providing torture claimants with legal representation during the torture claim screening process, not allowing the presence of legal representation in the process of torture claim interview, etc. On December 5, 2008, the Court of First Instance (CFI) in its judgment which was not in the Administration's favour held, inter alia, that the then policies/screening process for torture claim were unlawful and did not meet the high standards of fairness required. The screening of torture claims had been suspended for devising enhanced procedures by the Administration.   On December 24, 2009, the screening of torture claims was resumed under an enhanced screening mechanism, following an agreement reached between the Administration and the Duty Lawyer Service on the administrative arrangements of a pilot scheme of providing publicly-funded legal assistance to torture claimants.

There were also judicial review applications challenging the lawfulness of detention of torture claimants pending removal. The CFI handed down its judgment in June 2007 in the Administration's favour. The torture claimants then lodged appeals to the Court of Appeal (CA) against the CFI's decision. The CA handed down its judgment on July 18, 2008 allowing the appeals on the basis that the Administration's detention policy was not sufficiently accessible. Nevertheless, the CA upheld the CFI's judgment that the power to detain a person, who was a torture claimant, pending removal from Hong Kong was in principle exercisable. Acting on the CA's judgment, the Administration's detention policy was revised on October 18, 2008.  On August 19, 2009, the CA's judgment was re-visited in the CFI in another judicial review on the lawfulness of detention issue.  The CFI judgment was handed down on August 21, 2009. The court was satisfied that the period of detention after the implementation of the Administration's new detention policy on October 18, 2008 was not incompatible with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.

On the other hand, despite that the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees does not apply to Hong Kong, some torture claimants challenged by way of judicial review, inter alia, the Administration's policy of not independently investigating, considering and determining refugee claims. Having heard the case in December 2007, the CFI in its judgment handed down on February 18, 2008 held, among other things, that the Administration is under no obligation to conduct a screening of all refugee claimants. The CFI's decisions on the case are being challenged and hearing before the CA was concluded on February 1, 2010 with judgment reserved.

Vietnamese Refugees, Migrants and Illegal Immigrants

Vietnamese Sub-section

Under the line management of the Deportation Section, the Vietnamese Sub-section is tasked to handle all matters relating to Vietnamese refugees, migrants and illegal immigrants. These include the overseas resettlement of Vietnamese refugees and the repatriation of Vietnamese migrants and illegal immigrants.


From 1975 to the end of March 2010, the Department assisted 143 714 Vietnamese refugees to settle overseas. Excluding those who have settled locally, there are 25 Vietnamese refugees still remaining in Hong Kong.


In the past, two different programmes were running side by side for the repatriation of non-refugees to Vietnam, namely, the UNHCR Voluntary Repatriation Programme and the Orderly Repatriation Programme introduced in 1991. By the end of the Voluntary Repatriation Programme in September 1997, 57 344 Vietnamese had returned to Vietnam under the Programme. As for the Orderly Repatriation Programme, a total of 18 535 Vietnamese migrants and illegal immigrants were repatriated as at the end of March 2010. Vietnamese migrants returned to Vietnam are given guaranty of non-persecution and international reintegration assistance, which are monitored by the UNHCR.

Local Resettlement Scheme

On February 22, 2000, a Widened Local Resettlement Scheme was implemented, allowing 973 Vietnamese refugees and 435 eligible Vietnamese migrants stranded in Hong Kong to apply for resettlement in Hong Kong. The Scheme was generally welcomed. As at the end of March 2010, the Department received a total of 1 400 applications.

Combating Illegal Migration and Human Smuggling

Hong Kong is a metropolitan city and an international traffic hub. Forgery facilitators and illegal migrants tend to make use of Hong Kong's extensive and convenient transportation network as a transit point to seek entry overseas. The Department undertakes an active role in combating illegal activities and contributes in containing and preventing illegal migration from dispersion as well as preventing Hong Kong from being used as a springboard for human smuggling activities. The Special Investigation Section, formed in early 1980s, is specialised in the investigation of organised immigration offences, including human smuggling activities, occurring in or involving Hong Kong. It works closely with other law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas with the mutual aim to combat organised human smuggling activities.

During the year, the Department joined hand with Hong Kong Police Force to conduct two operations codenamed 'Zonecleaner' and 'Indexviewer' against human trafficking activities.  The operations successfully neutralised the gangsters in trafficking Filipino and Thai females to take up illegal work in vice establishments.

Immigration investigators taking record of interview statements on the suspect.

In 2009-2010, the Department continued to play an active role in combating illegal migration and curb cases relating to Hong Kong residents applying for HKSAR passports for selling to human smuggling syndicates for monetary reward. In April 2009, the Department conducted a joint operation codenamed 'Sandstorm' with the Hong Kong Police Force. The operation led to the successful apprehension of 11 Hong Kong residents involved in the illegal transfer of HKSAR passports to others.  In mid 2009, the Department detected a syndicate smuggling Mainland illegal migrants to overseas countries via Hong Kong by using forged HKSAR passports and swapping boarding passes.  As a result, 11 syndicate members were arrested.  After the crackdown of the syndicate, there was a notable drop in the number of forged HKSAR passport and boarding pass swap cases intercepted in the second half of 2009.

Immigration staff conducting spot checks at the transfer areas of the Hong Kong International Airport.

The Department, from time to time, conducts interdiction exercises at the Hong Kong International Airport to apprehend forged travel document users and forgery syndicate members. The exercises include operations on arrival and departure flights, spot checks of travel documents of arriving and departing passengers inside the transit lounge, at boarding gates and the SkyPier as well as surveillance operations. During the three large-scale interdiction exercises carried out in June 2009, more than 340 departure/arrival flights and arrival ferries from the SkyPier together with over 420 passengers were spot-checked. A total of eight persons were detained and investigated in connection with forged travel documents. The exercises reflect the Department's determination in combating illegal migration activities.

Besides, the Department is very concerned with the increase of illegal entries of nationals of South Asian and African countries from the Mainland during the year as compared with last year's figure. In order to combat the problem, close liaison and intelligence exchange are maintained with the Hong Kong Police and the Mainland authorities for joint efforts in combating such illicit activities.

The Operational Research Section and TIG of AIM closely monitor the latest trends on illegal migrants as well as the modus operandi adopted by human smuggling syndicates. They maintain close liaison with the Mainland and overseas authorities and representatives of foreign counterparts on the exchange of relevant intelligence and trends. Frontline officers would be alerted whenever new trends on forged travel documents and illegal migration are observed.

Combating Bogus Marriages

The Department has grave concerns about non-Hong Kong residents obtaining stay in Hong Kong by means of bogus marriages. These people contracted bogus marriages with Hong Kong residents in order to gain entry into Hong Kong and eventually for settlement.

On December 18, 2006, the Department set up a special task force to collate intelligence through various sources and to conduct thorough investigation with a view to taking prosecution actions against offenders. In September 2009, the Department conducted a large-scale operation and smashed an active cross-boundary bogus marriage syndicate in Hong Kong.  During the operation, a total of 23 Hong Kong residents and nine Mainland residents were arrested.  Among them, six Hong Kong residents were the core syndicate members.

In 2009-2010, a total of 174 persons, including the bogus couples and syndicated members, were prosecuted of offences relating to bogus marriages. The sentence upon conviction ranged from 12 to 18 months of imprisonment.

For people who have obtained their residence in Hong Kong by fraudulent means, their Hong Kong identity cards and residence status will be invalidated according to the laws of Hong Kong. They will also be subject to removal to their places of origin.

Exchange of Intelligence

Representatives of the Department attended the 15th Pacific Rim Immigration Intelligence Conference held in Malaysia.

In the fight against illegal migration, exchange of information and intelligence on global human smuggling activities and forgery trends is of utmost importance. The Department discusses issues on illegal migration, crimes and terrorism through frequent and regular meetings with major local consular missions. In 2009-2010, the Department actively participated in international conferences and seminars, e.g. the 'Bali Process – The 3rd Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime' held in Indonesia, the 'Regional Forced Child Labor/Human Trafficking/Child Sex Tourism Training Conference' held in the Philippines, the '15th Pacific Rim Immigration Intelligence Conference' held in Malaysia, the 'Trafficking in Persons Course' held in Thailand and the 'Seminar on Immigration Control 2009'  held in Japan. The Department has successfully established an effective communication network as well as working relationship with foreign counterparts in facilitating exchange of intelligence and proactive actions in combating illegal migration activities. Useful intelligence that may help detecting, disrupting or suppressing illegal migration activities is promptly disseminated through the established mechanism.

In combating transnational illegal migration activities, the Department maintains a close liaison and actively involves in the exchange of immigration intelligence with local consulate officials and overseas law enforcement agencies.

Representatives of the Department taking a group photo with Consular General of the Netherlands in Hong Kong after attending a training course on 'Document Training and the Recognition of Fake Documents'.

In November 2009, the Department conducted a special joint operation codenamed 'Sky League' at the Hong Kong International Airport with the participation of local consulate representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America as advisers or observers.

The operation aimed at detecting document fraud and forgery users, interdicting illegal migration activities, deterring irregularities in passenger traffic and strengthening co-operation with the local consulates in combating illegal migration.  The operation led to the successful apprehension of 12 people in connection with document fraud and illegal migration activities.