Commitment to Service Excellence and Sustainable Development

Performance Pledges

It has always been the goal of the Immigration Department to render efficient and courteous services to members of the public while maintaining effective immigration control.

With this in mind, the Department launched its performance pledges in December 1992. Since then, performance pledges have been published annually. Through these pledges, members of the public are informed of the standards of service which they can expect from the Department in its immigration clearance work, registration of births, deaths and marriages, and issuing of identity cards, travel documents and visas. They are also advised what they can do when the standards are not met.

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Immigration Department publishes performance pledge annually.

Immigration Department Users' Committee

For the purpose of effectively monitoring the performance of the Department on the pledges made, a Users' Committee has been established since September 1993. It is chaired by the Director of Immigration. Members include representatives from various trades and industries concerned. The Committee meets half-yearly to monitor and review the fulfillment of performance pledges, advises the Director of Immigration on areas of service that may require improvements, and helps determine the level of resources required to achieve the standards set.

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Members of the Immigration Department Users' Committee paid a visit to the designated e-Channels for both Hong Kong and Macao residents at the Macau Terminal Section after a meeting.


Visas and Permits

The Department provides courteous and prompt visa services.

Pledges for different types of entry visa applications were generally achieved. In 2009-2010, 96.6 per cent of employment visa applications were finalised within four weeks, exceeding the pledge of 90 per cent within four weeks. For other visa applications, 98.8 per cent were finalised within six weeks, exceeding the pledge of 90 per cent within six weeks. As regards visit visa applications, 100 per cent were finalised within the pledged four weeks.

In the same period, all applications for HKSAR Travel Passes, working holiday visas, entry permits for Mainland fisherman deckhands, entry permits under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, and multiple entry permits for Chinese residents of Taiwan working, studying or residing in Hong Kong met the pledged standard. As regards iPermit for Taiwan residents, all applications were finalised with results made known to the applicants on the day of application, whereas 99.2 per cent of multiple visit permits for Taiwan residents for a stay of 30 days were finalised within the pledged two working days. For applications for Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the HKSAR, 99.4 per cent of the applications were finalised within three months, exceeding the pledge of 90 per cent within three months.

Immigration Control Points

Immigration control points provide efficient clearance services.

The Department enhances the performance pledge in 2010 in respect of arrival and departure clearance. The new pledge is to clear 98 per cent of residents within 15 minute waiting time at all control points and 95 per cent of visitors within 15-minute waiting time at Airport Control Point or within 30-minute waiting time at other immigration control points.

In 2009-2010, all the control points were able to clear Hong Kong residents within 15-minute waiting time. As regards visitors, the Airport Control Point cleared 99.2 per cent of visitors within 15-minute waiting time, which was far better than the pledged standard. For other control points at China Ferry Terminal, Macau Ferry Terminal, Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal, Lo Wu, Hung Hom, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok and Shenzhen Bay, they were able to clear on average over 99.6 per cent of the visitors within 30 minutes.

Registration for Identity Cards

The quality service on the registration for identity card is well received by the public.

Starting from January 2, 2010, the standard processing time at counter for the registration for Hong Kong identity card is shortened from 90 to 75 minutes.  In 2009-2010, the performance pledge that registration for identity card could be completed at counter within the standard processing time was generally achieved, while all identity cards would be issued on the 10th working day. Moreover, 100 per cent of the applicants could be provided with service on the day of attendance.

According to the Births and Deaths Ordinance, any birth in Hong Kong must be registered within 42 days from the day of such birth.

Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages

The pledged processing time of 30 minutes at the counter for registration of births and deaths, and for giving notice of intended marriage was generally met in 2009-2010. Moreover, the pledge of issuing certified copy of birth, death or marriage certificate within nine working days (issuing within 10 minutes if the birth or death records concerned have been converted as computer records) was also achieved.

Travel Documents

The pledge for processing HKSAR passport for children under 11 not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card is 14 working days.

In 2009-2010, the pledge of issuing HKSAR passport and Document of Identity for Visa Purposes within 10 working days and issuing HKSAR passport to a child applicant not holding a permanent identity card in 14 working days was met. Moreover, the pledge of issuing Seaman's Identity Book and Re-entry Permit on the same day of application was also achieved.

For refund in respect of travel document applications, the pledge of completing the internal procedures in 20 working days was met.

Chinese Nationality Matters

In 2009-2010, the pledge that 100 per cent of applicants would be issued with confirmation letters on declaration of change of nationality on the same day of application was achieved. The pledge that 80 per cent of applications for renunciation of Chinese nationality would be finalised within two months was also met. As regards applications for naturalisation as a Chinese national and restoration of Chinese nationality, the pledge of finalising 80 per cent of the applications within three months after receipt of all necessary supporting documents was achieved.

Improvements in Customer Service

Immigration Department Homepage

The Department's homepage ( is available in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and English versions. It contains up-to-date information on immigration services and gives Internet users the convenience of downloading commonly used application forms. The homepage serves as a link between the public and the Department.

Courtesy Campaign

An officer was appointed as the 'Hong Kong Courtesy Ambassador'.

To encourage front-line staff at immigration control points to be more courteous and responsive in delivering services to members of the public, and to help develop staff commitment through recognition of their good performance, a 'Most Courteous Immigration Control Officers' election campaign was held in November 2009. The winners were elected by travellers at immigration control points through voting. The officer with the highest number of votes was also appointed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board as the 'Hong Kong Courtesy Ambassador'.

Customer Feedback

The Department treasures all customer feedback, be it praise or complaints. Positive feedback from the public not only recognises our efforts in providing quality services, but also provides the foundation for maintaining the Department's service standards. In 2009-2010, the Department received more than 2 800 letters of appreciation and thank you notes.

On the other hand, complaints against the Department are monitored and reviewed by the Customer Services Unit. In 2009-2010, 68 complaints were received, representing a decrease of 30.6 per cent as compared with 98 in 2008-2009.  The reduction was mainly attributed to the staff's concerted effort in providing courteous and quality services to the public.  Complaints received are treated positively and constructively as a source of inspiration for further improvement.

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The Department welcomes any comments or suggestions on the way in which our services are delivered.

Assistance to Persons with Disabilities

It is a general policy of the Government that public officers should render every possible assistance to persons with disabilities (mental or physical), and that their special needs and requirements should be accommodated as far as possible. The Department provides adequate training to staff, especially frontline staff members who have frequent and direct contact with members of the public. They are trained to deal with the public in a fair and just manner, and be sensitive to identify those who show signs of a disability. Officers should take account of the special needs of these persons, handle them in an appropriate manner and render every possible assistance.

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Designated immigration counters and widened e-Channels at control points provide convenience to the elderly and the disabled.

It is also the Department's established practice to give help-through assistance to disabled persons. Special considerations are given in selecting appropriate premises for new / relocated public-oriented offices and designing special facilities / service counters to facilitate access by disabled persons. Most of the Department's premises have been equipped with ancillary facilities and services for persons with disabilities, e.g. induction loop system for persons with hearing impairment, ramps for those with mobility disability, LED display unit, fire alarm light, tactile guide path, braille buttons for lift and special help-through channels at control points. Furthermore, notices are posted at prominent locations indicating that priority service is given to disabled applicants. The Department regularly reviews existing facilities and makes improvements where necessary in order to provide quality services to members of the public including persons with disabilities.

The Ombudsman Awards 2009

In 2009, a service member of the Department received The Ombudsman's Awards 2009 for Officers of Public Organisations in the category of General Nominations.  The award was given in recognition of his unremitting efforts in providing quality service to the public.

In 2009, a service member of the Department received The Ombudsman's Awards 2009 for Officers of Public Organisations in the category of General Nominations.

The Secretary for the Civil Service (SCS)'s Commendation Award Scheme 2009

Administered by the Civil Service Bureau, the SCS's Commendation Award Scheme aims at commending civil servants in recognition of their consistently meritorious performance.  In 2009, three members of the Department were commended under the Scheme.

In 2009, three members of the Department were commended under the Secretary for the Civil Service's (SCS) Commendation Award Scheme.