Foreword - Our Vision, Mission and Values / ForewordChapter 1 - Visa and PoliciesChapter 2 - Immigration ControlChapter 3 - Personal DocumentationChapter 4 - Enforcement and Torture Claim AssessmentChapter 5 - Information SystemsChapter 6 - Management and SupportChapter 7 - Green ManagementChapter 8 - Commitment to Service Excellence and Sustainable DevelopmentAppendices

Being a metropolis of finance, trade and logistics as well as a famous tourist spot, Hong Kong has seen the number of visitors rising over the years. With the opportunities brought by the National 12th Five-Year Plan, the increase was most substantial at land boundary control points. In order to maintain efficient immigration clearance, the e-Channel service has been extended. We also plan to provide e-Channel service to eligible holders of electronic Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) upon the introduction of this electronic EEP by the Mainland authorities. To further enhance the efficiency of clearance services at control points, clearance facilities were under continuous upgrade. Improvement works at the passenger terminals of the Lok Ma Chau and Man Kam To Control Points have commenced to increase the number of e-Channels. Following the implementation of ‘on-board clearance scheme’ for cross-boundary students at Sha Tau Kok and Man Kam To Control Points, the scheme was extended to Lok Ma Chau Control Point in September 2012. At the same time, we also enhanced the efficiency of clearance services by implementing ‘cross-boundary students simplified clearance procedures’ at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Shenzhen Bay, Lok Ma Chau, Sha Tau Kok and Man Kam To Control Points.

To consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international hub, we stay alert to the fast-paced global development and keep the visa control system and processing procedures under constant review, with an aim to attracting more professionals and investors to come to Hong Kong thus enhancing our competitive edge. We are also flexible in delivering our services. Earlier in 2011, we implemented streamlined procedures to expedite the processing of visas for Japanese expatriates after the earthquake in Japan. Such arrangement has successfully facilitated quality professionals to come to Hong Kong.

Geographically linked to the Mainland and with close proximity to Macao and Taiwan, Hong Kong possesses favourable conditions for facilitating exchanges among the regions. We, therefore, implemented various measures to further streamline the immigration arrangements for Taiwan residents. With effect from September 2011, the period of stay in Hong Kong for Taiwan residents holding a valid Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents, commonly known as ‘Tai Bao Zheng’, has been extended from 7 days to 30 days. Furthermore, from September 2012, eligible Taiwan residents may make pre-arrival registration through the Internet free of charge, after which they may visit Hong Kong with a self-printed registration notification slip and a valid travel document for re-entry to Taiwan.

The Department believes in improvement and awareness. We are committed to providing quality and efficient services to members of the public, including continuous efforts in actively lobbying for visa-free treatment for HKSAR passport holders. As at November 1, 2012, a total of 147 countries/territories have agreed to grant visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. We have also strengthened the service of Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit by setting up an emergency reinforcement team so that more staff can be expeditiously deployed to answer emergency calls for assistance from outside Hong Kong. Our staff will be sent to the scene promptly to render assistance to our residents whenever necessary.

Furthermore, we spare no effort in combating illegal employment and working with international and local law enforcement agencies to combat global illegal migration and document fraud. Besides, we conducted a large-scale operation codenamed ‘Flashspear’ in 2011 and smashed a syndicate arranging cross-boundary bogus marriages. We also successfully cracked down on a syndicate using false residential and financial documents to apply for employment visas for foreign domestic helpers in August 2011. We endeavoured to combat immigration-related offences committed by non-local pregnant women giving birth in Hong Kong, including overstaying and making false representation to immigration officer upon arrival clearance. In order to underpin the enhanced screening mechanism for torture claims in the proposed legislation so as to maintain high standards of fairness and to help reduce procedural abuse, the Administration introduced the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2011. The bill was passed by the Legislative Council on July 13, 2012, bringing in a clear legal basis for the enhanced screening mechanism for torture claims.

With the rapid advancement in information technology, the Department always keeps abreast of the times by incorporating innovative ideas and making use of top-notch technology to provide efficient services to the public. Based on the recommendation of the third Information Systems Strategy (ISS) Review in late 2010, the Department has embarked on feasibility studies on ISS projects in phases since early 2011. The feasibility study for the first ISS project had been completed and funding approval was given by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council. The project aimed at building new information technology infrastructure for the purposes of sustaining the growth and development of the Department as well as supporting the implementation of other ISS projects in the future.

In furthering the sustainability of the Department, we actively promote a life-long learning culture and caring management in addition to upholding our values of courtesy and compassion to the public. We continue to hold the ‘Most Courteous Immigration Control Officers’ election campaign, aiming at commending individual frontline officers for delivering outstanding customer service. Moreover, our staff members were commended in various awards in 2011. We won three awards in the Civil Service Outstanding Service Award; five of our staff received the Secretary for the Civil Service’s Commendation Award; and two of our staff were awarded The Ombudsman’s Awards for Officers of Public Organisation. All these awards showcase our sincerity and dedication in providing quality service.

In an era of changing political and economic environment globally and rising public expectations of government services, the Department will be facing tougher challenges on various fronts. As a trusted disciplined force, we will strive to overcome whatever challenges lying ahead through the concerted efforts and professionalism of all our staff. We will continue to provide top quality services to the public and contribute to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.