Management and Support Branch Management and Support Branch
Management and Support Branch

Management and Support Branch

Under the charge of an Assistant Director, the Management and Support Branch comprises the Service Management Division, the Quality Assurance Division and the Immigration Service Institute of Training and Development (ISITD), each headed by a Principal Immigration Officer.

The Service Management Division deals with matters relating to the welfare, conduct and discipline of about 7,000 Immigration Service members as well as public relations matters of the department. The Quality Assurance Division is dedicated to conducting management audits, carrying out reviews in response to complaints from the public and planning the construction of the new Immigration Headquarters. The ISITD is responsible for the recruitment, training, deployment and professional development of service members.

During the ISITD Open Day held in October 2022, the Emergency Response Team of Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre presented the department's first tactical and firearms performance, showcasing different tactics and anti-riot equipment during a simulated anti-riot drill.

During the ISITD Open Day held in October 2022, the Emergency Response Team of Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre presented the department's first tactical and firearms performance, showcasing different tactics and anti-riot equipment during a simulated anti-riot drill.

Departmental Management Division

The Departmental Management Division is put under the charge of a Principal Executive Officer who is directly responsible to the Deputy Director for matters on personnel management, establishment control, finance, supplies and general administration of the department.

Recruitment Exercises

To meet the manpower demand for business development, the department launched a new round of in-service appointment and open recruitment of Immigration Officers in May and June 2022 respectively, while the open recruitment of Immigration Assistants continued to be conducted all year round. During the recruitment exercises in 2022, the department recruited about 80 Immigration Officers and 190 Immigration Assistants were appointed.

To attract more people of high calibre to join the service, the department stepped up the promotion of its recruitment exercises through different means, such as posters, videos about the posts and career talks. In July 2022, the department participated in the Education & Careers Expo held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to introduce its recruitment exercises to the public and enhance its professional image. The department also actively organised career talks for various tertiary institutions, institutes of vocational education, schools of continuing education and youth organisations, with a view to attracting young people of high calibre to join the service. During the epidemic, the department participated in virtual career fairs organised by different institutions to introduce its work to young people and prospective graduates through the application of information technology. In 2022, the department reached out to more than 13,000 young people at these career talks and virtual career fairs.

The department participated in the Education & Careers Expo 2022 to introduce its recruitment exercises to the public.

The department participated in the Education & Careers Expo 2022 to introduce its recruitment exercises to the public.

Career Development

It is our strong belief that a professional and effective workforce relies on the dedication of every staff member to provide excellent service by playing to their strengths. The Career Development Sub-division of the Management and Support Branch is tasked to make strategic staff posting, manage staff performance and draw up training plans. It strives to formulate tailor-made career development plans for service members. It also reviews the overall staff deployment plan to meet the department's operational needs.

Immigration Service Institute of Training and Development

The ISITD is responsible for identifying the training needs of service members, formulating the annual training and staff development plan, conducting in-service training and evaluating the effectiveness of training programmes. It strives to provide training courses and learning resources for service members to ensure that they are all equipped with the necessary skills to meet challenges. It also actively promotes the culture of life-long learning in the department.

Training programmes for newly recruited service members cover topics on the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the Basic Law, the national flag, the national emblem and the national anthem, so as to consolidate their sense of national identity and belonging to the country.

Training programmes for newly recruited service members cover topics on the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the Basic Law, the national flag, the national emblem and the national anthem, so as to consolidate their sense of national identity and belonging to the country.

The ISITD is a 13-storey purpose-built complex that houses a variety of training and residential facilities. Generic facilities include a drill ground, classrooms, a lecture theatre, an indoor swimming pool, a Learning Resource Centre, an Information Resource Centre, a Tactical Training Ground, a Physical Fitness Centre and a gymnasium with elevated running tracks. Specialised training facilities including an Immigration Control System (ICONS) Training Centre, an Automated Immigration Clearance Training Centre, a Mock Immigration Clearance Hall, a Simulated Training Venue (Investigation Skills), video recording interview rooms, a mock court, a Simulated Scenarios Tactical Training Centre, Simulated Detention Cells of the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (CIC), as well as the newly built firearms training zone, Pepper Spray Training Zone and Operations Command Centre (Mock Duty Office) are set up to cater for job-related training in a mock environment. The ISITD also provides residential facilities for trainees to help cultivate a sense of discipline and to boost esprit de corps. In addition, the Training Gallery at the ISITD provides a detailed account of the work and historical development of the department.

The ISITD serves to equip service members with professional knowledge and skills for serving the community. To keep pace with the department's latest development, the ISITD keeps enhancing its existing induction and in-service training, and actively collaborates with Mainland and overseas counterparts in organising exchange programmes. In addition, to promote life-long learning and personal development, the department sponsors staff members to undertake various training programmes provided by other government departments or outside organisations.

The department has been committed to providing flexible and diverse learning pathways for service members with a view to enhancing the quality of the Immigration Service, while promoting a life-long learning culture among its members to facilitate their personal development. Since 2019, the department, in the capacity of programme operator, has applied to the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) for accreditation of its induction and in-service training programmes for different grades, and for inclusion of these programmes in the Qualifications Register.

At present, the department is self-operating a total of six training programmes accredited by the HKCAAVQ. They include the three programmes pitched at Hong Kong Qualifications Framework (HKQF) Level 5 (equivalent to bachelor's degree level), namely the Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management for Senior Immigration Officer, the Professional Diploma in Management in Immigration Services and Control for Immigration Officer and the Professional Certificate in Frontline Management in Immigration Services and Control for Chief Immigration Assistant, and the three programmes pitched at HKQF Level 4 (equivalent to associate degree or higher diploma level), namely the Professional Certificate in Preparatory Management in Immigration Services and Control for Senior Immigration Assistant, the Professional Diploma in Immigration Control and Passenger Clearance for Immigration Assistant and the Professional Diploma in Immigration Services and Control for Immigration Assistant. From the accreditation of the above programmes to the end of 2022, a total of 2,695 service members, comprising 44 Senior Immigration Officers, 285 Immigration Officers, 200 Chief Immigration Assistants, 234 Senior Immigration Assistants and 1,932 Immigration Assistants, had completed the training programmes. The department will continue to apply for inclusion of various training programmes in the Qualifications Register so that more service members can acquire the relevant professional qualifications.

In December 2022, the department made successful application to the HKCAAVQ for inclusion of the Professional Certificate in Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services for Immigration Service Members, accredited at HKQF Level 4 (equivalent to associate degree or higher diploma level), in the Qualifications Register thereby enhancing the professionalism of the programme, and allowing more service members to acquire the relevant professional qualifications.

The ISITD conducts two major categories of training, namely induction training and in-service training. Induction training aims to equip new recruits with the necessary knowledge and skills for performing duties. The duration of the induction course for Immigration Officers is 27 weeks, whereas that for Immigration Assistants is 15 weeks. The training curriculum is a combination of theories and practices, covering topics such as laws, immigration policies and procedures, as well as the functions and organisational structure of the department, with particular emphases on nourishing a strong sense of discipline and commitment to delivering quality public services among trainees. It also includes Chinese-style footdrill, tactical and firearms training, physical fitness, swimming and first aid. For the induction course for Immigration Officers, the management and leadership skills of trainees will be further strengthened through various types of training activities such as management workshops, supervision exercises and leadership training camps. Topics ranging from the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems', the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Basic Law, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong National Security Law), the country's system and major policies, as well as the civil service's core values and public service culture have also been included in the training curriculum.

In 2022, 93 Immigration Officers and 116 Immigration Assistants completed induction training at the ISITD.

In 2022, the ISITD organised various in-service training courses, including professional diploma and certificate programmes accredited under the HKQF, Immigration Officer Consolidation Training, the Immigration Officer Enhancement Course, customer service and mediation training programmes, national security training courses, the Elementary National Studies and Chinese-style Footdrill Training Course, tactical and firearms training as well as team building training, for 3,642 service members of different ranks to sharpen their minds and skills.

In addition, training courses on ICONS and automated immigration clearance are also provided for service members at control points. In 2022, a total of 293 officers and supervisors working at control points received the relevant training.

To heighten service members' sense of national identity and belonging to the country, the department has not only incorporated elementary national studies, covering topics such as the Constitution of the PRC and the Basic Law, into the induction and in-service training programmes, but also fully implemented Chinese-style footdrill training, so that service members can have a deeper understanding of their obligation as civil servants to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and continue to contribute to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and the well-being of the people with the core values of professionalism and integrity and their love for the country as well as Hong Kong. Apart from the knowledge related to the Hong Kong National Security Law, the ISITD has also included the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in the internal training programmes with a view to enhancing service members' awareness of the relevant issues.

On 2 December 2022, the department held its first Passing-out Parade since the inauguration of the sixth-term HKSAR Government. Chinese-style footdrill was adopted throughout the parade, during which the Immigration Band included for the first time Chinese instruments in the band performance, cultivating a diversified and harmonious atmosphere with Chinese and Western music. Furthermore, the Departmental Contingent assembled to form a dynamic analogue clock with footdrill movements, and then joined the parade for the formation of the Chinese numerals '25', symbolising the department's efforts to move with the times and strive for excellence over the past 25 years since Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

To enhance frontline staff's awareness of resistance control and escort safety, the ISITD continued to conduct half-day to two-day Tactical Training, covering topics such as resistance control techniques and the use of different types of self-defence equipment, for service members of the ranks from Immigration Assistant to Senior Immigration Officer.

Since January 2022, the ISITD has been providing training on firearms and anti-riot equipment for service members to cope with the diversified work of the department and future development of firearms. The courses include the pepper ball launcher qualification course, tactical training and operational management courses for the CIC, and training courses for the Emergency Response Team.

In order to perfect the escort and repatriation techniques of service members for coping with large-scale special removal operations, the ISITD organised half-day to two-day escort technique training courses for members of the Removal Assessment and Litigation (Repatriation Operations) Section in 2022.

In addition, since July 2022, the ISITD has incorporated pepper ball launcher training and the Detention Centre Management Courses into the induction courses for Immigration Officers and Immigration Assistants with a view to enhancing the professionalism of service members and the department's flexibility in manpower deployment.

To enhance our staff's communication skills and techniques in handling disputes, basic mediation techniques have been included in the Customer Service Workshop since July 2017. A total of 268 officers of the ranks from Immigration Assistant to Senior Immigration Officer participated in the workshop in 2022.

Besides, in order to strengthen our frontline management staff's ability to deal with complaints and conflicts in the workplace, a two-day advanced Mediation and Communication Workshop was conducted by the ISITD for service members of the ranks from Chief Immigration Assistant to Senior Immigration Officer in 2022. A total of 96 frontline staff members attended the workshop.

To strengthen the communication skills, teamwork and sense of discipline of frontline staff, the ISITD organised in August 2017, for the first time, a five-day Building a Supportive Team Programme, targeting at service members of the ranks of Immigration Officer, Chief Immigration Assistant and Senior Immigration Assistant.

To promote life-long learning and support our staff in coping with new challenges at work, the ISITD provides various e-learning programmes for staff members on the department's Intranet. It has also worked together with the Civil Service Bureau since May 2010 to launch various e-learning programmes on the e-Learning Platform of the Cyber Learning Centre Plus. Through these two platforms, staff members can learn according to their own pace and schedules.

Moreover, staff members can browse and search the book collections of the Learning Resource Centre, browse videos and photographs of training activities, and gain access to other useful reference materials through the ISITD's homepage on the department's Intranet.

To ensure effective implementation of the Daya Bay Contingency Plan (DBCP) by our frontline staff in support of the relevant bureaux and departments to protect the public health and safety in the event of serious accidents at the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station and Lingao Nuclear Power Station, the ISITD organised 19 DBCP Refresher Seminar at control points and frontline sections in December 2022, with participation of 348 service members. The seminars covered the relevant information on the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Stations, and the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff in inter-departmental exercises and the contingency plan, with a view to enhancing service members' alertness to nuclear accidents ad their knowledge of the DBCP.

The ISITD also arranges for service members of various ranks to attend training courses organised by other departments, organisations and institutes. They include management, language, communication and national studies courses organised by the Civil Service College of the Civil Service Bureau; command courses and criminal investigation courses organised by the Hong Kong Police Force; and tactical training jointly organised by the ISITD and the Correctional Services Department.

To better safeguard the safety of our staff in the office and that of the public, the ISITD arranged for 36 and 31 in-service staff members to attend the Basic First Aid Course and the Refresher First Aid Course respectively during the year. Moreover, a total of 205 induction trainees attended the Certificate in First Aid Course and the Automated External Defibrillation Certificate Course.

The department has always played an active role in youth training. In 2022, the ISITD and the Education Bureau jointly organised a Smart Teen Challenge Day Camp for more than 150 junior secondary school students to give them a taste of the training life at the ISITD and a tour of the training facilities, with a view to deepening their understanding of immigration-related work and boosting their self-confidence, sense of discipline and esprit de corps.

In 2013, the department formed its uniformed group, known as the Immigration Department Youth Leaders, to provide disciplinary and leadership training for Secondary Three to Secondary Six students. In 2021, the group was officially renamed the Immigration Department Youth Leaders Corps (IDYL) with its membership expanded to include Secondary One and Secondary Two students in order to benefit more young people. The training covers national education, immigration knowledge, Chinese-style footdrill, physical fitness training, community services and outdoor training. It aims to heighten members' sense of national identity, arouse their patriotism, and develop their law-abiding awareness and self-discipline, while nurturing good character, developing leadership skills and positive thinking, and arousing enthusiasm for serving the community among members.

Moreover, the ISITD will send dedicated training officers to schools regularly to provide training for members, with a view to providing young people with companionship. Besides, a management committee comprised of local dignitaries was established to advise on the sustained development of youth training.

As at 31 December 2022, 20 secondary schools and over 420 students had participated in the activities of the IDYL and received training.

As at 2022, more than 420 members from 20 secondary schools participated in the Immigration Department Youth Leaders Corps.

As at 2022, more than 420 members from 20 secondary schools participated in the Immigration Department Youth Leaders Corps.

Guide on Conduct and Discipline

Apart from enriching job-related knowledge and providing skill-based training, upholding a high standard of integrity among staff is of equal importance. To allow our staff to keep abreast of the up-to-date ethical guidelines on civil servants, the 'Guide on Conduct and Discipline' has been uploaded onto the department's Intranet. The guide lists real-life examples regarding conflicts of interest and personal conduct. It also emphasises supervisors' accountability for supervising subordinates and dealing with conflicts of interest. The department also reminds all staff to adhere to the core values stated in the guide in order to uphold the highest standard of integrity and continuously enhance the quality and efficiency of services provided for the community.

Welfare and Recreation

The department attaches great importance to engaging in a close dialogue with staff through various channels of consultation and communication between management and staff, including formal committees' meetings, informal meetings, group discussions, welfare visits and newsletters, in order to improve staff welfare and the relations between the department and staff continuously, and strengthen staff's esprit de corps and commitment. In addition, various sports and recreational activities are organised to deepen mutual understanding and trust between management and staff. Staff are encouraged to offer suggestions on improving their working environment and service quality, which will be dealt with seriously and expeditiously.

The Immigration Department Consultative Committee is a formal consultative forum between management and staff. It aims at achieving a better understanding of and promoting co-operation between both sides on matters affecting staff's well-being such as conditions of service, allocation of quarters, training, promotion and career development. The committee meets quarterly and is chaired by Assistant Director (Management and Support). The official side comprises 6 members, while the staff side comprises 20 members who are representatives from Immigration Officer, Immigration Assistant and civilian grades. A representative from the Civil Service Bureau also attends the meetings of the committee.

Apart from formal and informal meetings between management and staff, Welfare Officers of the department pay regular visits to staff at their workplace to understand their concerns and feelings. To maintain closer contact with frontline staff, foster understanding among staff members and strengthen esprit de corps and communication, the Frontline Supporting Team was formed in July 2007 under the Welfare Section to conduct frequent visits to frontline service members with a view to sharing views on work-related issues and relaying their requests. From its establishment to 31 December 2022, the team paid 349 visits to various frontline sections and offices.

In addition, Welfare Officers pay hospital visits to staff members who are ill or injured and pay home visits to those in need to provide after-care assistance. In 2022, 309 consolation enquiries were made, and 12 hospital, quarantine centre/hotel and home visits were paid. During the visits to quarantine centres/hotels, Welfare Officers also gave anti-epidemic gift packs and basic supplies to the staff members concerned to show support.

Welfare Officers also conduct personal interviews with staff members who feel stressed due to work pressure or personal problems and provide them with counselling service or assistance. In 2022, 10 interviews were conducted.

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, combined nasal and throat swab (CNTS) testing services were provided for staff on need basis by the Welfare Section for early detection of confirmed cases to cut the virus transmission chains. In 2022, the department engaged a service contractor to conduct more than 17,200 CNTS tests for its staff.

In order to render more extensive support for the mental health of our staff and provide immediate professional counselling service for staff in need, the Immigration Wellness Service Centre was set up with a Clinical Psychologist providing professional counselling service to help our staff manage pressure arising from their work and life positively. Moreover, the Clinical Psychologist assists management in formulating and implementing programmes, including Delighting Your Work, Stress Management, and Post-traumatic Stress Responses and Interventions, for the psychological well-being and mental health of staff. As at 31 December 2022, the centre had provided personal counselling service for 2,477 staff members and organised 376 talks.

In addition, to foster a healthy and balanced lifestyle among our staff, the centre organises programmes on promotion of physical and mental health, and professional speakers are invited from time to time to deliver health talks on various topics. As at 31 December 2022, the centre organised 64 health talks to raise our staff's health consciousness.

A Peer Support Network was established to enhance peer support among staff of various sections. At present, around 300 disciplined and civilian staff have enrolled as peer counsellors under the network and they have all received training in basic counselling skills and introduction to mental health. The Clinical Psychologist and Welfare Officers also visit the peer counsellors from time to time to learn about their counselling service and to give them suggestions on how to handle difficult cases. The centre will continue to arrange suitable courses for the peer counsellors to enhance their counselling skills and invite more staff to join the network.

With the support of the Sports and Recreation Team of the Welfare Section, the Immigration Department Staff Club (IDSC) has been committed to organising various sports and recreational activities for our staff and their families to promote a healthy lifestyle, enhance understanding among staff members and boost esprit de corps. Sports activities, including dragon boat races, various ball games, the Sports Day, the Swimming Gala, the 7-km Long Distance Run and regular yoga classes, and recreational programmes, such as hiking, summer cruises, nighttime cuttlefish fishing, the Christmas Children's Party, the Annual Dinner, the Departmental Karaoke Competition and the Chinese New Year gathering, are organised for staff and their families.

In 2022, since the epidemic situation remained severe, fewer activities were held by the IDSC. In order to encourage our staff to fight the epidemic together and stay positive and optimistic, the IDSC distributed lucky bags, soup packs and anti-epidemic Chinese medicine granules to all staff members in the Chinese New Year, May and September.

Following the government's adjustment of anti-epidemic measures at the end of 2022 to resume the normal daily life of citizens in an orderly manner, the IDSC resumed the organisation of sports and recreational activities, such as Chinese chess competitions, and the arrangement was well received by staff members.

To promote the sustainability of the departmental sports teams and esprit de corps of the department, the IDSC appointed 17 officers as the team managers of the departmental sports teams. Under the leadership of the team managers, representatives from the departmental sports teams spend their spare time to organise training and participate in inter-disciplined services and open competitions, which have greatly raised the team spirit and promoted work-life balance among staff members.

It is hoped that staff members can relax and improve their physical co-ordination by playing different sports, and learn to cope with stress, enhance their psychological well-being and strengthen their liaison with different sectors of the community and other disciplined services through participating in different sports competitions.

In 2022, the department continued to attain excellent results in various disciplined services tournaments and open competitions. Our Men's Volleyball Team in particular won the championship in the Disciplined Services Volleyball Competition.

The Immigration Band was established in May 2015. It aims at gathering a group of service members who are passionate about music to practise and share experience with one another in their spare time with a view to refining their temperament and serving the community through music.

The band performs in departmental functions and parades as a marching band and has been from time to time invited to perform on various occasions. On 1 July 2022, the band was invited to the Celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to the Motherland and the Inaugural Ceremony of the Sixth-term Government of the HKSAR to perform the 25th Anniversary theme song titled 'Heading Forward', rearranged by members of the band, making it the first among the bands of Hong Kong's disciplined services to perform this meaningful song. Besides, the band had participated with bands of other disciplined services in joint performances 'Together We Prosper' Grand Parade by Disciplined Services and Youth Groups for Celebrating the 73rd Anniversary of the Founding of the PRC and the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR and the Flag Raising Ceremony to Commemorate 40th Anniversary of Constitution.

As one of the department's major events in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the Motherland, the band gave its first indoor concert on 26 August 2022, during which it played more than a dozen of Chinese and Western popular songs, and jointly performed with members of the IDYL. The performance, with a full house attendance, received an overwhelming response from the audience.

In 2022, the Chinese Music Section of the band was officially formed and gave a performance with a combination of Chinese and Western music during the Chief Executive's review of the department's Passing-out Parade on 2 December 2022, making the event more delightful.

To encourage our staff to participate in voluntary social service during their spare time, the Immigration Department Volunteer Work Team (IDVWT) was set up under the IDSC. In collaboration with different social welfare organisations, the IDVWT has participated in a wide range of community services and charity events over the years, making a significant contribution to the community. In respect of elderly service, the IDVWT has from time to time provided assistance to the infirm who have been hospitalised for a long time or residents of residential care homes for the elderly for their participation in various community activities, such as Chinese New Year celebrations, visits to parks and tours to scenic spots and theme parks, which have enriched their life. During special festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas, the IDVWT pays visits to singleton elderly to not only show its concern and send them best wishes, but also help relay their needs to the organisations concerned for follow-up. The IDVWT, in collaboration with volunteer work teams of other departments, also arranges talks for the elderly on topics such as immigration-related work, crime prevention and fire prevention to enhance their general knowledge and encourage them to keep up with the times. In recent years, the IDVWT has worked in collaboration with the Hong Kong Wheelchair Aid Service to provide wheelchair repair and support services at elderly centres on a regular basis, with a view to ensuring the safety of wheelchair users and extending the lifespan of wheelchairs, thus ensuring the sustainability of society.

In view of the COVID-19 epidemic, the IDVWT, in support of the government's appeal, actively participated in frontline anti-epidemic volunteer work, including assisting the Security Bureau, the Home Affairs Department and social welfare organisation in producing, delivering and distributing anti-epidemic materials and food for elders and residents in different districts, remote villages or tenement buildings, while showing care for and explaining anti-epidemic knowledge to them. Members of the IDVWT, demonstrating a sense of team spirit, worked in concerted efforts to fight the virus.

The Immigration Service Welfare Fund is established under the Immigration Service Ordinance for the purposes of procuring benefits for and granting loans to members or former members of the service. The fund also provides grants for dependants who need financial assistance for funeral expenses in respect of any deceased member or former member of the service.

In 2022, approximately $906,000 was spent on welfare equipment, consolation gifts, sports and recreational activities, etc.

Management Audits

To promote excellence in service quality, the department established the Quality Assurance Division in June 2019 for conducting management audits and reviewing complaints from the public. The Management Audit Section under the Quality Assurance Division pays visits to various control points and offices to ensure that immigration policies, application procedures and administration rules have been properly followed. It also makes recommendations on ways to improve the quality of work and customer service.

The Management Audit Section has obtained the International Organisation for Standardisation's ISO 9001:2015 'Quality management system' and ISO 10002:2018 'Quality management – Customer satisfaction' certifications. Its Customer Services Unit is responsible for receiving complaints from the public and monitoring relevant replies. All investigated complaints are further analysed and reviewed by the Complaints Review Working Party, headed by Assistant Director (Management and Support) with members from the Quality Assurance Division and the Management Audit Section. The working party gives advice on whether the complaints are justified and recommends improvements where necessary. In 2022, two out of four cases reviewed were found justified. In the same year, the department received 8,854 letters of appreciation and notes of thanks.

Awards and Commendations

In 2022, Ms CHEUNG Sau-yin, Sally and Mr TAI Chi-yuen, Assistant Directors of Immigration, were awarded the Hong Kong Immigration Service Medal for Distinguished Service (IDSM). Five other officers were awarded the Hong Kong Immigration Service Medal for Meritorious Service (IMSM). In addition, 22 staff members of our department were awarded the Chief Executive's Commendation for Government/Public Service.

Immigration officers who have completed certain years of outstanding service with exemplary character and good conduct will be awarded medals and clasps. In 2022, a total of 106 officers were awarded the Long Service Medal after 18 years of service; 74 officers were awarded the First Clasp to the Medal after 25 years of service; 35 officers were awarded the Second Clasp to the Medal after 30 years of service; and 129 officers were awarded the Third Clasp to the Medal after 33 years of service. For commendation at the departmental level, 211 officers were awarded the Director's Commendation and 404 officers were awarded the Assistant Director's Commendation.

Communications and Public Affairs

The Communications and Public Affairs Section is the department's news agency which serves as the key link between the department and the media. It is responsible for maintaining close and effective communication with the mass media, answering media enquiries, drawing up publicity plans for the department and promulgating the department's latest policies. The section, which maintains frequent and close liaison with outside organisations, is also the department's representative in handling public affairs and participating in social functions and activities.

In 2022, the section issued press releases, answered media enquiries, produced promotional videos and conducted press briefings on various issues, including the extension of Contactless e-Channel service for provision of fast immigration clearance service for passengers, the full implementation of electronic services for visa application, the provision of assistance to Hong Kong residents in distress outside Hong Kong and the introduction of the Online Assistance Request Form for them, the taking of enforcement action against illegal employment and immigration offenders, the promotion of the Territory-wide Identity Card Replacement Exercise, the appeal to the public for early application for HKSAR passports, and the provision of assistance to the government in implementing various regulations under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) as well as other anti-epidemic measures, such as managing community isolation facilities and participating in 'restriction-testing declaration' and compulsory testing notice operations, during the epidemic.

In October 2022, the department created an account on Instagram, a social media platform for publishing its latest news and information with a view to further enhancing its efficiency in information dissemination and establishing closer ties with the public.

Information and Liaison

The Information and Liaison Section is mainly responsible for handling public enquiries regarding the services provided by the department. The Immigration Enquiry Services System currently employed by the section helps centrally process public enquiries made by phone, email, fax and letter, and in person.

To provide better services for the public, the section has all along been committed to enhancing the functions of the existing enquiry services system. Currently, the system provides one-stop service covering functions such as transferring enquiry calls to the department's 24-hour Telephone Appointment Booking System and Telephone Application Status Enquiry System. It also provides information on the current-day walk-in quotas of our Immigration Branch Offices, Registration of Persons Offices and certain offices at the Immigration Headquarters. Besides, the section has made available the self-service call-flow diagram of the General Enquiry Hotline on the department's homepage for public reference. It has also introduced two animated voicebots called 'i Ambassadors' to give visitors on-site navigation information and answer simple enquiries.

The two towers of the new headquarters were topped out in October 2022. The whole project expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

The two towers of the new headquarters were topped out in October 2022. The whole project expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

New Immigration Headquarters

Since its establishment, the department has been growing with Hong Kong, witnessing various social changes. Given that its work is closely related to the daily life of members of the public, its headquarters has been expanding and evolving in pace with the times and its business development. The existing headquarters, located at the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai, was commissioned in 1990 to provide quality, convenient and diversified services for the public. To keep pace with the times and cope with the increasing service demand and the expanding scope of responsibilities, the staff establishment, and the operational facilities and office spaces required have been increasing correspondingly. Embracing the new era, the next generation headquarters is being constructed in Tseung Kwan O with a view to continuously raising service standards and providing more quality, convenient and efficient services for the public. The funding application for the construction of the new headquarters was approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in May 2019. The construction works commenced in June 2019 and the two towers were topped out in October 2022. The whole project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023. Upon completion of the installation of the computer system network and basic equipment, the relevant offices and facilities will be moved into the new headquarters in phases in 2024.

The new headquarters, located in Tseung Kwan O town centre, is adjacent to Tseung Kwan O and Tiu Keng Leng MTR Stations and easily accessible by various means of public transport. It will also connect with the pedestrian walkway systems in the vicinity to facilitate public access and their use of the department's services. The new headquarters will provide a net operational floor area of approximately 57,400 square metres for the department to set up various public-oriented offices, general offices and operational facilities. The department also plans to make wider use of innovative technologies to introduce smart elements into the new headquarters, so as to meet service expectations and public health requirements. For instance, self-service kiosks with diversified services will be installed to enable applicants to submit applications and collect documents or visas in a self-service manner at any time, without having to queue over counters. Moreover, the new headquarters will allow the integration of offices and facilities currently located in various districts and leased premises, and provide space for new facilities such as indoor firing ranges to cater for its operational and development needs, increase command and operational efficiency, strengthen collaboration and enhance effectiveness in law enforcement.