Hong Kong advises Indians to abide by immigration rules

New Delhi, May 17 (Calcutta Tube) With South Asians dominating the number of illegal immigrants in Hong Kong, its administration has advised Indians not to get misled and enter the city without the proper documents for employment.

‘I want to take the opportunity to advise that Indian nationals should not be misled by other agents or person. If they want to come and work in Hong Kong, they should have the proper documents,’ Corrado Chow, the assistant director of immigration department, Hong Kong Special Administrative region, told reporters here Monday.

Since 2007, over 1,500 Indian nationals have been caught in Hong Kong for overstaying their visa validity period. Further, 122 other Indians were found to be illegally employed in the city, despite not having the requisite documents for employment.

‘Most of these Indians are involved in manual labour, selling and buying of scrap metal and working in rural areas,’ Chow said, who with another official from his department, is on a four-nation tour in South Asia. Besides India, he will visit Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Over 1,600 Indians also were found to be in violation of Hong Kong’s immigration rules in 2004, but are still staying on. ‘They should have been removed, but they continue to stay on as their appeals are being processed and due to legal procedures,’ he said.

Chow said the total number of foreign nationals who are making ‘claims to stay on’ are 6,400, ‘out of which three-fourths are from South Asia’.

‘Indians account for the second largest group (of illegal immigrants) after Pakistan,’ he said.

Last year in November, Hong Kong, which has autonomous powers to apply immigration controls, had introduced a new Immigration Amendment Ordinance which had further clarified that no foreigner could be employed unless they had the proper documents.

However, Chow said that the idea was not to target any particular country like India, especially in light of the close historical ties and background of British colonialism in both regions. ‘We also want to point out India is the only country among South Asia which has a visa free arrangement (for 14 days),’ he said.

But, he said that all foreign nationals have to respect the laws of the land and take the proper route for employment in the state.

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