Date
23 January 2017
Immigration chief Eric Chan (inset) says a task force has been formed to crack down on overstaying, fake marriages and arranged visits. Photos: HKEJ, info.gov.hk
Immigration chief Eric Chan (inset) says a task force has been formed to crack down on overstaying, fake marriages and arranged visits. Photos: HKEJ, info.gov.hk

Thousands of pregnant mainlanders denied entry in 2015

Nearly 5,000 pregnant mainland women with no prior hospital bookings were refused entry to Hong Kong last year after the government tightened visa regulations.

Director of Immigration Eric Chan said the mainlanders have been reported to the Chinese authorities in case they try to travel to Hong Kong again to give birth.

Most children born in Hong Kong get right of abode even though their parents may not be permanent residents, according to the Immigration Department.

This has been largely responsible for a growing number of pregnant Chinese women who come to Hong Kong to give birth, the report said.

The phenomenon has caused problems for Hong Kong’s healthcare services and created a shortage of school places over the years.

Chan said an immigration task force has been formed to crack down on overstaying, fake marriages and arranged visits that contribute to the situation.

He said the government is winning the battle.

Last year, an average of eight mainland women a month gave birth in Hong Kong without prior hospital booking.

That compares with 160 in the fourth quarter alone four years earlier.

Meanwhile, 61 mainlanders who illegally gave birth in Hong Kong last year were prosecuted, including 46 who also overstayed their visa, Chan said.

Two locals who acted as middlemen were convicted.

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TL/DY/RA

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