Dear Immigration Department,

I would appreciate if you could provide information on the process and policies which govern the consideration of applications for subsequent claim for non-refoulment protection per s37ZO of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115). More specifically:

1. The current policies of the Immigration Department (ImmD) pertaining to its consideration of requests for subsequent claims. In particular, whether there are any policies which are used to assist Immigration Officers in the evaluation of whether:
a. There has been a ‘significant’ change of circumstances;
b. ‘Sufficient evidence’ of that change has been provided;
c. The claim has a ‘realistic prospect of success’;

2. The forms or procedures which applicants should complete or follow to make subsequent claims and/or to provide evidence in support of subsequent claims;

3. The process by which those that make requests for subsequent claims are referred to the Duty Lawyer Service (DLS), and specifically:
a. What triggers referral to the DLS; and
b. At what stage of processing requests for subsequent claims would the ImmD determine referral to the DLS is necessary;

4. The number of applications for subsequent claims received, determined, withdrawn, accepted and rejected by the ImmD, disaggregated by year from 2014 to 2020.

Thank you kindly for your assistance on this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Jessica Alam

Dear Immigration Department,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Immigration Department's handling of my FOI request 'Non-refoulment Protection - Subsequent Claims'.

The request was made on 22 June 2021, and no response has been received. This is significantly longer than the target response times set out in Code on Access to Information.

I understand that only in exceptional circumstances will a response take longer than 21 calendar days. Please confirm the reasons for the delay, and what steps are being taken to provide the information requested.

Yours faithfully,

Jessica Alam

Records and Data Management Section, Immigration Department

Dear Jessica Alam,

Thanks for your email of 20 July 2021.

Regarding your access to information request on the caption subject, you
may wish to note that we did not receive the said request mentioned in
your email before. In this regard, we should be grateful if you would
clarify and let us know the content of such request so that we can process
further in this aspect.

Best regards

(Mr. W M Fung)
for Director of Immigration

From:        Jessica Alam <[FOI #687 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Immigration Department <[Immigration Department request email]>
Date:        20/07/2021 09:53
Subject:        Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
Non-refoulment Protection - Subsequent Claims

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Immigration Department,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Immigration Department's
handling of my FOI request 'Non-refoulment Protection - Subsequent
Claims'.

The request was made on 22 June 2021, and no response has been received.
This is significantly longer than the target response times set out in
Code on Access to Information.

I understand that only in exceptional circumstances will a response take
longer than 21 calendar days. Please confirm the reasons for the delay,
and what steps are being taken to provide the information requested.

Yours faithfully,

Jessica Alam

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #687 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[1]https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

Dear Records and Data Management Section,

The request is copied below (and available here: https://accessinfo.hk/en/request/non_ref...

I would appreciate if you could provide information on the process and policies which govern the consideration of applications for subsequent claims for non-refoulment protection, per s37ZO of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115). More specifically:

1. The current policies of the Immigration Department (ImmD) pertaining to its consideration of requests for subsequent claims. In particular, whether there are any policies which are used to assist Immigration Officers in the evaluation of whether:
a. There has been a ‘significant’ change of circumstances;
b. ‘Sufficient evidence’ of that change has been provided;
c. The claim has a ‘realistic prospect of success’;

2. The forms or procedures which applicants should complete or follow to make subsequent claims and/or to provide evidence in support of subsequent claims;

3. The process by which those that make requests for subsequent claims are referred to the Duty Lawyer Service (DLS), and specifically:
a. What triggers referral to the DLS; and
b. At what stage of processing requests for subsequent claims would the ImmD determine referral to the DLS is necessary;

4. The number of applications for subsequent claims received, determined, withdrawn, accepted and rejected by the ImmD, disaggregated by year from 2014 to 2020.

Thank you kindly for your assistance on this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Jessica Alam

Immigration Department

Our ref.: L/M (66) in ImmD RALS1/6-20/3/C

 

Dear Ms Alam,

 

We refer to your application for access to information of 20 July 2021
relating to statistics on non-refoulement claims.

 

Your application is now under processing.  Our Department would revert to
you on or before 9 August 2021 according to paragraph 1.16 of the Code on
Access to Information.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

 

(FUNG Man-him)

for Director of Immigration

To learn more about the application requirements and procedures of the
most frequently used services provided by the Hong Kong Immigration
Department, you are welcome to visit the Easy Access Playlist at Hong Kong
Immigration Department [1]YouTube Channel. The concerned video clips have
Cantonese voice-over supplemented by Chinese or English subtitles.

show quoted sections

Immigration Department

Our ref.: L/M (66) in ImmD RALS1/6-20/3/C

Dear Ms Alam,

 

We refer to your application for access to information of 20 July 2021
relating to statistics on non-refoulement claims.  Further to interim
reply of 28 July 2021, please find our substantive reply below:

 

Q1. The current policies of the Immigration Department (ImmD) pertaining
to its consideration of requests for subsequent claims. In particular,
whether there are any policies which are used to assist Immigration
Officers in the evaluation of whether:

a. There has been a ‘significant’ change of circumstances;

b. ‘Sufficient evidence’ of that change has been provided;

c. The claim has a ‘realistic prospect of success’;

 

Q2. The forms or procedures which applicants should complete or follow to
make subsequent claims and/or to provide evidence in support of subsequent
claims;

 

A1 & A2: A person who has previously made a non-refoulement claim must not
subsequently make another non-refoulement claim (i.e. a subsequent claim),
unless he can provide sufficient evidence in writing to satisfy an
immigration officer that (a) there has been a significant change of
circumstances since the previous claim was finally determined or
withdrawn; and (b) the change, when taken together with the material
previously submitted in support of the previous claim, would give the
subsequent claim a realistic prospect of success.  The evidence in writing
needs not be made in any specified form for making a subsequent claim. 

 

In deciding whether or not a person may make a subsequent claim, the case
officer may take into account any finding of credibility or fact made by
an immigration officer or the Torture Claims Appeal Board in relation to a
non-refoulement claim or torture claim previously made by the person.

 

A non-refoulement claimant would be permitted to make a subsequent claim
if he/she can provide further cogent evidence or information on the
current situation establishing a substantial risk of harm.  The decision
on whether a person can make a subsequent claim depends on individual
circumstances of each case.

 

Q3. The process by which those that make requests for subsequent claims
are referred to the Duty Lawyer Service (DLS), and specifically:

a. What triggers referral to the DLS; and

b. At what stage of processing requests for subsequent claims would the
ImmD determine referral to the DLS is necessary;

 

A3. Upon receiving a request for making a subsequent claim (“subsequent
claim request”) under the Unified Screening Mechanism (“USM”), the
claimant would be informed in writing the availability of the
publicly-funded legal assistance (“PFLA”) subject to an eligibility test
administered by the Duty Lawyer Service or Pilot Scheme Office for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants (“Pilot Scheme Office”).  If the claimant demands for PFLA for
making a subsequent claim, the subsequent claim request will be referred
to the Duty Lawyer Service Office or Pilot Scheme Office as appropriate
for handling before the ImmD assesses the request.

 

Q4.    The number of applications for subsequent claims received,
determined, withdrawn, accepted and rejected by the ImmD, disaggregated by
year from 2014 to 2020.

 

A4. The Government implemented the USM in March 2014 to screen
non-refoulement claims on all applicable grounds in one go.  As at the end
of December 2020, the number of subsequent claim requests is as follows:

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | |Decision on subsequent| |
| | | claim requests | |
| |Subsequent claim|----------------------| Withdrawn or no further |
| Year | requests | Allowed and | | action can be taken |
| | received | |Rejected| |
| | | subsequent | | |
| | | claim made | | |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2014 | | | | |
| | 31 | 26 | 3 | 1 |
|(since| | | | |
|March)| | | | |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2015 | 33 | 19 | 8 | 0 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2016 | 58 | 35 | 25 | 1 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2017 | 41 | 18 | 27 | 0 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2018 | 50 | 7 | 35 | 1 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2019 | 116 | 44 | 26 | 10 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
| 2020 | 446 | 68 | 84 | 87 |
|------+----------------+-------------+--------+-------------------------|
|Total | 775 | 217 | 208 | 100 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

We hope you would find the above information useful.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

 

(FUNG Man-him)

for Director of Immigration

To learn more about the application requirements and procedures of the
most frequently used services provided by the Hong Kong Immigration
Department, you are welcome to visit the Easy Access Playlist at Hong Kong
Immigration Department [1]YouTube Channel. The concerned video clips have
Cantonese voice-over supplemented by Chinese or English subtitles.

show quoted sections

Dear Immigration Department,

Thank you for your response.

Please can you send your A4 as a pdf or excel attachment, as the format of the statistics are indecipherable on the 'accessinfo.hk' reply?

Yours faithfully,

Jessica Alam

Immigration Department

1 Attachment

Our ref.: L/M (66) in ImmD RALS1/6-20/3/C

 

Dear Ms Alam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 12 August 2021 regarding the application for
access to information of 20 July 2021 relating to statistics on
non-refoulement claims.  Please find our final reply of 9 August 2021 in
PDF format as attached.

 

  

Best Regards,

 

(FUNG Man-him)

for Director of Immigration

To learn more about the application requirements and procedures of the
most frequently used services provided by the Hong Kong Immigration
Department, you are welcome to visit the Easy Access Playlist at Hong Kong
Immigration Department [1]YouTube Channel. The concerned video clips have
Cantonese voice-over supplemented by Chinese or English subtitles.

show quoted sections