What is the compliance reminder? Hong Kong authorities recently enforced transit rules against two visitors from mainland China whom they arrested for lying about their reasons for travel.

What does it mean? Hong Kong maintains rules for passengers transiting through its ports; travelers should be aware of the strict enforcement of these and other rules for entering Hong Kong.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals or mainland Chinese who enter Hong Kong using their Chinese passport.
  • Next steps: Employers are encouraged to make sure employees, especially those from mainland China, have the proper visas or permits before visiting Hong Kong and are aware of the consequences of making false statements.

Background: Hong Kong authorities released a statement on Jan. 18 saying they had arrested and convicted two residents of mainland China after the travelers told immigration officers they were transiting through Hong Kong when in fact they had no plans to travel to another destination. The two travelers were sentenced to three months and four months in jail.

Analysis & Comments: Hong Kong continues to strictly enforce its immigration laws, including laws against illegal work, visa/permit misuse and making false statements. Those found to have made false statements to immigration officers may incur fines of up to US$150,000 and imprisonment for up to 14 years. Authorities also noted that visitors from mainland China who violated the transit arrangements for Chinese passport holders will have their information recorded and will face additional scrutiny upon subsequent visits to Hong Kong.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.