I refer to the letter from 'Name and Address Supplied' headlined 'Born in Hong Kong, but still denied a passport' (South China Morning Post, November 7) concerning the eligibility for applying for a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport.
The criteria for the issue of an HKSAR passport are governed by the Passports Ordinance. The Director of Immigration shall not issue a passport to the applicant unless that person has satisfied all of the following conditions:
He is a Chinese citizen;
He is a permanent resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and
He is a holder of a valid HKSAR permanent identity card.
'Chinese citizen' means a person of Chinese nationality under the Nationality Law of the PRC implemented in Hong Kong in accordance with the Explanations of Some Questions by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Concerning the Implementation of the Nationality Law of the PRC in the HKSAR.
According to Clause 1 of the explanations, where a Hong Kong resident is of Chinese descent and was born in the Chinese territories (including Hong Kong), or where a person satisfies the criteria laid down in the PRC's Nationality Law for having Chinese nationality, he is a Chinese national.
The law does not provide for the acquisition of Chinese nationality by mere birth in Hong Kong. Where a Hong Kong-born person is not a Chinese citizen, he is not eligible for a Hong Kong SAR passport. Notwithstanding this, any foreign national with permanent resident status in Hong Kong may apply to the Hong Kong Immigration Department for naturalisation as a Chinese national.
A permanent resident of the HKSAR who is or has become a Chinese national may apply for an HKSAR passport.
Should your correspondent have further inquiries on this issue, chief immigration officer (travel documents application) K.L. Ma can be contacted on 2829-3093.
C. P. CHAN
for Director of Immigration