Newly appointed Director of Immigration Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee revealed last night she has applied to forfeit her British passport in order to meet the nationality requirement for the sensitive post after the handover. She said from Toronto she had sent an application to the British Home Office and approval was expected in a few weeks. Mrs Ip, the first senior official to announce she was giving up foreign nationality, said: 'I hope to show my sincerity that I'm not just doing the job for a few months. 'I've thought about it for over 10 years. 'Any administrative officer wants to continue to serve the Government [after 1997].' An elated Mrs Ip, 46, said she felt honoured about the new job, although she was still a D6 grade officer with a monthly salary of $152,150. The Basic Law lists the post of immigration chief as one of the senior and sensitive jobs that only Chinese nationals can hold. Her appointment as the first woman immigration chief was announced 10 days after the surprise retirement of Laurence Leung Ming-yin. She will take office on August 19. Mrs Ip became director of industry in a government reshuffle in September last year. She will be the third administrative officer to head immigration, the others being Martin Rowlands (1973-78) and Ron Bridge (1978-83). There has been concern over giving the job to an administrative officer, but not someone from within the department. Acting Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said: 'Yes. Administrative officers are not talents on all fronts. We try to get the best candidate for the job. In general, we try to have someone from the department. 'But Regina Ip is capable and familiar with immigration-related issues', such as nationality, travel documents, right of abode and identity cards, he said. Mrs Ip said she had had regular contacts with senior immigration officials and would increase contacts with other lower and middle-ranking staff. She revealed she was offered the job two weeks ago, a few days before the announcement of Mr Leung's retirement. The post she vacated will be filled by Francis Ho Suen-wai, currently Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry. Mr Ho's job will go to the Deputy Director-General of Trade, Tam Wing-pong. Mrs Ip will receive no additional benefits - except for a new set of summer and winter uniforms. Mr Leung has been asked to vacate his luxurious flat in Deep Water Bay Road.