Three mainland dissidents will test the Government's tolerance next month when they apply to extend their stays for the first time since the handover. The residence permits of the trio were last extended for a year but will expire in May, while prominent mainland labour activist Han Dongfang's permit will expire in August. Yang Kuang, 30, one of the three dissidents, said he had made no provision to go overseas and would face repatriation to the mainland if his application was rejected. The other two dissidents have declined to reveal their names or details. 'The chance of getting permanent residence is not great but I hope a clearer and safer status could be granted,' Mr Yang said. 'In mainland China, I am a fugitive, here I am a citizen of nowhere.' Mr Yang entered Hong Kong using his brother's travel documents in 1995 and was arrested as an illegal immigrant. He was allowed to stay after being recognised as a dissident. He was first jailed on the mainland for more than a year in 1989 and 1990 for organising union workers. He became a fugitive when he tried and failed to free a friend from jail in 1995. Francis Lau Tze-lim, the director of the Hong Kong Voice of Democracy, a weekly Internet newsletter, said the Government's claim to independence and openness would be put to the test. 'How the SAR Government handles these cases will reflect the political climate of Hong Kong,' he said. The Immigration Department could not be reached for comment last night.