Mainland right of abode claimants who say they are covered by a promise made by the Chief Executive have been unfairly denied their status because their cases were not considered properly, it was claimed yesterday. Gladys Li SC, representing seven test cases among 5,350 claimants, told the Court of First Instance the Director of Immigration had been misdirected on whether they had made claims within the concession period - between July 1, 1997 and January 29 last year. Tung Chee-hwa said on June 26 that those who arrived between these times and who had claimed the right of abode would be granted permanent status. On the same day, the National People's Congress Standing Committee reinterpreted the Basic Law, saying claimants with right of abode were subject to the mainland quota system and must have a one-way permit. It said the claimants also had to have a parent who was a permanent resident when they were born. Ms Li said the applicants claimed the director had never asked them if they had made a claim, or if so, when and how it had been made. Immigration officers had also failed to tell the migrants the purpose of the interviews or why they were asked to fill in forms. 'Fairness requires you were told before the interview the purpose of the interview,' Ms Li said. She said the migrants had failed to mention they had made oral claims because officers had told them there was no point unless they had documents to back it up. Ms Li said if the judge ruled it was not necessary for the migrants to have documentary proof, the Director of Immigration was required to re-consider each of the cases. The claimants in the seven representative cases were all born before either of their parents was a permanent resident. They were entitled to stay in the SAR according to a Court of Final Appeal judgment on January 29 last year but lost the right after Beijing's reinterpretation. Barrister Denis Chang SC, for another group of test cases, said about 1,000 abode claimants - given a white card when applying for legal aid - had relied on it as evidence of making a claim. The case continues today.