The hopes of 212 abode seekers were crushed yesterday when their claims were dismissed by the Court of Appeal in decisions that fell in line with January's landmark judgment. Two panels of judges said none of the applicants fulfilled requirements set down in the January 10 ruling involving 5,114 claimants and were therefore not entitled to stay in the SAR. The applicants, aged between four and 54, were seeking leave for judicial review of the Director of Immigration's refusal to grant them right of abode. Their cases had already been dismissed in the Court of First Instance or rejected without a hearing. In yesterday's written judgments, Chief Judge Arthur Leong Shiu-chung, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing and Mr Justice Peter Cheung Chak-yau ruled applicants had to fulfil one of the criteria laid down in the January case. Mainlanders would qualify for right of abode if they arrived in Hong Kong before the handover and were born after at least one of their parents became a Hong Kong permanent resident. Those who produced replies to legal aid inquiries dated between December 7, 1998 and January 29, 1999, or those who received a letter dated April 24, 1998, from the security chief stating their case would be dealt with by the Immigration Department in the same way as two test cases also qualified for abode. Claimants would also benefit from the rulings if they arrived between the handover and January 29, 1999, and had lodged an abode claim. The majority of the 212 applicants were rejected because they were born before their parents became permanent residents. The judges urged the Director of Immigration to reconsider two cases, one a mother of three young children and the other Yau Yu-yuk, 32, suffering from schizophrenia. Mr Justice Cheung said the court hoped the director could exercise his discretion to make a humanitarian decision in Mr Yau's case.