Lawyer calls for immigration officials to clarify policy on abode Immigration officials have been urged to clarify their policy after two children of a long-time Filipino domestic helper were granted right of abode. Hong Kong-born Dariel Domingo, 13, and his sister, Darlene, 11 - who study at local schools, speak Cantonese and read and write Chinese - were granted right of abode on February 3. The children are due to collect their Hong Kong permanent identity cards tomorrow. Mark Daly, a human rights lawyer who helped the children, said: 'What is unusual is the children being granted [right of abode] and the parents not having it.' Mr Daly said his office had written to the Immigration Department 'to just confirm the basis on which they were granted right of abode'. 'Because of the potential importance of the matter ... I think it is an important development but we will try to find out exactly the basis of the decision,' he said. The children's father, Daniel Domingo, 45, said immigration officials had rejected their application for right of abode in 2004. Last year, Mr Domingo sought advice from the Wan Chai District Council office, which suggested the family seek redress from the Registration of Person's Tribunal. He appealed to the Immigration Department at the same time. On February 2 he received the call he had been waiting for. The next day when he and his children went to the Immigration Department they were handed two separate letters establishing Dariel and Darlene's claims to right of abode. The case could have a major impact on other non-Chinese, Hong Kong-born children of foreign domestic helpers who live in the city with their parents. By extension, it could also test the law that excludes foreign domestic helpers from permanent residency regardless of how long they have lived in the city. Foreign domestic helpers are 'not treated as ordinarily resident in Hong Kong' during the time they remain in the city, according to the Immigration Department's right of abode regulations. When asked about the Domingo children, the department said it could not comment on individual cases. While it said about 129,000 non-Chinese citizens had been granted right of abode in Hong Kong between July 1997 and last month, it did not have a breakdown by age or nationality. The Security Bureau said: 'There is no change in the policy regarding the right of abode in the HKSAR.' Among those people who can enjoy permanent residency are non-Chinese nationals who have entered Hong Kong with a valid travel document, have 'ordinarily resided' in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years, and who have taken Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence before or after the establishment of the special administrative region.