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Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Scramble to renew a million expired Home Return Permits

Scramble to renew a million expired Home Return Permits

China Travel Service is looking to extend operating hours at three mainland entry permit centers to help handle about a million home return permits held by Hongkongers that expired during the past three years because of Covid pressures.
In a written reply to legislator Yang Wing-kit yesterday, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai noted that from Monday permits that expired after January 1 2020 have seen their validity extended until this December 31.

So Hongkongers can use their old permits to enter the mainland and apply for renewals at the exit and entry administration departments of Public Security Bureau at county level or above.

That will alleviate the situation of a large number of citizens waiting to renew their permits, Tsang said.

In addition, he said, China Travel Service has adopted measures to help people apply for new documents, including extending the entry permit centers' service hours from 5pm to 9.30pm in Kowloon East and New Territories East.

Also to alleviate the accumulated applications, Tsang said, CTS was exploring extending service hours of the remaining three centers and setting up temporary permit renewal centers.

And the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau and the five mainland offices of the SAR have also released information regarding renewals for Hongkongers in the mainland through online platforms.

On resuming exchange activities in the mainland for Hong Kong students, Tsang said the Education Bureau has been appealing to teachers and students in need of renewing or applying for permits to act as soon as possible.

Tsang also said the Education Bureau had coordinated with China Travel Services earlier to try to help teachers and students wanting to join a mainland study tour on citizenship and social development this month and in May, but they were unable to make appointments for applications for permits or renewals in time.

But CTS has expedited the processing of applications from students who will be taking exams or going on various exchange activities in the mainland, Tsang added.

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