Regarding the recent rumours in social media groups that the Immigration Department (ImmD) has updated the policy of non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents, ImmD today (March 12) issued the following clarification:
Since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on July 1, 1997, according to paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance, a HKSAR permanent resident (“HKPR”) who is not of Chinese nationality will lose his/her HKPR status if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 36 months since he/she ceased to have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong.
As for a HKPR of Chinese nationality, he/she will still be regarded as a Chinese citizen unless he/she has applied for and being approved the renunciation of Chinese nationality/declaration of change of nationality by ImmD. He/she will not lose his/her HKPR status even if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for long periods.
ImmD reiterated that the relevant ordinance has been enacted on July 1, 1997 with no subsequent changes. The rumours are misleading and thus clarified as above.