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Immigration Department

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To keep pace with the global trend of information technology, the Immigration Department (ImmD) has launched a number of e-schemes to boost its services with a view to reducing significantly the processing time for immigration clearance and application for personal documentation. Though under resource constraint, the schemes were rolled out in strategic phases and delivered with emphasis on people-oriented service culture, bringing great convenience to the public and travelers.

Gradual Development Beyond Core Schemes

Mrs CHUI CHAN Wai-kuen, Assistant Principal Immigration Officer (Service Support and Public Relations), said, "With the issuance of smart identity card in 2003, starting from 2004, the ImmD has gradually implemented the Passenger e-Channels, Vehicular e-Channels, e-Channels for Cross-boundary Primary School Students, Frequent Visitor e-Channels and Express e-Channels to facilitate immigration clearance. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Electronic Passport (e-Passport) later introduced provides the residents with greater convenience when travelling aboard. The e-Passport System has also been extended to cover the application for other documents. Furthermore, to tie in with the Application and Investigation Easy System fully implemented in late 2008, more one-stop e-Services will be rolled out to provide the public with diversified means of application."

In March 2009, the ImmD introduced the pilot scheme on Express e-Channel at the Lo Wu Control Point. The Express e-Channels only take 8 seconds to complete immigration clearance, 4 seconds faster than the traditional e-Channels. As a government department with close contact with the public, the ImmD is keen on applying information technology and other advanced technologies in order to enhance its performance and provide quality services to the community.

Flexibility in Management for Service Enhancement

With a people-oriented service culture, the ImmD attends to the views of its staff and the public from time to time in order to make enhancement. Mrs HO TSE Bing-yee, Chief Immigration Officer (Communications and Public Affairs), remarked that, "Allowing our colleagues to enjoy some degree of flexibility within the framework of the established workflow is conducive to smoother operation. For instance, within the resources permitted, our staff in the Registration of Persons Division will take several photos of an applicant as choice of his identity card photo." The flexibility in management, coupled with the training and care given by the department helps motivate the staff to devote themselves to work.

Mr CHAN Hon-ming, Senior Immigration Officer (Service Support), said, "We analyse the system data and behavioural patterns of the public with a view to continuously enhancing our services. For example, following the roll out of the mock e-Channels in 2004, we set up mock e-Channels for vehicles and invited representatives from the transport sector to give it a try so as to collect feedback from users. In various publicity events, we encourage the public to experience our new systems, such as the 'Easy Send' self-service kiosk for HKSAR e-Passport applications."

Mrs CHUI CHAN Wai-kuen, Assistant Principal Immigration Officer (Service Support and Public Relations) (middle), pointed out that the services were implemented in an orderly manner, beginning with core schemes. To the left is Mrs HO TSE Bing-yee, Chief Immigration Officer (Communications and Public Affairs) and to the right, Mr CHAN Hon-ming, Senior Immigration Officer (Service Support).
The HKSAR e-Passport that adopts the "biometrics technology" has won critical international acclaim.
It takes 12 seconds for the traditional e-Channels to complete immigration clearance, while the Express e-Channels further shorten it to 8 seconds.
The ImmD is committed to providing its staff with diversified professional training to ensure that they are adequately equipped to cope with the challenges ahead.