Travelling with peace of mind
Immigration Department - Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit

Exemplary Services@Gov
2011

Protecting water resources for the future

"Home, sweet home!" "There's no place like home." While far from the safety and security of home, travellers abroad frequently experience a variety of difficult situations ranging from losing travel documents to natural disasters. Hong Kongers can always seek help by calling the Immigration Department's Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit (AHU) 24-hour hotline at "1868".

Round-the-clock services

In addition to handling day-to-day enquiries, AHU also provides immediate assistance in major incidents outside Hong Kong.

In August last year, AHU deployed its emergency services in the hostage-taking incident in Manila.

"AHU was notified of the incident around 11am on the day of the incident and immediately sent three team members to Manila to assess the situation and provide all feasible assistance", said Ms Stephanie Shiu, Senior Immigration Officer, who was involved in the Manila Hostage Incident operation. After assessing the situation, a second team was deployed to Manila along with the family members of those who suffered injuries and passed away during the incident to provide all practicable assistance.

At the Command Centre, team members worked non-stop to liaise and coordinate with various parties including the officials of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Philippines, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in HKSAR, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, travel agencies and insurance companies, etc. "Thanks to their efforts, those injured in the attack were brought back home, while the bodies of the deceased were flown back to Hong Kong swiftly ," said Ms Stephanie Shiu.

"Our team works 24/7," said Mrs Margaret Choi, Chief Immigration Officer, who is always on her Blackberry. "Crises always creep up out of nowhere, so we need to stay alert all the time and get first-hand information by closely monitoring breaking news online and on global newswires."

Travel safe and stay up-to-date with ROTI

The Immigration Department launched the Registration of Outbound Travel Information (ROTI) service starting December 2010, which allows Hong Kong residents to register online their personal information, travel itinerary and contact details under the MyGovHK. With this information, AHU can also assess the number of Hong Kongers affected by a crisis and ensure effective deployment of resources. In an emergency, AHU will also make use of the information to reach the registrants and provide immediate assistance.

More than 3,000 residents have already registered for ROTI and the service has proven to be a success. During the Moscow Airport bombing, the political unrest in Middle-Eastern countries, and the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, AHU made use of the registered information in ROTI to contact the registrants or send out outbound travel alerts to registrants directly through telephone, e-mail and SMS.

With the Outbound Travel Alerts and emergency services, Hong Kongers can travel around the world safely and happily.

AHU works 24/7 to provide immediate assistance to Hong Kongers.
AHU works 24/7 to provide immediate assistance to Hong Kongers.
1868 Call Centre.
1868 Call Centre.
The new ROTI service was launched in December 2010.
The new ROTI service was launched in December 2010.