Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. 372/96-97

Ref: PLC/BC/06

Paper for the House Committee
Meeting on 7 June 1997

Legal Adviser ' s Report on the
Immigration (Amendment)(No.3) Bill 1997

Object of the Bill

To implement by local legislation Article 24 of the Basic Law relating to permanent residents with the right of abode in Hong Kong.

Provisional Legislative Council Brief Reference

2. Brief issued by the Chief Executive ' s Office on 5 June 1997.

Date of First Reading

3. 7 June 1997.


4.The Basic Law redefines "permanent resident" in its Article 24. The definition is important because a permanent resident carries with him the right of abode in Hong Kong after 1 July 1997.

5.As a constitutional provision, Article 24 merely sets out the fundamental criteria for a person to be classified as a permanent resident. He has to belong to one of six categories of persons (paragraph 4(a) to (f) and Annex B of the Brief).

6.On 13 April 1997, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office provided more details on the manner of implementing Article 24 (Annex C of the Brief).

7.These principles and details are now incorporated in the Bill and provide a statutory framework for the determination of a person ' s permanent resident status.

8.Some key concepts such as " Chinese citizenship" , "settled" , "ordinarily resident" , "parent and child" , the manner of establishing permanent residence and transitional arrangements are set out in the Bill as an integral part of the framework.

9.The Bill concerns every person who wishes to enter into, stay in or return to Hong Kong as well as the right of their children. It is important to understand and assess how their right will be affected and how the provisions will be implemented.


10.The legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are being scrutinised in detail. However, in the light of its importance and urgency, it is recommended that a Bills Committee be formed as soon as possible.

Prepared by

CHEUNG Ping-kam, Arthur
Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
5 June 1997