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Foreign domestic workers must get new HKID cards

01 November 2018

Foreign domestic workers are among those required to apply for a new Hong Kong identification card as part of the Immigration Department’s plan to start introducing new smart cards starting Dec 27 this year.

An Immigration spokesperson said the replacement process will cover all 8.8 million residents in the city, including foreign domestic workers.

“Every cardholder in Hong Kong must apply for the new smart card during the designated application period for her birth group,” she said, in response to an emailed query from The SUN.

Those who don’t show up for the appointed period risk a $5,000 fine.

The new HKID.
Immigration says the existing IDs issued in 2003-2007 have outlived their optimum 10-year serviceable lifespan and will gradually become more susceptible to damage and malfunction, thus the plan to replace them.

The replacement program is expected to be completed in four years. Law enforcement and government officials will be the first to have their ID cards replaced beginning Dec. 27.

They will be followed by residents (including FDWs) born in 1985 or 1986, who should apply for the replacement between Jan 21 and Mar 30 next year.

This is the first group that was first issued the existing cards in the 2003 replacement exercise, thus their cards are the most vulnerable.

All cardholders can make an appointment online and fill in the form in advance starting Oct 29.

Applicants must show up within the designated period. If they are not in Hong Kong when their age group is called for ID card replacement, they can apply within 30 days of their return to the city.

If they fail to apply for the new HKID within the appointed period without a valid reason, they could be deemed as having violated the law, and face a maximum fine of HK$5,000, the Immigration Department said.

The new ID card features enhanced security, built-in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and higher-resolution photographs to support facial recognition. It will be pink, light blue and light green in color, with a photo of the card holder on the left and a small stereo laser image of the portrait on the right.

Nine replacement centers set up across Hong Kong and equipped with self-service registration and collection kiosks will be become operational on Dec 27.

The Immigration Department said applicants will not take 30 minutes to complete the process if they register at a self-service kiosk for the new smart ID card. Their new ID card will be ready within 10 working days.

Under the Registration of Persons Ordinance, all Hong Kong residents aged 11 or over –including those allowed to stay here for more than 180 days – must register for an ID card.

Individuals who apply for an ID card from Nov 26 will get the new smart card, as will those who need a replacement for a lost or damaged card. New arrivals, children who have reached the age of 11, and youth who have turned 18 will also get the new card.

Those exempted are travelers in transit through Hong Kong or persons permitted to stay for not more than 180 days; children of consuls aged under 11, consular staff and the head and members of the Office of the Commission of the European Communities in Hong Kong; children aged under 11, except for children of permanent residents who need to apply for permanent IDs in connection with their applications for HKSAR passports.

The aged, the blind and the infirm who have been exempted from registering for an ID card by the Commissioner of Registration are also exempted or excluded.

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