Hong Kong travel documents office in Wan Chai to close as Immigration Department headquarters moves to Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories

  • The change will mean the sole travel documents office on Hong Kong Island will be in Central's Harbour Building
  • Department officials say extra automatic machines for travel document applications and collection will be added in Tseung Kwan O and Central offices

People in Hong Kong Island will have only one office that issues passports and other travel documents from next month after the government moves the service from its Wan Chai office to a new one in Tseung Kwan O.

The change, part of a plan to transfer the Immigration Department's headquarters from Wan Chai to Tseung Kwan O, will leave the Travel Documents Issuing Office in Central's Harbour Building as the sole travel documents issuer on the island.

There are six other passport issuing centres, which also deal with identity documents for visas and re-entry permits, spread around the city, in East Kowloon, West Kowloon, Sha Tin, Ho Tan, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long.

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The department said that more automatic machines for travel document applications and collection will be added to the Tseung Kwan O and Central offices to cope with an expected rise in demand.

hong kong travel documents office in wan chai to close as immigration department headquarters moves to tseung kwan o in the new territories

Immigration Tower in Wan Chai, to be vacated by the department that bears it name when it moves its headquarters to the New Territories in June. Photo: Fung Chang

Kung Kwok-leung, an assistant principal immigration officer for documents, added about 11,000 passports and other travel documents already applied for through the Wan Chai office will have to be collected from the Central and Tseung Kwan O offices.

"We expect that rising demand will be logged in both the Central and Tseung Kwan O offices," he said.

"We will closely monitor and review the service at the two venues to decide whether we need additional personnel there."

The department will move its headquarters from the Immigration Tower to Tseung Kwan O on June 11.

The Travel Documents and Nationality (Application) and the Travel Documents (Issue) sections, at present on the Immigration Tower's fourth floor, will move to the new office on the same day.

The Central office will have 10 machines in service by June 11, eight more than before, and the Tseung Kwan O office will have 20 machines which the public can use to apply for and collect documents.

The new immigration building in Tseung Kwan O will also take over from the Kwun Tong Registration of Persons Office, which will close on June 8.

Wong Ka-yee, an assistant principal immigration officer, said, by May 7, there were 3,800 issued identity cards available for collection at the Kwun Tong office.

People who have applied for Hong Kong identity cards through the Kwun Tong office can visit a temporary pickup point next to the office for collection.

The temporary facility, which opened in November to help reduce months-long waiting times for replacement ID cards, is expected to remain open until the third quarter of next year.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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