The Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2020 is expected to come into effect on 1 August 2021.
There are 3 important changes:
- Currently, employers are subject to a maximum fine of HKD350,000 and 3 years’ imprisonment if they employ individuals not lawfully employable under section 17I of the Immigration Ordinance. From 1st August 2021 the penalties are increased to a maximum fine of HKD500,000 and 10 years’ imprisonment in relation to the employment of “prohibited employees”.
- The definition of “prohibitedemployees” under section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance has been expanded to include over-stayers.
- If it is proved that the offence of employing those not lawfully employable was committed with the consent or connivance of, or was attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a body corporate or a partner in a partnership, such persons will be considered to also have committed the offence.
These amendments to the Immigration Ordinance therefore widen the scope of those who can be prosecuted, the scope of prohibited employees, and make the potential penalties harsher for those convicted of an offence under section 17I of the Ordinance.