The government’s top advisory has finished discussing the amendments to a by-law on overstayers, which raises the fines for visitors overstaying their visas from the current 200 patacas to 500 patacas per day
Leong Heng Teng, spokesperson for the Executive Council (ExCo), held a press conference Thursday to announce details of the amendments.
Leong said the new regulations will come into effect 15 days after the by-law’s promulgation. He did not say when the by-law will be promulgated.
According to official figures provided by the Public Security Police (PSP) yesterday, the number of overstayers from the mainland who were banned from entering the city stood at 4,055 last year, plus 49 from Hong Kong, 19 from Taiwan and 1,600 from elsewhere. In January the PSP recorded 440 overstayers from the mainland who have been banned from re-entering the city for 180 days, one from Hong Kong, one from Taiwan and 160 from elsewhere.
Under the amended by-law, overstayers’ re-entry ban will be extended to one year.
Addressing the press conference, Leong said the government is aware of the fact that the number of overstayers has increased in recent years. Most of them overstayed their visas for fewer than 30 days.
“To prevent visitors from overstaying, the government amended the by-law by raising the fines for overstayers in 2009 to 200 patacas per day from then 20 patacas per day,” Leong said, adding that after the measure was put in place the number of overstayers dropped by about 100,000 from 2009 to 2010.
“The number of overstayers has been increasing…from 2011 to 2013 by about 5,000 on average per year,” Leong said, adding the government found that the number of repeat overstayers rose to an average of more than five per day last year.
“Thus the government has amended the by-law to increase the fine to 500 patacas… per day,” Leong said, adding that the amendment was expected to reduce the number of overstayers and benefit the city.(macaunews/macaupost)