The Public Security Police (PSP) says they are considering a proposal to increase the detention period for people overstaying their Macau visas from 60 to 90 days.
That’s despite authorities admitting there has been a drop in crimes committed by overstayers or illegal migrants.
According to the PSP, there has been a decrease in the number of crimes committed by people overstaying their Macau visas.
Those caught with an expired visa or having entered the city illegally are usually issued immigration recognisance forms while they are waiting to be repatriated.
Those forms can be renewed but some citizens who attended TDM’s current affairs forum on Sunday say there are other loopholes within the non-resident worker system.
Despite a decrease in crimes committed by overstayers, they fear this could still pose a threat to the security of Macau residents.
“The migrant worker mechanism of Macau has loopholes. They can come here as tourists. They can look for jobs during their stay,” complained Ao Ieong Kuong Kao, president of the Macau Overseas Employment Agency Association.
“Police authorities issue immigration recognisance papers, but what usually happens is that they are nowhere to be found when it’s time to report back. Sometimes, police finds them via patrolling or random inspections,” a resident said.
“Some keep on renewing and extending them. It’s such a waste of time and legal resources for our police forces and courts,” she added.
The PSP has issued more than 200 immigration recognisance forms during the past five months.
However, that was 60 per cent lower than a year ago.
A PSP spokesperson also said that they are pondering whether to extend the detention period to 90 days.
“If it exceeds 60 days, the recognisance paper has to be issued again. It might affect social security. Due to this type of situation, we are looking into extending the detention period to 90 days,” said Chio Song Un, chief of the PSP’s Public Relations Department.
PSP says they would also discuss with mainland authorities to enhance repatriation procedures for Chinese citizens, which account for most of the visa overstayers.