British consular official for Hong Kong and Macau, Patrick Turner, and the Honorary British Consul for Macau, Glenn McCartney, hosted a consular briefing event in Taipa last night to discuss services offered to British nationals living in the two special administrative regions.
The representatives of the British government gave a presentation about accessing UK government services in Hong Kong and Macau, and updated attendees on specific consular services.
The consulate can offer assistance if British residents are hospitalized, a victim of crime, arrested or detained, destitute or otherwise distressed.
According to McCartney, the number of British nationals living in Macau is continuing to grow. It recently reached the 1,000 mark, he estimated, including both residents and non-resident workers and their respective dependencies. This marks a fourfold increase since the time of the 1999 handover, when around 250 Brits were thought to live in Macau.
Jesting, British Consul Turner congratulated his compatriots for having kept a clean record with police authorities for six or seven years. “Nobody [British nationals] has been arrested in Macau for about six or seven years now… You’ve all been very well behaved.”
In 2016, more than 61,000 British nationals visited Macau, and most visits were trouble-free, according to the British Foreign Office. However, two people were recently deported for overstaying their visas.
The diplomat also drew attention to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office webpage for Macau, as well as an online tropical storm monitoring tool.
Aside from meeting with British nationals living in the MSAR, Turner used the opportunity of his visit to the city to speak with police and registrar officials in an attempt to “streamline some procedures.” It is not clear whether any result has come out of the meetings.
This week, the British Consulate confirmed with Macau’s Identification Services Bureau that MSAR passport holders are now eligible to join the UK’s Registered Traveller Service (RTS), permitting them to enter and exit the UK using either the e-passport gates or the UK/EU entry lane.
The relaxed regulations are expected to expedite travelers’ clearance through British immigration checks at certain airports.