The Immigration Services of the Public Security Police Force (PSP) have abided by the law in the case of the Portuguese national, resident in Shenzhen, who was stopped from entering Macau last Saturday.
The problem was the expiration date of the woman’s Portuguese passport, which according to the same local authorities, had less than three months validity.
As it is stated in Article 4 of the Administrative Regulation 38/2021 that refers to the rule stated in Number 2 of Article 20 of Law 16/2021, which regulates the matter, “on the date of entry into the MSAR (Macau Special Administrative Region), the minimum remaining validity period of the passport, travel document or other document admitted for migration control purposes must be more than the intended duration of stay in the MSAR, plus 90 days.”
Such a requirement is also noted by the Macao Government Tourism Office on their website in the section dedicated to “Entry Requirements” to Macau.
According to the law and regulation earlier mentioned, immigration authorities can “conditionally admit other documents for immigration control” in Macau such as the Exit and Entry Permit to Travel to Hong Kong and Macau issued by the mainland authorities, as well as a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, or Hong Kong Reentry Permit.
Other exceptions to the rule also include special documents held by aircraft or vessel crew members.
As the Portuguese national was not included in any of these exceptions and could not fulfill the entry requirements for passport holders at the time of her attempt to enter Macau she was not given permission to enter, as immigration authorities previously noted.
To the public broadcaster TDM, the woman had previously said that she had used the same passport to enter the neighboring region of Hong Kong on two occasions on the same day. Moreover, she was holding a receipt of her passport renewal issued by the Portuguese Consulate in Guangzhou, which was ignored by the police.
This is justified by the laws and regulations of Hong Kong, whose Immigration Department, unlike that of Macau, states on their official website that, “In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least one month after the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. However, documents issued to stateless persons must be valid for a minimum of two months after the period of intended stay,” a piece of travel advice that is also shared by the Hong Kong Tourism Board on their official webpage.
To TDM, the Portuguese woman who was denied entry complained of a lack of communication and courtesy by the local Immigration officers who, according to her statements, did not explain to her the relevant issue and the consequences that would result. She criticized also the fact that she was deprived of her passport and placed in a room for a long period before anyone from the local authorities explained to her that she had been denied entry to Macau based on passport expiry date.