Humanitarian Assistance

Currently, the assistance package includes accommodation, food, toiletries, and petty cash for some travelling expenses. Protection claimants and refugees also have access to the public health care system.

Myanmar refugees participating in the MOI-UNHCR verification exercise at Tham Hin Camp, Ratchaburi Province Thailand 30 April 2015. © UNHCR/Roger Arnold

UNHCR does not provide financial assistance to refugees or protection claimants. The Government of the Hong Kong SAR has made humanitarian assistance available to protection claimants and refugees.

The Hong Kong authorities however require that you already hold a recognizance document before they will consider offering you any assistance. Please approach the HKSAR Immigration Department to “surrender” voluntarily. The authorities will conduct an investigation during which you may be detained. After an investigation into your identity, how you came to Hong Kong, and what identity documents you used to come to Hong Kong you are likely to be issued with a Recognizance Document by the HK authorities pursuant to the HKSAR Immigration Ordinance, and released. The outcome and duration of each investigation is uncertain.

If you have a passport it will be retained by the Immigration Department.
A Recognizance document is not a visa and simply provides you with conditional release from detention pending resolution of your case. The Recognizance document does not legalize your stay in Hong Kong and does not confer any rights on you. The Recognizance document also requires you to report to the immigration authorities on a periodic basis.

If you require assistance on accommodation, food and medical treatment, please approach the nearest Social Welfare Department of the Hong Kong Government with your recognizance document. Currently the basic (livelihood) needs of refugees and protection claimants (including accommodation) are coordinated and carried out through the implementing agency, International Social Services Hong Kong Branch (ISS). After you register with the Social Welfare Department you will be asked to wait for an intake interview with the ISS. It may be several weeks before you are interviewed by ISS for a needs assessment. You will not have access to the government assistance package during this time.

Currently, the assistance package includes accommodation, food, toiletries, and petty cash for some travelling expenses. Protection claimants and refugees also have access to the public health care system.

For more information on how to access humanitarian assistance, please click here;

For more information about medical assistance, please click here;

For more information on the location and contact details of the Social Welfare Department, please click here;

For more information on the location and contact details for the International Social Service Hong Kong Branch, please click here.