How to Access Humanitarian Assistance for Protection Claimants

The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department (SWD) in partnership with International Social Services Hong Kong (ISS)

VIETNAM / Returnee from Hong Kong, has hairdressing business with UNHCR monitoring officer in February 1997. © UNHCR/Liba Taylor

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

STEP 1: REGISTRATION WITH SOCIAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT

IMPORTANT: Please prepare the following information before you approach the Social Welfare Department:

  • Your address (If you are staying in a guesthouse, you may mention the address of the guesthouse)
  • Your telephone number
  • Recognizance Document and/or USM Registration Confirmation Letter

1(a) You must first register with the Social Welfare Department. You may be asked to show confirmation of your USM claim. If you do not have any written confirmation, the Social Welfare Department may obtain your consent to contact the Immigration Department for verification directly. (The confirmation process may take some time).

Once confirmation has been obtained by the Social Welfare Department they will refer your case to International Social Service (ISS) via fax.

Please also see the Social Welfare Department website at: http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/

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

1(b): Please inform the SWD officer if you have serious or chronic illness and provide relevant medical documents, if any.

1(c): If you live outside of the Yau Tsim Mong District, please go to the nearest Social Welfare Department, IFSC Center near your home. Please find a list of locations attached or follow the link for a full list of locations: http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_geoinfomap/page_familymap/sub_ifscmap/

1(d): Please go to the Social Welfare Department IFSC, Yau Ma Tei Office if you:

  1. Have no permanent address, OR
  2. Staying in a guesthouse in Yau Tsim Mong District, OR
  3. Live in the Yau Tsim Mong District

Address of Social Welfare Department Yau Ma Tei IFSC
Address: 2/F, Henry G. Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre, 60 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/sSRHC5Ubgp72

Opening hours:
MON & WED: 9.00am – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 9.00pm
TUE, THU, FRI & SAT: 9.00am – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays

STEP 2: APPOINTMENT WITH INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICES

2(a): Once you are successfully registered at the Social Welfare Department, you will need to wait for International Social Services to make an appointment with you by phone. Be aware that it could take up to 6-8 weeks to hear from International Social Services. You will not have access to material assistance during this time. You will have to find ways to support yourself while you wait for assistance.

2(b): International Social Services will conduct an in-take interview with you to assess your needs and you will be required to sign a contract. If you fulfill the criteria, you will be provided with food and shelter.

2(c): If you have any queries about your case you can contact International Social Services directly:

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

International Social Services Hong Kong

Prince Edward Office

Address: 1/F, Li Po Chun Health Centre, 22 Arran Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/1v46NK5HnQB2
Tel: (+852) 3473 1500

Opening hours:
MON to FRI: 9.00am – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 6.00pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Kowloon Area office

Address: Unit 03-07, 12/F, Kwun Tong Harbour Plaza, 183 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Q6yZ94mBYoP2

New Terriorities Area office

Address: 19/F, Tuen Mun Central Square, 22 Hoi Wing Road, Tuen Mun
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/WYjn7vv29Gx

2(d): While you wait for an appointment for an in-take interview by the International Social Services, you will not have access to material assistance during this time however you may;

  1. Approach ISS for emergency food assistance once your registration at the Social Welfare Department is confirmed;
  2. Ask any friends or acquaintances if they can provide you with some accommodation or food during this time;
  3. Approach your church or mosque for moral, mental or material support;
  4. Visit Christian Action for free meals

[please note that you may need to meet with the caseworker at Christian Action first prior accessing their hot meal services]

Christian Action Chungking Mansions Service Center

Address: 16/F & 17/F, Block E, Chungking Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, Kowloon
Chinese Address: 香港九龍尖沙咀彌敦道36-44號重慶大廈16/17樓E座
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/1TmCpS5NXgo
Tel: (+852) 2723 6626
Fax: (+852) 2723 6331

Opening hours:
MON to FRI: 9.00am – 5.00pm
SAT: 10.00am – 2.00pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Free meals are provided by Christian Action:

  • Breakfast (9:30am)
  • Lunch (Monday 1pm, Tuesday- Friday 12pm)
  • Dinner (5pm) ;
  • Brunch (only available on Saturday at 11am)