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Unified Screening Mechanism


On 25 March 2013, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) found that the Director of Immigration has a duty to screen non-refoulement claims on grounds of, amongst other things, persecution risk (drawing reference to the principle of non-refoulement in Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention) before execution of removal / deportation of the claimant from Hong Kong to another country of putative persecution.

The HKSARG launched unified screening mechanism (USM) to screen non-refoulement claims on 3 March 2014.

The USM is operated by the Government, not UNHCR. Upon the commencement of the USM the UNHCR ceased its asylum screening procedures in Hong Kong.

Should you wish to seek non-refoulement protection, you should make a formal written notification to this effect to the Torture Claim Assessment Section of the Hong Kong Immigration Department directly at Unit 903B-910A, 9/F, Skyline Tower, 39 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon.

Although UNHCR in Hong Kong is no longer conducting refugee status determination, it maintains open dialogue with Hong Kong authorities and advocates on behalf of refugees on their rights and continuing needs, seeking to improve the quality of protection available in compliance with the territory’s human rights obligations.

For refugees, UNHCR remains committed to its mandate to provide protection and seek durable solutions for all recognized refugees.

For further information on the USM, please refer to USM Procedures.

For more information on the USM procedures,  please refer to: by the Immigration Department of Hong Kong SAR.

For more information on the changes please refer to the corresponding FAQ section by clicking here.

Useful Links

Link to Our Work in Hong Kong 



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.