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Govt reveals ‘no money, no entry’ rules for visitors

2021-11-09 03:51     Comment:0

From next Monday visitors will be required to hold means of subsistence equivalent to at least 5,000 patacas when entering Macau for an intended stay of up to seven days, while those planning to stay for over 21 days will have to hold at least 20,000 patacas, according to a chief executive order published in the Official Gazette (BO) yesterday.

The executive order, which will take effect on November 15, was signed by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng on October 29.

According to the new immigration, stay and residency law, which also will take effect on Monday, non-locals failing to prove that they are holding the level of means of subsistence sufficient for the intended length of their stay in Macau can be refused entry by immigration officers.

The new immigration, stay and residency law, the bill of which was passed by the Legislative Assembly (AL) in August after the passage of its outline early this year, will replace the two existing immigration laws that were enacted in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

The 2003 law specifies the general principles and rules for immigration and non-locals’ stay and residency matters, while the 2004 law lists the rules concerning illegal immigration, overstaying and deportation. Both laws will remain in force until Sunday – i.e., before the new immigration law takes effect on Monday.

Macau’s immigration service is run by the Public Security Police (PSP).

The current 2003 immigration law states that visitors who are not holding the level of means of subsistence sufficient for the intended length of their stay in Macau can be refused entry by immigration officers.

Currently, non-locals entering Macau are required to be holding at least 5,000 patacas, otherwise immigration officers can bar them from entering the city, but without depending on the number of days of their intended stay.

Addressing a special press conference yesterday about the new requirements for non-locals entering Macau, PSP representatives said that after the new requirements take effect, immigration officers will not check every non-local arrival’s financial resources he or she is holding, and instead the immigration officers will normally choose certain target groups of visitors for their financial resource assessments, adding that this is similar to the current practice.

The new immigration law stipulates that the details about the requirement for non-locals entering Macau to prove that they are holding the sufficient level of means of subsistence are to be laid out by a chief executive order.

Yesterday’s chief executive order states that non-Macau residents aged 18 or over entering Macau should be ready to prove that they are holding financial resources sufficient for themselves and their accompanying family members during their intended stay here, particularly for food, accommodation and medical care. According to the chief executive order, the required financial resources can be in cash and other forms of financial means such as travellers’ cheques, and money stored in electronic wallets or other electronic payment methods recognised by the Macau government.


Amounts for different lengths of stay

According to yesterday’s chief executive order, those intending to stay in Macau for up to seven days are required to hold financial resources equivalent to at least 5,000 patacas, while those intending to stay for between over seven days and no more than 14 days are required to hold at least 10,000 patacas.

According to the order, those intending to stay in Macau for between 14 days and 21 days are required to hold at least 15,000 patacas, while those planning to stay more than 21 days are required to have at least 20,000 patacas.

According to the chief executive order, each of the respective accompanying family members is required to be supported by financial resources that are equivalent to 80 percent of the basic pecuniary requirement. 

During yesterday’s press conference, Wong Kei Fong, acting chief of the Land Checkpoint Division of the Immigration Department of the Public Security Police, said that visitors entering Macau for tourism purposes, including casino gambling and visiting relatives, normally will not have to report their financial resources to immigration officers, similar to the current practice.

Wong underlined that immigration officers’ assessments on visitors’ means of subsistence are not carried out on a general basis, meaning that the officers do not and will not check every visitor’s condition of his or her financial resources they are holding upon arrival in Macau. Instead, according to Wong, immigration officers have normally chosen to check certain target groups of visitors, such as those arriving in Macau at certain times or those coming from certain countries and regions. Wong said that this way of assessing visitors will remain similar after the new requirements take effect on Monday next week.

Wong also noted that currently immigration officers require certain visitors to prove that they have sufficient financial resources for their intended stay in Macau by cash only, reaffirming that from next Monday visitors can choose to prove their financial situation by various other non-cash forms, such as e-wallets and e-payment platforms. 


Wong Chio Man (left), acting chief of the Public Security Police’s (PSP) Residency and Stay Department, and Wong Kei Fong, acting chief of the PSP Immigration Department’s Land Checkpoint Division, address yesterday’s press conference at a PSP pressroom in Zape about the government’s new immigration rules that will come into force next Monday. Photo: Camy Tam

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