The number of illegal immigrants in Hong Kong who are not Chinese has dropped by half this year. Photo: Immigration Department

The number of illegal immigrants who are not ethnic Chinese dropped to 551 in the first seven months of this year.

On average, 79 non-Chinese came to Hong Kong illegally each month, 57% less than the average of 185 non-Chinese illegal immigrants recorded monthly in 2016, Oriental Daily reported, citing figures from the Immigration Department.

Over the past seven months, 67% of the 551 illegal immigrants came from Vietnam and 13% were from Pakistan.

As of June 30, there were 8,205 non-refoulement claims that required screening by the authorities, a drop of 1,800 claims from the end of 2016. Meanwhile, 1,128 new cases were recorded during the first six months of this year.

Most of the people claiming refugee status or seeking asylum come from India, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Some 70% of them are men and aged from 31 to 40, the Immigration Department’s figures showed.