The Court of Final Appeal granted leave on Thursday to two non-resident Filipina mothers to question the decision made by the Immigration Director for refusing their stays in Hong Kong.
After suffering initial setbacks at both the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal, the Court of Final Appeal, through Justices Roberto Ribeiro, Joseph Fok and Frank Stock, granted leave after deciding that the case involved an issue of “great general and public importance,” sunwebhk.com reported.
The case, which is set to be heard in the High Court on February 28 next year, raised the issue of whether a non-resident parent of a minor child with the right of abode in Hong Kong could be allowed to remain in the territories.
The cases involved two families – Milagros T Comilang, who has been fighting for her right to remain in the city with her now 12-year-old daughter Zahra since 2007, and Desiree R Luis, who has three sons and started her case in 2012.
The applicants raised the question of whether the Immigration Director was obliged by law to take into account the rights of the children when deciding whether their parents with no right of abode should be allowed to remain in Hong Kong.
A final decision on the case could impact thousands of children born in Hong Kong to parents who are mostly foreign domestic workers, or those who have overstayed their visas but are allowed to remain either to pursue an asylum application or for other reasons.