Before a licence is issued to an applicant, the PMSA must be satisfied that the licence applicant is a suitable person to hold the licence. Where the applicant has been convicted of any criminal offence, or is a mentally disordered person or a patient within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Mental Health Ordinance (Chapter 136), the PMSA would require the applicant to provide relevant documents and information for consideration. The relevant procedures are as follows:
- The PMSA requires the applicant to provide relevant documents and informationNote;
- After reviewing the documents and information submitted, the PMSA may require the applicant to provide further information and documents;
- The PMSA may contact relevant third parties (for example, the Hong Kong Police Force, the court, the relevant attending doctor) to obtain further information or to verify the documents or information provided;
- The case may need to be considered by the Licensing Committee of the PMSA;
- If the Licensing Committee intends not to issue a licence or to impose conditions on a licence, the applicant will be notified in writing of the relevant decision and reasons, and the applicant may provide further information within 14 days from the date of the notification letter;
- The applicant’s response to item (5):
- If the applicant provides further information within 14 days, the application will be examined by a team made up of PMSA members other than Licensing Committee members and a final decision will be made. The PMSA will notify the applicant in writing of the relevant decision and the reasons involved;
- If the applicant does not provide further information within 14 days, the PMSA will notify the applicant in writing of the decision and reasons for not issuing a licence.
The above procedures may take 3 to 6 months, subject to the complexity of the cases involved (from the day the applicant submits all the required documents and information).
Regarding item (6) mentioned above, the applicant may lodge an appeal in writing with the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs within 21 days after receiving the notification of the decision not to issue a licence to the applicant.
Note: The provision of required documents and information is voluntary. However, if the applicant does not provide the required documents and/or information, the PMSA may not be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence and will not issue a licence to the applicant on this basis.