Two Filipina mothers have failed in a High Court bid to have their case sent to the Court of Final Appeal. The case challenged the Immigration Department’s refusal to let them remain in Hong Kong to be with their resident children.

The two women, Milagros T. Comilang and Desiree R. Luis, who were both on Legal Aid, were also ordered by the Court of Appeal on July 24 to pay the Immigration Director’s court costs of HK$250,000 (US$31,850), the sunwebhk.com reported.

The two former domestic workers filed separate applications on June 4 to seek leave to appeal the appellate court’s decision denying them the right to remain in Hong Kong so they could look after their children, who are minors.

The former domestic workers’ visas expired in 2005 and 2006. Since then, they have made repeated applications to extend their stays so that they could take care of their children. They also applied for judicial reviews in 2014.

Gladys Li, SC, who represented the mothers, cited “great general or public importance” as the main grounds for asking for leave to appeal. She also cited international laws to support her claim that the Court of Appeal had failed to properly consider the appeal.

Through their legal counsel, the two mothers and their children raised nine questions, including whether a non-Hong Kong resident parent-caregiver and her resident child could not rely on Art 37 of the Basic Law to guarantee their enjoyment of family life in Hong Kong.

The three Court of Appeal Justices, namely Vice President Justice of Appeal Jeremy Poon, Chief Judge Andrew Cheung and Vice President Justice of Appeal Johnson Lam, answered each of the questions point by point before refusing the application.

The CA said they were not convinced any of the questions raised on behalf of the appellants were reasonably arguable, and nor did they satisfy the requirements for invoking the grounds of “general public interest”.

Read: High Court rejects Filipino mothers’ bid to stay with kids