Passport, Visa & Permits to Hong Kong


Hong Kong has kept its unique status gained under British rule and as such is different than China. For citizens of the US, Canada, Europe, New-Zealand and Australia no visa is required for Hong Kong for a period less than 3 months but be aware that you can go to China from Hong Kong and will need one there. For UK citizens, the period is 6 months, while for citizens of South Africa the maximum period of stay without a visa is 1 month.

If you are from France you will need a visa if you wish to study, undertake any kind of training (such as an internship), or if you work or carry out any kind of commercial activity. If you are unsure of which category you fall into then you should call the Chinese Embassy or Consulate or alternatively you could contact the Hong Kong immigration department directly at:

Hong Kong Immigration Department

Immigration Tower
7, Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tél.: (852) 28 24 61 11
Fax: (852) 28 77 77 11

You can get a visa in HK itself and for an extra fee you can even get your visa in 2 days if necessary but it’s better to do it before you leave your home country. Staff in the embassies and consulates are efficient and speak English.

As usual, be aware that in all cases your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months after your return date from Hong Kong.
Note that there is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Travel Pass which is available to frequent business travellers with a valid passport. Ask the HK immigration department for more details.

For a list of Chinese embassies and consulates click here and to check of you are from a country requiring a visa click here.


For a complete list of the different types of visa, click here whether you wish to study, work or train in Hong Kong.

Here are the different types of visas:

  • Tourist and Transit Visa
    Most nationals do not need a visa for tourism or transit except if they want to stay longer than 3 months (or 6 months for UK citizens).
    Persons from a few countries are required to obtain visas anyway and here is the list:
    countries that were once part of the USSR except Russia, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (Zaire), Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Grenada, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Vietnam.
  • Professional Employment and Investment visa
    In order to get a work visa for Hong Kong, you can use two types of approaches: either with the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme" and the "Capital Investment Entrant Scheme" which is more to work/invest in Hong Kong.
  • Working Holiday
    Only for young people (from 18 to 30) and from certain countries which are Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany, as there exist a bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and one of the countries. Not easy to get then!
  • Training and study visas
    Only for people who are students or from people who have been sent to Hong Kong by their company for a specific training!
  • Dependants
    Hong Kong residents and persons who are professionals or to study can usually have dependants and dependants are a spouse, a child under 18 years, or a parent over 60. Dependants are permitted to seek employment.

The forms and a guide to the regulations (which includes a checklist of what you must submit) can be downloaded from


Hong Kong is quite particular for citizenship as it delivers a right of abode rather than a citizenship. Hong Kong has always had this peculiarity and the handover to China has not change this rule. The Immigration Department should be able to tell you if you are entitled to the right of abode for Hong Kong.

Update 8/04/2010


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