How do I get a visa to visit Hong Kong?





Photo by michaelp99

If you’re a tourist to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and either don’t qualify for the visa exemption program or want to stay for longer than the exemption program allows – or if you need to go to the region for other temporary purposes, you may need one of the following visas or travel passes: Visit/Transit Visa, Working Holiday Visa, HKSAR Travel Pass, APEC Business Travel Card or Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents. 

Below, you will find information on what is needed to apply for each of these. For information on other kinds of Hong Kong visa, as well as postal addresses for visa applications, see this page.

Applicants for all HK visas should have the following:

  1. Completed visa application form
  2. One recent passport-size photograph with white or blue background
  3. Original, signed passport (with at least six months before expiration date)
  4. Photocopy of their travel document containing personal particulars, date of issue, date of expiry and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable). 
  5. For an applicant who is currently staying in Hong Kong, a photocopy of his/her travel document page containing the latest HKSAR arrival stamp/landing slip/extension-of-stay label. A Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document may submit a photocopy of his/her People’s Republic of China resident ID card.

 

Visit/Transit Visa
The Visit Visa is issued for people who wish to visit Hong Kong, but either cannot use the visa exemption program or wish to stay for a longer period than that program would allow. The Transit Visa is for those who wish to use Hong Kong as a middle point in a trip, but who are not visa-exempt.

Requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined at the beginning of this article, applicants should:

  1. Pay the visa application fee (HK$190 for the Visit Visa, HK$100 for the Transit Visa).
  2. Supply a photocopy of their travel document containing personal particulars, date of issue, date of expiry and/or details of any re-entry visa held (if applicable)
  3. Supply a photocopy of proof of their financial standing, eg. bank statements, savings accounts passbooks, tax receipts, etc, and proof of employment (if any; eg. company leave letter, salary slips, etc).
  4. Supply a photocopy of proof of transportation arrangement, eg. flight itinerary

Validity

The length of validity is at the discretion of the HK immigration office. 

Can I extend my stay on this visa?

Yes, but the length of the extension is at the discretion of the immigration office. The cost of extension is HK$190.

Can I work on this visa?

No, you can’t take up paid or unpaid employment.

 

 

Working Holiday Scheme Visa
This visa is issued to facilitate cultural and educational exchange between Hong Kong and the participating countries. Each such country has a visa quota that is renewed annually, and qualified applications are approved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participating countries and their quotas and limitations

  • Australia (5,000 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months)
  • Austria (100 visas; visitors not allowed to work for more than six months)
  • Canada (200 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months)
  • France (200 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than six months)
  • Germany (300 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months)
  • Ireland (100 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months)
  • Japan (250 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months)
  • New Zealand (400 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than three months) 
  • South Korea (500 visas; visitors not allowed to work for the same employer for more than six months) 
  • United Kingdom (1,000 visas; not allowed to work for more than 12 months)

Requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined at the beginning of this article, applicants should present:

  1. Money for the visa application fee (HK$190)
  2. A valid national passport issued by the participating country; the applicant must be ordinarily residing in that country.
  3. Aged 18-30
  4. Financial proof of having an amount sufficient for his/her maintenance during his/her proposed stay in the HKSAR, eg. bank statement, saving accounts passbooks, etc.
  5. Return air ticket or financial proof of having sufficient funds to purchase a return air ticket.

Validity

Applicants are generally given visas with 6-12-month validities, at the discretion of the immigration officer. There may be limitations on how long they can work for a single employer during that time (see above for more information).

Can I extend my stay on this visa?

No.

Can I work on this visa?

Yes, but the length of work differs for applicants from each participating country (see above).

 

 

HKSAR Travel Pass
This is issued to people who wish to apply for the HKSAR Travel Pass Scheme, which helps regular business travelers to Hong Kong to use HK resident counters when passing through customs, where available.

Requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined at the beginning of this article, applicants should:

  1. Pay the cost of the Travel Pass (HK$660).
  2. Have gone to Hong Kong for visits on three or more occasions (other than returns from side trips in the Chinese mainland or Macao) in the 12-month period immediately preceding the application.
  3. (Alternatively, the can try to convince the Director of Immigration that their visits may bring substantial benefits to the HKSAR. The Director of Immigration reserves the right not to issue a HKSAR Travel Pass even if the criteria stated above is fulfilled.)
  4. Complete the application form (ID 888, downloadable here) in Chinese or English, signed and with a recent photograph affixed to it.
  5. Nominate a referee or major business contact in the HKSAR
  6. Hand in a photocopy of their passport, showing the date of issue and expiry, and the landing slips from his/her last three visits to the HKSAR, provided they occurred within the last 12 months.

Validity

The visa is valid for three years and is good for multiple entries to the HKSAR, for a stay of two months each trip.

Can I extend this pass?

No, but you can re-apply when it expires.

Can I work on this visa?

No.

 

 

APEC Business Travel Card
This visa is issued for business travelers who possess wish to travel within the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries. When passing through customs in APEC countries, card holders are allowed to use the counters usually reserved for that country’s residents, where available.

Requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined at the beginning of this article, applicants should:

  1. Pay the cost of the Travel Card (HK$490).
  2. Hold a Hong Kong permanent identity card and a valid national passport.
  3. Have not previously been denied entry to any of the participating economies.
  4. Be a person who is engaged in the trade of goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities. This does not include entertainers, musicians, artists or people engaged in similar occupations.
  5. Have never been convicted of a criminal offence.

Validity

The card is valid for three years and good for two-to-three-month-long multiple entries to participating economies without the need for a visa

Can I extend this pass?

No, but you can re-apply when it expires.

Can I work on this visa?

No.

 

 

Pre-arrival Registration for Taiwan Residents Visa
This visa is issued for Taiwan residents who wish to apply for pre-arrival registration to visit the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)

Requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined at the beginning of this article, applicants should:

  1. Pay the cost of the visa application fee (HK$190)
  2. Have been born in Taiwan, or born outside Taiwan but have been admitted to Hong Kong as a Taiwan resident before;
  3. Not be in possession of any travel documents issued by other authorities outside Taiwan (except “Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents,” commonly known as “Tai Bao Zheng”, and Entry Permit issued by the Immigration Department of the HKSAR).
  4. Have a travel document valid for re-entry to Taiwan within at least six months.

Validity

This visa is valid for two months and good for two entries to the HKSAR, each with a stay of up to 30 days as a visitor.

Can I extend my stay on this visa?

No, but you can re-apply when it expires.

Can I work on this visa?

No. 

 

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2 Responses to How do I get a visa to visit Hong Kong?

  • My name is James Riley Johnson, may I please receive some information in applying for a Visa or what doucment is needed to go to Hong Kong and mainland China?

    My Id on Global Times is Riley 7 under Disqus and Birchwood on RT. Per business happenings, and being the person Blessed with the Copyrighted in Washiungton, D.C. first time happening in Christianity [URL removed] and other matters, I wish to visit government authorities first, so I do everything correctly. At that time I will brief them on three (3) different business projects able to employ tens of thousands of people (described in previous postings).

    I have a contact person (from New Zealand) in Hong Kong, if that will help. He is head of a company and of the most highest of integrity.

    I would be happy to go to one of your locations in the United States so you may verify my identification.

    • Hi Riley. From your mention of Washington, DC we assume that you are a US citizen. With a US passport you can enter Hong Kong without applying for a visa, and you can stay there visa-free for as long as 90 days.

      However, if you are planning to come to the Chinese mainland for business purposes, you may find yourself facing some issues. The usual visa for business purposes is the M Visa, which requires a business invitation from a company on the mainland, including their license and organization code. That means, unfortunately, that your contact in Hong Kong will not be able to invite you.

      You would also not be able to apply for an F Visa, or “Non-Commercial Visit Visa”, as this also requires an invitation letter from a mainland company or organization, and only covers visits for scientific or cultural purposes (eg. a study tour).

      Unless you can find a mainland business willing to invite you in on an M Visa, it looks like the only way for you to enter the mainland is to apply for an L Visa, or Tourist Visa. However, one of the restrictions of this visa is that you’re not supposed to use it for business purposes, so you risk being punished and ordered to leave if you do so while over here – and if you’re planning to talk to representatives of the government, that’s obviously something of a risk.

      However, all is not lost. You say that you have a huge business plan that could benefit thousands of people in China; in that case you could perhaps use your contacts to get in touch with the Chinese government from your own country. If they are interested – and the Chinese government is always looking for foreign investors – then they will be able to issue invitation letters to you directly, making the process a whole lot easier. For more information on opening a business in China, you can see this One-Stop post.

      If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

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