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Arrangement for Entry to Hong Kong from Mainland China

Preamble

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Article 22(4) of the Basic Law of the HKSAR provides that:

"For entry into the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, people from other parts of China must apply for approval. Among them, the number of persons who enter the Region for the purpose of settlement shall be determined by the competent authorities of the Central People's Government after consulting the government of the Region."

Settlement

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According to Article 22 of the Basic Law, people from other parts of China for entry into Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must apply for approval. Mainland residents who wish to settle in Hong Kong must apply for One-way Permits (OWPs) from the Public Security Bureau Offices where their household registrations are kept.

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Of the daily OWP quota of 150 places, 60 places are allocated to children holding Certificate of Entitlement (CoE) who enjoy the right of abode in Hong Kong, 30 to spouses separated for 10 years or more (long separated spouses) and their accompanying children, and 60 to applicants belonging to other categories. Included under other categories are spouses separated for less than 10 years and their accompanying children, unsupported children who need to join their relatives in Hong Kong, persons coming to Hong Kong to take care of their unsupported aged parents (i.e. those with no other children in Hong Kong) and unsupported elderly people coming to join relatives in Hong Kong.

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The process and issue of OWPs are administered by Mainland authorities in accordance with Mainland laws, policies and regulations.

Official Visits

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Mainland officials and personnel who wish to enter Hong Kong for visit are required to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao for official purposes and an appropriate endorsement relating to the purpose of entry at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.

Private Visits

Visit relatives

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Mainland residents who wish to visit their relatives in Hong Kong are required to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao with an "endorsement for visiting relatives (Tanqing)" from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office.

Group tours

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Mainland residents who wish to come here for sightseeing may join the group tours organized by designated Mainland tour companies. Group tour members need to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and an "endorsement for group visit (Tuandui Luyou)" issued by the Public Security Bureau Office. As group tour visitors, they must arrive and depart together as a group.

Individual visits

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Mainland residents from Guangdong Province and 28 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Taizhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Jinan, Shenyang, Dalian, Nanchang, Changsha, Nanning, Haikou, Guiyang, Kunming, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Changchun, Hefei and Wuhan who wish to come here for sightseeing purpose in individual capacity are required to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and an "endorsement for individual visit (Geren Luyou)" from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office.

Business visits

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Mainland residents who wish to make business trips to Hong Kong in their private capacity are required to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and an "endorsement for business visit (Shangwu)" from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office. (Click here for "Notice to Mainland Residents holding Business Visit Endorsement")

Other purposes of visit

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Mainland residents who wish to enter Hong Kong as a visitor for other purposes such as treating an illness, attending a funeral or participating in proceedings etc are required to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and an "endorsement for other purposes (Qita)" from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office.

Side Trips

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Under current arrangements, Mainland residents who wish to visit Hong Kong are required to obtain an "Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao" (EEP) and an appropriate exit endorsement from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office. In general, a Mainland resident who is in possession of a valid EEP bearing a valid exit endorsement may be landed in Hong Kong as a visitor, with a limit of stay in accordance with the exit endorsement, provided that normal immigration requirements are met. The number of journeys to Hong Kong will be stated in the exit endorsement, i.e. single-journey, double-journey or multiple-journey.

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To facilitate those EEP holders who may take side trips to neighbouring places (e.g. Macao * or the high seas) and return to the Mainland via Hong Kong, the Immigration Department has implemented the following procedures:

  1. if an EEP holder travelling with a single-journey or double-journeys exit endorsement enters Hong Kong again after a side trip before the expiry of the limit of stay previously imposed, he/she will be given permission to land with the same limit of stay as that given in the previous trip, provided that normal immigration requirements are met (e.g. if the limit of stay previously imposed is until 8 May and the EEP holder enters Hong Kong again on 4 May, he / she may be landed until 8 May); or
  2. if an EEP holder travelling with a single-journey or double-journeys exit endorsement enters Hong Kong again after a side trip on the last day of the limit of stay previously imposed, he/she will be given permission to land for one more day to facilitate his/her return trip to the Mainland, provided that normal immigration requirements are met (taking the above example, if the EEP holder enters Hong Kong again on 8 May, he/she may be landed until 9 May); or
  3. if an EEP holder travelling with a multiple exit endorsement (except "Tanqin" exit endorsement valid for 3 months) enters Hong Kong again after a side trip, he/she will be given permission to land with the limit of stay as specified on the multiple exit endorsement, provided that normal immigration requirements are met (e.g. if the EEP holder travelling with a multiple exit endorsement for Individual Visit, he/she may be granted a fresh landing of 7 days again after the side trip).

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There is no limit on the number of side trips that an EEP holder can make. A journey to Hong Kong specified on the exit endorsement will be treated as completed when the EEP holder returns to the Mainland.

* With effect from 1-9-2008, Mainland residents travelling on 'Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to Hong Kong and Macao' without an exit endorsement for Macao will not be permitted to enter Macao from Hong Kong by the Macao Authorities.

Transit

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Chinese passport holders who are in transit through Hong Kong to and from another country or territory may be granted a stay of seven days on each landing without the prior need to obtain an entry permit provided that usual immigration requirements are met, including possession of valid entry facilities for the destination and confirmed onward booking for the overseas journey.

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If a Mainland resident is in possession of both valid EEP and Chinese passport, he/she may, upon his/her entry into Hong Kong and in accordance with his/her purpose of visit, produce his/her EEP or Chinese passport (except arriving from Macao and via Hong Kong to the Mainland) for entry into Hong Kong.

Employment in Hong Kong

State employees

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State employees who come to work for state-owned or joint-venture enterprises/organisations in Hong Kong should obtain an employment endorsement through the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office or designated Foreign Affairs Offices in provinces and cities.

Imported workers

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For Mainland workers wishing to come to work in Hong Kong under Supplementary Labour Scheme, applications must be submitted through employers granted with the approval-in-principle to import workers to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Direct applications by the candidates are not accepted. Candidates and their employers should complete application form ID 1001A and ID 1001B respectively. For detailed information, please refer to the pamphlet 'How to apply under Supplementary Labour Scheme' published by the Labour Department and 'Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Imported Workers in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 1002 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 1002 (English version)] published by the Immigration Department.

Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals

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The Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (the Scheme) is implemented with effect from 15 July 2003. Mainland residents (the candidates) who wish to work in Hong Kong under the Scheme should complete application forms ID 990A and ID 990B. Applications must be submitted by the candidates' employers who should be registered companies in Hong Kong. Direct applications by the candidates will not be accepted. Mainland residents visiting Hong Kong may not request for prolonging their limit of stay on grounds of having submitted applications under the Scheme. The Immigration Department will issue employment entry permits which should be collected by the employers in Hong Kong for onward transmission to the successful candidates. Candidates should apply for Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau Office where their household registrations are kept. For detailed information on the Scheme, please refer to 'Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 991 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 991 (English version)].

Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates

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Mainland residents who are/were non-local students Note 1 and have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited local programme Note 2 in Hong Kong may apply to stay/return and work in Hong Kong under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates. Applicants who submit applications within six months after the date of their graduation (i.e. the date shown on their graduation certificates) are classified as non-local fresh graduates and those who submit applications after six months of the date of their graduation are classified as returning non-local graduates. All applicants should complete the application form ID 990A . The employers of those returning non-local graduates should complete the application form ID 990B . For detailed information on the arrangement, please refer to 'Guidebook for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 991 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 991 (English version)].

  • Note 1:
    “Non-local students” refer to persons entering the HKSAR for the purpose of education with a student visa / entry permit issued by the Director of Immigration.

  • Note 2:
    Local programmes refer to those programmes leading to degrees awarded by local degree-awarding institutions, whereas non-local programmes refer to those programmes leading to degrees awarded solely by non-local institutions, irrespective of whether the programmes are jointly run by local and non-local institutions.

Training in Hong Kong

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Mainland residents who are employees or business associates sponsored by multinational firms or well-established companies in Hong Kong may apply to enter Hong Kong for short-term training not exceeding 12 months.

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Mainland residents who receive training for official purpose should obtain the training exit endorsement through the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. Those who come for training in their private capacity should send completed application forms ID 992A and ID 992B direct by post or through their sponsors in Hong Kong to the Immigration Department. The Immigration Department will send the training entry permit label to the applicants directly or through their sponsors in Hong Kong. Applicants should present the entry permit label and the required documents to the relevant Public Security Bureau Office to apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and the training endorsement. For detailed information, please refer to 'Guidebook for Entry for Training in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 993 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 993 (English version)].

22

Applications for entry permit should be sent to the following address:

  • Receipt and Despatch Sub-unit,
    Immigration Department,
    2/F, Immigration Tower,
    7 Gloucester Road,
    Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Study in Hong Kong

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Mainland residents may apply to take up:

  1. studies in full-time locally-accredited post-secondary local programmesNote 3 ;
  2. studies in part-time locally-accredited taught post-graduate local programmesNote 4 ;
  3. exchange in full-time locally-accredited local programmes at sub-degree level for not more than 6 months or exchange in full-time locally-accredited local programmes at undergraduate or above level for not more than one year;
  4. full-time short-term studies, subject to the following conditions:
    1. the programme concerned is offered by Hong Kong higher education institutions with degree-awarding powers (excluding their continuing and professional education arms); and
    2. the cumulative duration of short-term studies taken up by any student should not exceed 180 days within any 12-month period; and
  5. secondary school level short-term exchange programmes approved by the Education Bureau of not more than 2 weeks, if accompanied by Mainland teachers.
  • Note 3:
    The agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on mutual recognition of degree awards in higher education is not applicable to sub-degree qualifications (i.e. associate degree and higher diploma). Mainland students may come to attend sub-degree level local programmes in Hong Kong since there is no restriction in the Mainland prohibiting them to pursue further studies at educational institutions outside the Mainland on a personal basis.
  • Note 4:
    The programmes to be taken up by Mainland students must be offered by the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions.

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Applicants and their local sponsors should complete an application form ID 995A and ID 995B respectively. Applications must be submitted to the Immigration Department through the educational institution (the sponsor) granting the acceptance. Entry permit labels are to be collected by the sponsors in Hong Kong for onward transmission to the applicants. Applicants should apply for Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau Office where their household registrations are kept. Upon the student's termination of study, the educational institution involved should notify the Immigration Department in writing 'Notification of Termination of Studies' within 7 working days from the date of termination. For detailed information, please refer to 'Guidebook for Entry for Study in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 996 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 996 (English version)].

Residence in Hong Kong

Quality Migrant Admission Scheme

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The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (the Scheme) was implemented on 28 June 2006. Mainland residents who wish to apply for residence in Hong Kong under the Scheme should complete application form ID(C) 981 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 981 (English version). For detailed information on the Scheme, please refer to "Guidance Notes on Quality Migrant Admission Scheme" [ID(C) 982 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 982 (English version)].

Residence as Dependants

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For sponsors who have been admitted into Hong Kong to take up employment (as a professional, for investment to establish/join in business, or for training) or studies (in a full-time undergraduate or post-graduate local programme in a local degree-awarding institution) or as entrants under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme or the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, their spouses and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18 may apply for entry for residence in Hong Kong as dependants. Under the existing policy, while dependants whose sponsors have been admitted into Hong Kong for study may take up study in Hong Kong, they are prohibited from taking up employment in Hong Kong unless they have obtained prior permission from the Director of Immigration.

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Dependants and their local sponsors should complete application form (ID 997. For detailed information, please refer to 'Guidebook for Entry for Residence as Dependants in Hong Kong' [ID(C) 998 (Chinese version) or ID(E) 998 (English version)].

  • Note:
    The existing entry application forms, i.e. Application for Entry for Employment as Professionals in Hong Kong (ID 990A), Application for Entry for Training in Hong Kong (ID 992A), Application for Entry for Study in Hong Kong (ID 995A) and Application for Entry for Investment (to establish/join in business) in Hong Kong (ID 999A) have built in the accompanying dependant's application. The sponsor may include his/her accompanying dependant's application for entry for residence when completing the aforesaid entry application forms, and the accompanying dependant will not be required to complete application form (ID 997) separately.

Holders of foreign passports in the Mainland

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Passport holders of about 170 countries or regions may visit (including transit) Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit in accordance with the respective type of travel documents they hold, provided that usual immigration requirements are met. Reference should be made to the pamphlet 'Do you need a visa for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China' (ID 290). The pamphlet also lists out holders of passports who need to obtain a visa/entry permit before they can come for visit or transit.

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Holders of foreign passports who are living in the Mainland may apply to enter Hong Kong for employment, training, study or residence. All applications will be considered under the existing immigration policy and individual merits of the case.

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Application forms and details of application procedures are obtainable from the Immigration Department Headquarters, Immigration Branch Offices, Overseas Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions, Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing (Beijing Office), Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu and other HKSAR Government offices outside Hong Kong. The forms are also downloadable from the Immigration Department's website at http://www.immd.gov.hk.

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Holders of foreign passports who are living in the Mainland may submit appropriate application forms relating to the purpose of entry to Hong Kong (other than entry under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates, Capital Investment Entrant Scheme or Quality Migrant Admission Scheme) together with the relevant supporting documents to the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office. Applicants are required to produce their travel documents to the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office so that a visa/entry permit could be issued if the application is approved. The address of the Beijing Office is :

  • No. 71, Di'anmen Xidajie,
    Xicheng District, Beijing 100009,
    People's Republic of China.

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For holders of foreign passports who are living outside Beijing in other provinces/cities of Mainland China, they may continue to send completed application forms by posts directly to the Hong Kong Immigration Department to the address in paragraph 22 or through their sponsors/referees in Hong Kong.

Fees

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A standard fee of HK$160 is charged for a visa/entry permit issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Payment of fees should be made by the sponsor/referee in Hong Kong at the time of collecting the visa/entry permit. If the applicant does not have a sponsor/referee in Hong Kong to pay the fee, he/she should send in the fee with the application a cashier order or bank draft in Hong Kong currency. The cashier order or bank draft should be one from a bank which has a connected bank in Hong Kong and made payable to 'The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region'.

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The visa/entry permit fees charged by the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office are :

Ordinary visa/entry permit RMB 128
Transit visa/entry permit RMB 67

Payment of fees should be made by the applicant at the time of collecting the visa/entry permit. Fees should be paid in cash or by 'cheque for bank transfer purpose'. The cheque should be issued by a bank located in Beijing and made payable to 'The Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing'.

Processing time

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It normally takes 4 to 6 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents to process a visa/entry permit application. An acknowledgement will be sent upon receipt of application by the Immigration Department. Please refrain from making enquiries about the progress of the application unless it is absolutely necessary, as it may delay the processing of the application.

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For those applications submitted to the Immigration Division of the Beijing office, it normally takes 3 working days to process a visit/transit visa/entry permit application. For other visa/entry permit applications, the normal processing time is 4 to 6 weeks upon receipt of all necessary documents. An acknowledgement will be issued upon receipt of application by the Immigration Division of Beijing Office.

Enquiries

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For enquiries, please contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department by enquiry hotline at (852) 2824 6111. by fax at (852) 2877 7711 or by e-mail : enquiry@immd.gov.hk; or contact the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office at (8610) 6657 2880 extension 033 or by fax at (8610) 6657 2823.