Visit / Transit

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General Remarks

  1. Regulation 2(1) of the Immigration Regulations (Chapter 115A), Laws of Hong Kong, stipulates that permission given to a person to land in Hong Kong as a visitor shall be subject to the following conditions of stay:
    1. he shall not take any employment, whether paid or unpaid;
    2. he shall not establish or join in any business; and
    3. he shall not become a student at a school, university or other educational institution
  2. A person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may generally engage in the following business-related activities:
    1. concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
    2. examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;
    3. participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths),
    4. settling compensation or other civil proceedings;
    5. participating in product orientation; and
    6. attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.
  3. Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years under section 41 of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115), Laws of Hong Kong.

FAQs

Q1: Do I need a visa/entry permit for visiting Hong Kong?

Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit for a period ranging from 7 days to 180 days. For more information on visa/entry permit requirements for visitors to the HKSAR, you may refer to the "Visit Visa / Entry Permit Requirements for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" webpage or the pamphlet "Do you need a visa for the HKSAR?" (ID290).

Q2: If I need to obtain a visa/entry permit for visiting Hong Kong, how can I submit my application?

Completed Application for Entry for Visit/Transit in Hong Kong (ID 1003A and ID 1003B) may be submitted together with the relevant supporting documents to the Receipt and Despatch Unit, Immigration Department, 2/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, either by post or through a local sponsor.

To shorten processing time, application forms and supporting documents can be sent by fax to (852) 2824 1133 in the first instance. However, the original copy of the duly completed application form and the photographs required should be sent immediately to the HKSAR Immigration Department by air mail. A visa/entry permit will be issued only on receipt of an original and properly completed visa/entry permit application form. Applications submitted by e-mail will not be accepted.

Alternatively, applicants may also submit their visa applications through the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions nearest to their place of residence, where application forms are obtainable. Holders of foreign passports who are living in the Mainland of China may submit the applications to the Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing (Beijing Office).

Q3: During the process of concluding contracts, what business-related activities are allowed for a visitor?

During the process of concluding contracts, a visitor may perform business-related activities such as making presentations on products or services, negotiations, and signing contracts, etc.

Q4: Can exhibitors permitted to land as visitors construct exhibition booths by themselves?

No. Though exhibitors permitted to land as visitors are allowed to supervise construction of exhibition booths, they are not allowed to construct exhibition booths by themselves. They should employ lawfully employable persons to construct exhibition booths.

Q5: Can exhibitors permitted to land as visitors supply services direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs, e.g. packing of goods?

No. Though exhibitors permitted to land as visitors are allowed to participate in promotions of products or services, they are not allowed to supply services direct to the general public during the exhibition/trade fairs, e.g. packing of goods. Lawfully employable persons should be hired to supply services direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs.

Q6: Can exhibitors permitted to land as visitors sell goods direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs (including receiving money from the general public)?

No. Though exhibitors permitted to land as visitors are allowed to participate in promotions of products or services, they are not allowed to sell goods direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs (including receiving money from the general public). Lawfully employable persons should be hired to sell goods direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs.

Q7: Who are lawfully employable?

Generally speaking, the following persons are lawfully employable:

  • a person holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card which contains the following statement on the back of the card: 'The holder of this card has the right of abode in Hong Kong'; or
  • a person holding a Hong Kong identity card who is free to take up employment in Hong Kong without the Director of Immigration's prior permission and has not breached any condition of stay.

For details, please refer to 'Don't Employ Illegal Workers' pamphlet.

Q8: Is an exhibitor from outside Hong Kong required to apply for an employment visa/entry permit?

As regards whether an exhibitor from outside Hong Kong is required to apply for an employment visa/entry permit, it depends on the activities to be performed by the exhibitor in exhibitions/trade fairs. Generally speaking, if the activities to be performed are business promotions, and will not involve direct sale of goods or supply of services to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths, the exhibitor is not required to apply for an employment visa/entry permit.

While each application for an employment visa/entry permit is determined on its individual merits, an applicant should meet the eligibility criteria for entry for employment as well as normal immigration requirements before he/she may be considered for the grant of an employment visa/entry permit.

Q9: If the Mainland residents intend to enter Hong Kong to participate in exhibitions/trade fairs, how can they apply for the required travel documentation?

The Mainland residents intending to participate in exhibitions/trade fairs in Hong Kong may, according to the nature of business activities to be engaged in Hong Kong, apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP), and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau in the Mainland before coming to Hong Kong. Please also refer to Q8.

Q10: If a Mainland resident has obtained an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) and an endorsement for business visit (Shangwu) from the relevant Public Security Bureau Office in the Mainland, can he/she sell goods or supply services direct to the general public, or construct exhibition booths in exhibitions/trade fairs?

A Mainland resident visiting Hong Kong with an EEP and an endorsement for business visit (Shangwu) will be given permission to land in Hong Kong as a visitor if normal immigration requirements are met (viz. possession of adequate fund, purpose of visit being not in doubt, etc.) and he/she will be subject to the conditions of stay for a visitor. Visitors participating in exhibitions/trade fairs are not allowed to engage in direct sale of goods or supply of services to the general public, or construct exhibition booths.

Q11: I arrived Hong Kong on 1 January 2011. After immigration clearance, I was given permission to land and remain as a visitor for seven days from the date of entry. I could stay in Hong Kong until 7 January or 8 January 2011?

You are permitted to remain until 8 January 2011. Expiry of the limit of stay is to be counted from the day after the date of entry. A visitor is required to leave Hong Kong on or before the limit of stay expires.

Q12: What is the maximum penalty for visitors who have breached their conditions of stay?

Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years under section 41 of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115), Laws of Hong Kong.

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