The Position of Non-Chinese Citizens

The person concerned may enjoy the right of abode in the HKSAR if:

  • He/She was a permanent resident of Hong Kong before 1 July 1997; and
    • he/she was settled in Hong Kong immediately before 1 July 1997; or
    • after he/she ceased to be settled in Hong Kong immediately before 1 July 1997, he/she returns to settle in Hong Kong within the period of 18 months commencing on 1 July 1997; or
    • after he/she ceased to be settled in Hong Kong immediately before 1 July 1997, he/she returns to settle in Hong Kong after the period of 18 months commencing on 1 July 1997, but only if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for a continuous period of less than 36 months.
If the person concerned is unable to satisfy any of the above requirements, he/she will lose his/her status as a permanent resident but, in that event, he/she will automatically acquire the right to land.
He/She will still be able to enter the HKSAR freely to live, study and work, without any restriction. He/She will also be able to re-acquire the right of abode in the HKSAR if he/she subsequently satisfies the requirements under either of the two parts below.

Meaning of the right to land

  • A person has entered Hong Kong with a valid travel document and
    • immediately before the date on which he/she applies for the right of abode, he/she has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years; and
    • he/she has made a declaration and has provided the required information to demonstrate that he/she has taken Hong Kong as his/her place of permanent residence; and
    • his/her application for the status of a permanent resident in the HKSAR has been approved by the Director of Immigration; or
  • A person is under 21 years of age and born in Hong Kong to a parent who has the right of abode in Hong Kong under category (d) for non-Chinese citizens, at the date of his/her birth or at any later time before he/she attains 21 years of age.
    • After the person has attained the age of 21 years and ceased to be a permanent resident of the HKSAR under this category, he/she may apply to the Director of Immigration for the status of a permanent resident of the HKSAR under category (d) for non-Chinese citizens.

More on non-Chinese citizens