Assistance Outside Hong Kong

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents 24-Hour Hotline

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On this webpage, Hong Kong residents can learn what to do if they are in distress and need assistance while outside Hong Kong, whether in Mainland or elsewhere, and where to go for travel tips and advice.

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents 24-Hour Hotline

One of the first things Hong Kong residents should consider if they need assistance while in distress outside Hong Kong is calling the 24-hour hotline operated by the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department. The hotline number is:

(852) 1868 

Remark: In the event that Hong Kong residents who need assistance are not able to call the hotline operated by the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit (AHU) of the Immigration Department from abroad due to the service settings of their telecommunication services operators or other reasons, they may try adding “0000” after entering “1868”.  Alternatively, they may contact their family and friends or the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in that country for them to contact the AHU.  This would allow the AHU officers to call the assistance seekers and render all practicable assistance to them.

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Outside Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents who have met with accidents or are arrested or detained for being involved in criminal cases may request assistance from the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department.

The following link will lead to a page that offers information on the assistance that can and cannot be provided by the HKSAR Government, how to deal with legal concerns, what to do in case of serious accidents or casualties, and where to go for further information.

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents in the Mainland

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Travelling Outside Chinese Territory

Travel Tips and Advice

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, Hong Kong residents should always prepare adequately beforehand and take precautions while they are away. The following link will lead to a set of simple tips for travel preparation and ensuring personal safety during the voyage, and where they can obtain travel advice.

Travel Tips and Advice

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents in the Mainland

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When travelling in the Mainland, it is important to know what assistance can be obtained from the HKSAR Government if Hong Kong residents encounter difficulties. On this webpage, Hong Kong residents can learn about the assistance that can and cannot be provided to them by HKSAR Government, and what to do if they are arrested or in case of serious accidents or casualties.

Assistance that Can be Provided by the HKSAR Government

While the resident is in the Mainland, the HKSAR Government can:

  • Issue an Entry Permit for him/her to return to Hong Kong if the resident has lost the identity document.
  • Notify his/her relatives in Hong Kong and give them advice on the related procedural matters if he/she is involved in a serious accident or become a casualty.
  • Liaise, upon request from the resident, with his/her relatives or friends in Hong Kong for rendering financial assistance.
  • Pass information to the resident's relatives in Hong Kong about his/her detention or arrest upon receipt of notification from Mainland law enforcement agencies.
  • Inquire, on request from his/her relatives or friends in Hong Kong, about the situation of the case in which the resident has been arrested or detained by the Mainland law enforcement agencies.
  • Provide information on lawyers in the Mainland to the resident or his/her relatives or friends on request.
  • Provide any other relevant advisory services.
Assistance that Cannot be Provided by the HKSAR Government

It is important to note the HKSAR Government cannot:

  • Intervene in the judicial system or administrative operations of the Mainland when providing assistance to Hong Kong residents under the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems'.
  • Shield unlawful acts or absolve Hong Kong residents from criminal liability.
  • Obtain better treatment than that provided for Mainland residents in hospitals, under detention or in prison.
  • Pay hotel, legal, medical or travelling expenses, or any other bills for the Hong Kong residents.
Unexpected Circumstances

While in the Mainland, Hong Kong residents may meet a number of unexpected circumstances. This section provides information on common scenarios and what they should do in them.

Stolen Property

If Hong Kong residents lose money, identity documents or any other belongings in the Mainland, they should first report the loss to the Public Security authorities and obtain documentary proof of that report. Following such loss, if they need assistance in returning to Hong Kong, they may contact the Immigration Department, the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing, the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Shanghai, the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Chengdu or the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Guangdong.

Please read the 'Contact Details' section below for more information.

Detention or Arrest

Hong Kong residents must abide by the local laws and regulations while traveling or staying in the Mainland. If they contravene the laws in the Mainland, they must bear the legal consequences. If they are arrested or detained for any criminal offence, they may request the Public Security authorities to notify their relatives in accordance with the applicable laws.

Further information on Mainland criminal law is available through the following links

General information on Mainland criminal laws and regulations relating to persons arrested or under detention (Chinese only)

Serious Accidents and Casualties

If Hong Kong residents are involved in a serious accident or become casualties, they should report to the Public Security authorities immediately. If further assistance is needed, they may contact the Immigration Department, the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing, the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Shanghai, the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Chengdu or the Economic and Trade Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Guangdong.

Transfer of Patients from the Mainland to Hong Kong

Cross-boundary patient transfer or ambulance booking service is not available in Hong Kong.  If Hong Kong residents are injured or suffering from illness in the Mainland and need ambulance service upon arrival in Hong Kong, they may call the Immigration Department Hotline at (852) 1868 to enquire about the arrangements or seek assistance from duty officers at border control points upon arrival. 

The public should handle with great care the transfer of patients in critical conditions back to Hong Kong for medical treatment.  Generally speaking, they should consult a doctor beforehand to make sure that the patient is fit for the transfer.  Under current arrangements, an ambulance will convey the patient from a border control point to a nearby hospital in Hong Kong for medical treatment.

Contact Details

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department.

24-Hour Hotline: (852) 1868
Fax: (852) 2519 3536
Address:
9/F Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai
Hong Kong

Beijing Office

No. 71, Di'anmen Xidajie
Xicheng District
Beijing, China
Postal Code: 100009
Phone: (8610) 6657 2880 Ext. 032
Fax: (8610) 6657 2823
Email: bjohksar@bjo-hksarg.org.cn
Website: http://www.bjo.gov.hk

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Shanghai

21/F, The Headquarters Building
168 Xizang Road (M), Huangpu District
Shanghai, China
Postal Code: 200001
Phone: (8621) 6351 2233 Ext. 160
Fax: (8621) 6351 9368
Email: enquiry@sheto.gov.hk
Website: http://www.sheto.gov.hk

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu

38/F, Tower 1, Plaza Central
8 Shuncheng Street
Yan Shi Kou
Chengdu, China
Postal Code: 610016
Phone: (8628) 8676 8301 Ext. 330
Fax: (8628) 8676 8300
Email: general@cdeto.gov.hk
Website: http://www.cdeto.gov.hk/

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong

Flat 7101, Citic Plaza
233 Tian He North Road
Guangzhou, China
Postal Code: 510613
Phone: (8620) 3891 1220 Ext. 608
Fax: (8620) 3877 0466
Email: general@gdeto.gov.hk
Website: http://www.gdeto.gov.hk/

Further Information

Further information on assistance services for Hong Kong residents who are travelling or staying in the mainland can be downloaded as a brochure through the following link.

Guide to Assistance Services to Hong Kong Residents in the Mainland

Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Travelling Outside Chinese Territory

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Consular protection and services are important safety measures for Hong Kong residents outside of Chinese territory. On this webpage, Hong Kong residents can learn about the scope of consular protection, the specific services and assistance provided, what cannot be provided, what to do in unexpected circumstances, how to find a Chinese embassy or consular mission in the host country, points to remember and where to obtain further information.

Consular Protection

Consular protection is the act of diplomatic or consular organs or officers in protecting the national interests and legitimate rights of citizens or legal persons in another country within the limits permitted by international law. When the legitimate rights and interests of a Chinese citizen or legal person are illegally violated in another country, the Chinese diplomatic or consular mission there will, in accordance with customary international law principles, relevant international conventions, bilateral treaties or agreements and the relevant laws of China and the other country, reflect the citizen or legal person's request and urge the related authorities of the other country to handle the issue in a fair, friendly and proper way.

Consular protection also includes assistance rendered by Chinese diplomatic or consular missions to Chinese citizens or legal persons, such as providing information on international travel safety, assisting in employing lawyers and translators, visiting detainees and assisting in evacuating from dangerous places, etc.

Assistance that Can be Provided by Consular Officers

A Hong Kong resident who is a Chinese citizen is in need of assistance while abroad, the diplomatic and consular missions of the People's Republic of China can:

  • Notify his/her family of the incident or casualty if an accident has happened to the Hong Kong resident.
  • Issue travel documents or home-bound documents if he/she has no travel documents or has lost them.
  • Accept the application and provide a place of collection for a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport or Document of Identity for Visa Purposes if he/she is eligible.
  • Visit the Hong Kong resident at his/her request when he/she is under detention, arrest or sentence.
  • Recommend lawyers, translators or doctors to assist the Hong Kong resident in legal proceedings or in seeking medical treatment.
  • Assist the Hong Kong resident in contacting his/her family when he/she is in financial difficulty for timely and necessary financial assistance.
  • Provide advice and necessary assistance for evacuation from dangerous areas in case an unexpected incident takes place.
  • Assist to locate the Hong Kong resident who may be in distress or custody.
  • Provide notarial and authentication services for Hong Kong resident in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China and international treaties, and handle registration of marriages between Chinese citizens provided that the registration does not contravene the laws and regulations of the host country.
Assistance that Cannot be Provided by Consular Officers

Chinese diplomatic or consular missions cannot:

  • Intervene in the judicial or administrative acts of the host country.
  • Partake in the arbitration or settlement of economic, labour and other civil disputes between the Hong Kong resident and others.
  • Obtain treatment better than what is given to local people when the Hong Kong resident is in hospital, in detention or in prison.
  • Pay for lawyer's fees, translator's costs, hotel, medical and travel (air/sea/land travel tickets) expenses for the Hong Kong resident, or any other expenses.
  • Apply for a visa for the Hong Kong resident.
  • Institute legal proceedings for the Hong Kong resident.
Unexpected Circumstances

While travelling abroad, Hong Kong residents may meet a number of unexpected circumstances. This section provides information on scenarios they might encounter, and what they should do in them.

Respecting the law

Chinese citizens outside Chinese territory should obey the laws and regulations of the countries they are in, and respect the local customs and practices. They should strictly adhere to the permitted limit of stay granted by the country concerned as specified in their visa or permit of residence.

Stolen Property

If any of his/her property is stolen, the Hong Kong residents should immediately report the theft to the local police and request a copy of the police report. He/she may also contact the Chinese diplomatic or consular mission in the country so that money can be remitted to him/her by his/her family through the diplomatic or consular mission, or transferred to him/her via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Detention or Imprisonment

If a Hong Kong resident commits an offence in another country, he/she must bear the legal consequences. If being arrested or detained for any charge of offence, he/she has the right to request the authorities concerned to meet the consular officers of the Chinese diplomatic or consular mission.

Death

If Hong Kong resident dies abroad, the Chinese diplomatic or consular mission in the country concerned may, at request, authenticate the death certificate issued by the local authorities. The diplomatic or consular mission may also provide a list of companies engaging in funeral services.

Finding an Embassy, Consulate or Mission

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China provides comprehensive lists of its missions overseas. The following link will lead to information on Chinese diplomatic or consular missions.

Embassy, consulate, mission and representative office lists

Points to Remember

When seeking consular protection or services, please pay attention to the following points:

  • Consular officers must not exceed the terms of reference for consular duties in providing consular protection and services to Chinese citizens.
  • Relevant provisions lay down that fees are required for some consular services, such as the processing of various documents.
  • If Hong Kong residents are seeking consular protection and services while overseas, they may make enquiries with local government officials or police for the addresses and telephone numbers of diplomatic representatives and consular organs of the People's Republic of China at that place. They may also make enquiries through the Immigration Department assistance hotline at (852) 1868.
  • To provide timely and professional guidance and assistance to Chinese citizens in distress overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MFA) has set up the Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services since 2 September 2014 and launched a 24-hour hotline (telephone number: (8610) 12308). The MFA emergency call center will, according to the actual situation and needs, refer assistance requests from Hong Kong residents to the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department for follow-up. For detailed information, please refer to the MFA website: www.fmprc.gov.cn.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China is responsible for the explanation of consular protection and services.