Apply for travel documents early to avoid summer rush

13 June 2018

Hong Kong residents intending to travel abroad during the summer holidays are reminded to apply early for travel documents.

An Immigration Department spokesperson said the processing time for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport applications is normally 10 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and general holidays) after receipt of all necessary documents, the application fee and a photograph. Applications in respect of children under 11 years old not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card normally take 14 working days. As regards applications submitted by post, via drop-in-box or online, processing might take two to three more working days. Applications for a replacement passport due to loss, damage or change of personal data should be made in person, and the processing time may be longer.

Eligible applicants aged 11 or over may submit HKSAR passport applications at the self-service kiosks at Immigration Headquarters and at all six Immigration branch offices during office hours.

The spokesperson emphasised that a request for urgent issue of an HKSAR passport will only be entertained in justifiable circumstances. Normally, no priority will be granted to pleasure trippers.

Applicants who wish to apply for or collect travel documents in person are encouraged to make prior appointments through the Internet (www.gov.hk/tdbooking) or the 24-hour hotline (2598 0888).

HKSAR passport application forms and information leaflets on application procedures and the requisite documents are available at Immigration Headquarters and Immigration branch offices. For details and application forms, please visit the website (www.gov.hk/passport). Further application details for an HKSAR passport are also available at the Easy Access section of the Immigration Department YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/immdgovhkchannel). Enquiries can also be made by telephone (2824 6111), fax (2877 7711) or email enquiry@immd.gov.hk).

At present, 162 countries and territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. Some places require visitors to have a passport with validity of at least six months.

Moreover, in order to allow greater travel convenience for HKSAR passport holders, the Immigration Department has co-operated with Korea, Singapore, Germany and Australia, where eligible HKSAR passport holders may use the automated immigration clearance services. For detailed information, please visit the website of the Immigration Department about e-Channel Service for Residents (www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/echannel_residents.html).

Before travelling abroad, Hong Kong residents can use the Registration of Outbound Travel Information (ROTI) service to register their contact details and itinerary. The information they provide allows the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit (AHU) of the Immigration Department to contact and assist them in an emergency outside Hong Kong. For more information on ROTI, please visit (www.gov.hk/roti) or call (852) 183 5500. Residents who need assistance while outside Hong Kong may call the 24-hour hotline of the AHU at (852) 1868.