9 May 2019
The Immigration Department (ImmD) announced today (May 9) that it will start to accept applications for the Next Generation Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Electronic Passport (e-Passport) and Electronic Document of Identity for Visa Purposes (e-Doc/I) from May 14 onwards. The time required for processing such applications will be shortened from 10 to five working days.
The new e-Passport and e-Doc/I will continue to be produced in compliance with the standard of the International Civil Aviation Organization, with the holder's personal data and facial image stored in digital form in the contactless chip embedded in the back cover of the documents. Meanwhile, the security features of the new documents will be further enhanced. For example, a specially made transparent window with the holder's portrait engraved thereon by laser engraving technology will be added to the bio-data page, of which the main theme is the Golden Bauhinia Square. In addition, full colour UV printing technology will be adopted for visa pages, on which a night view of the northern part of Hong Kong Island will appear under UV light.
To further enhance the service standards, the ImmD has provided additional means for submitting e-Passport applications. Apart from the existing application means, eligible applicants can also submit applications through the ImmD Mobile App starting from May 14. New Travel Document Submission Kiosks will also be put into service at Immigration Headquarters and Immigration Branch Offices from the same day onwards. Apart from the photo scanning function for photos brought by applicants, the new kiosks are also equipped with a self-service photo-taking function. Eligible applicants with height of 1.25 metre or more may choose to use the photo-taking function free of charge. The kiosks also employ Octopus payment function, providing an alternative payment option for the public.
"The application fees for the e-Passport and e-Doc/I will remain unchanged," a spokesman of the ImmD said.
"The existing versions of e-Passports and e-Doc/Is will remain valid until their expiry. To avoid any delays, the ImmD reminds Hong Kong residents who have plans to travel to check for ample validity of their existing documents beforehand and apply for new ones early if necessary," the spokesman added.