Note: To contain the spread of COVID-19, entry restriction for non-Hong Kong residents is currently in force. For details, please click here.
- 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:
- he shall not take any employment, whether paid or unpaid;
- he shall not establish or join in any business; and
- he shall not become a student at a school, university or other educational institution.
- 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.
- A person permitted to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) as a visitor may generally engage in the following business-related activities:
- concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
- examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;
- participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths);
- settling compensation or other civil proceedings;
- participating in product orientation; and
- attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.
Speech(es) / presentation(s)
- Besides, a person permitted to enter the HKSAR as a visitor may also attend an event to deliver speech(es)/presentation(s) subject to the following conditions being met:
- he/she will not be remunerated for speaking/presenting at the event (other than provision of accommodation, passage, meals, etc. relating to the event, or the reimbursement of such expenses);
- the duration of the whole event should be no longer than seven days; and
- he/she can only attend one such event to deliver speech(es)/presentation(s) during each period of permitted stay.
“Pilot Scheme on Facilitation for Persons Participating in Arbitral Proceedings in Hong Kong”
- The “Pilot Scheme on Facilitation for Persons Participating in Arbitral Proceedings in Hong Kong” (“the Pilot Scheme”), launched on 29 June 2020 (see here), aims at providing facilitation for eligible non-HKSAR residents to participate in arbitral proceedings in the HKSAR on a short-term basis as visitors. The Pilot Scheme covers four categories of persons who are nationals of countries who may visit the HKSAR visa-free (“visa-free nationals”), namely:
- Expert and factual witnesses;
- Counsel in the arbitration; and
- Parties to the arbitration.
[Collectively referred to as “Eligible Persons”]
The Pilot Scheme is not applicable to persons who require a visa/entry permit to visit the HKSAR; and Mainland, Macao and Taiwan residents.
- Eligible Persons who obtained a “Letter of Proof” from a recognised local arbitral institution or the Department of Justice of the HKSAR Government (see below) before entry may participate in arbitral proceedings in the HKSAR on a short-term basis as visitors. The duration that Eligible Persons are allowed to stay in the HKSAR for participating in arbitral proceedings shall not exceed the prevailing visa-free period for visit. There is no maximum limit on the number of days that a person may participate in arbitral proceedings in each entry into the HKSAR and the number of times that the person may do so in a year. The list of foreign nationals who may visit the HKSAR visa-free and the respective visa-free period can be found here.
- Eligible Persons who seek to benefit from the Pilot Scheme shall obtain the “Letter of Proof” confirming that they are Eligible Persons participating in arbitral proceedings in the HKSAR before entry. For arbitrations that are being administered by an arbitral institution, the “Letter of Proof” shall be issued by the arbitral institution concerned. The arbitral institutions issuing the “Letter of Proof” are confined to the following six qualified arbitral and dispute resolution institutions and permanent offices in the HKSAR which satisfy the criteria set out under Article 2(1) of the “Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the HKSAR”:
- Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”);
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Hong Kong Arbitration Center;
- International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce–Asia Office;
- Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group;
- South China International Arbitration Center (HK); and
- eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre.
The Department of Justice of the HKSAR Government has issued a Guidance Note on the Pilot Scheme to the abovementioned arbitral institutions.
- For ad hoc arbitrations (i.e. arbitrations not administered by an arbitral institution) that are held in reputable venue with established and well-equipped hearing facilities (namely, HKIAC and the Department of Justice of the HKSAR Government), the “Letter of Proof” shall be issued by such venue providers.
- The Eligible Persons shall produce the “Letter of Proof” upon inspection by the Immigration Department and relevant authorities, if required, upon entry and during the stay in Hong Kong. The arbitral institution (for administered arbitrations) or the venue provider (for ad hoc arbitration) shall keep proper record of the “Letter of Proof” issued by them.
- For further details on the Pilot Scheme, please contact the relevant arbitral institution.