HKEAA Licence Number: C-015801  
Tel: (852) 2869 5128
Contact Us         
Home  |   HK Real Estate Services   |   Hong Kong Info  |   HK Services  |   Residential Areas  |   Serviced Apartment  |   About Compass
Hong Kong Information > Essential Information

Immigration Requirements

All persons entering Hong Kong should be a holder of a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry.  Visas may be required and can be obtained from the Chinese consulate in your home city. Frequent travelers may apply for a multiple entry visa.

Dependants' Visas

As of July 1 2004, dependant visa holders are no longer able to take up employment or start a business in Hong Kong.  This policy change is only applicable to new applicants/applications received after the above date.  Existing dependant visa holders who are currently employed are not required to change their visa status now or upon renewal as long as the dependant visa status is maintained.

Dependant visa holders who wish to work or start their own business will need to apply for and satisfy the requirements for an employment visa or an investment visa.

The age requirement for dependant children has also been lowered from age 21 to age 18.  Above this age, individuals must apply for and satisfy the requirements for another visa such as an employment visa or a student visa.

Submitting an Application for a Dependant Visa

Step One
The Principal Visa Holder and the Dependant Visa Applicant must prepare: 

  • Form ID 91: Used if the applicant is currently in Hong Kong and is pursuing the application by way of Change of Status.
  • Form ID 812: Used when the applicant is not currently in Hong Kong.
  • Form ID 428A: Standard form of declaration of sponsorship, which accompanies every dependant visa application.
  • Form ID 520: Requests family information in order to construct a family profile.

Please download forms from the Immigration Department website

Step Two
Compile the following:

  • Marriage Certificate (original).
  • Birth Certificates for dependant children (original).
  • Letter from the employer confirming employment of the principal visa-holding spouse.
  • Copy of last three months bank statements or savings passbook entries of the principal visa holder as proof of adequate ability to support the relationship.
  • Copy of Residential Tenancy Agreement covering the premises within which the principle visa-holder and his/her dependents will be living.
  • Passport of principal visa holder and all dependants (Original and Copies required of details pages and Hong Kong entry stamps).

Step Three
Submit all applications and supporting documents, including passports, to:

Counter Number One
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Hong Kong

A receipt will be issued.  Wait for your name to be called then approach the counter indicated.

The Examining Officer will check through the submitted documents and if all documents are present, the Dependant's Visa may be issued that day.  If there are documents missing, the officer will give the applicant Form CSF-054 which requires the applicant to return with the necessary documents on a certain date.  The fee for Dependant Visa Issuance is $$HKD135$$.

N.B. The Dependant Visa may be applied for at the same time as the Employment Visa of the spouse.  In this case the Residential Tenancy Agreement would be replaced with a letter from the proposed sponsoring employer lending support and affirmation to the proposed arrangements for the dependency incumbent on the principal visa applicant.  Otherwise the application goes through as it would for an Employment Visa.

Contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department for more information.

Immigration Department
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2824 6111
Fax: (852) 2877 7711
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:45am - 4:30pm; Saturday, 9:00am - 11:30am.

How to get there

Take the MTR to Wanchai station and follow signs for Immigration Tower.

Processing Time

Processing time will range from 8 - 12 weeks.  The processing fee is payable in Hong Kong currency by the sponsor, upon issuance of the visa.  The entry visa label is normally issued to the sponsor who will then forward it on to you.

Visitor's Visas

  • Nationals of Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain and all dependent countries, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Irish Republic, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey do not require a visa for visits of less than three months.
  • Nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Tunisia, USA, Uruguay, and Venezuela do not require a visa for visits of less than one month.
  • Nationals of Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde Republic, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Yemen, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Korea, Surinam (US Trust Territory passport holders only), United Arab Emirates, Vatican City, and Zaire do not require a visa for visits of up to 14 days.
  • Nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, CIS (formerly USSR), Cuba, Czech Republic, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Panama, Romania, Slovakia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia always require a visa.
  • All other nationals do not need a visa for a visit of less than 8 days.

Employment Visa

Step One
Obtain HK SAR Visa application Form from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate.

Step Two
Employee submits completed Visa Application Form with:

  • Photocopies of passport;
  • Offer letter from Employer;
  • Curriculum Vitae (resume), proof of education;
  • Experience relevant to the post and testimonials.

All the above will then be forwarded to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong, who will contact the proposed sponsoring employer in Hong Kong for more information within 4-6 weeks.

Step Three
HR Submits:
Sponsorship Form ID 428B (Download forms from the 
Immigration Department website) with:

  • Company Business Registration Certificate;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Memorandum of Incorporation;
  • Articles of Association;
  • Proof of financial good standing, i.e. recent audited accounts, up to date management accounts, profits tax return;
  • Company background;
  • A list of company staff with salary and position offered and list of expatriate staff previously or currently recruited from overseas;
  • Full job description of applicant’s post, salaries and benefits;
  • A letter with supporting proof stating the reason why the post cannot be filled locally. If the applicant is to replace someone already working in the HKSAR, the personal particulars and whereabouts should be given. If the applicant is filling a new post, explain why his/her services are essential.

Step Four

  • The sponsoring employer will be notified, by letter, that the visa has been approved;
  • The candidate may then go to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate for visa issuance.

Investment Visas

This type of visa is issued to those wishing to set up a business in Hong Kong.

What is required:

  • A substantial financial investment to support the application;
  • Details of financial and business history;
  • Details of how the business will benefit Hong Kong.
Processing time may be between 10 -16 weeks.  Successful applicants will receive a visa for one year, renewable depending upon the financial success of the company.


Hong Kong is a free port, meaning that no taxes or duties are levied on household goods. It is not necessary to establish that the goods have been owned for a period of time to qualify for this exemption.

An import license is required for any new personal computers and printers. The manufacturer's manual or a copy giving full specification of the computer is required by the Hong Kong Trade Department to process the application, which takes about 4 days. Used equipment is not subject to these regulations, however, a pro forma invoice is required for declaration purposes.

There are import restrictions on certain items such as cosmetics, hydrocarbon oils, liquor, methyl alcohol, motor vehicles, boats and tobacco products. For more information on importing a car, see Essential Info: Driving.
Specific requirements are as follows:

Alcohol  1 litre
Tobacco products  250 gms tobacco 
50 cigars 
200 cigarettes 
Open bottles of cosmetics containing alcohol  reasonable number 
Perfume  60ml perfume 
250ml of toilet water 

Clearance of Household Goods

You should know from your mover when approximately your household goods will be arriving in Hong Kong.  These will not be released until the shipment has been inspected by the Customs and Excise Department. Air shipments take 1-2 days to clear whilst sea shipments take 3-5 days. Your mover should take care of the clearing process for you.

Documents required to clear personal effects include:

  • a copy of your passport
  • bill of lading
  • complete inventory list
  • authorization letter from employer
  • contact telephone, fax, and address

Hong Kong Identity Card

You are required by law to carry your ID card with you at all times while you are in Hong Kong; not having an ID Card makes life rather difficult when trying to apply for such things as mobile phones, bank and video store accounts. Your HR Department will normally help you and your spouse to apply for a HK ID Card. You must have your work permit before you apply, however.

To apply:

    • Make an appointment with immigration through the 24-Hour Appointment Booking System for advance booking up to two weeks.  Alternatively, go to the Immigration office and wait in line (go by 8am, as lines can be long).  You must apply in person for finger stamping and photo taking.

      24-Hour Appointment Booking System
      Customer Service Hotline: (852) 2598 0888
    • Take the following with you:
      • passport and photocopy of first 5 pages;
      • if applying for a child - original birth certificate, plus a photocopy, and school records - Children under the age of 11 do not need an identity card. All children under the age of 18, however, are required to apply for a juvenile identity card.

Once you have registered, you will receive an official acknowledgement, which will have your identity card number on it. You may apply for necessary services, such as a mobile phone, with this document. Processing time is approximately 15 working days. You may authorize another individual to collect the card for you. 

Registration of Persons Office 
8/F, Immigration Tower 
7 Gloucester Road 
 Hong Kong 
Tel: (852) 2824 6111
Fax: (852) 2877 7111 





Last Updated: 17 November, 2004

Essential Information  
Money & Business  
Social and Family Life  
Editor's Notes  
Expat Community