Hong Kong Visa, Immigration and Asylum Seekers.
Hong Kong Special administrative region of China is autonomous territory. It is located in southeastern China. Hong Kong was a British colony before July 1997. The sovereignty of Hong Kong handed over from Britain to China on July 1997. Hong Kong has a total area of 1 106.34 square kilometers with 7,428,887 populations. The currency of Hong Kong is Hong Kong Dollar but Chinese currency RMB is also accepted. Hong Kong’s economy is very stable and strong with GDP per capita: HK$338,806 (2016). There are two official languages in Hong Kong, English and Chinese. 89.1 % people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese language, 1.85 % speak Putonghua, 4.1 % speak English, 3.15 % speak Chinese dialect language and 1.8 % people speak other different languages. However, mostly people have understanding of English, so it is no problem for new comers to move in Hong Kong. According to official statistics for the year 2016 among the Hong Kong people who belong to an organized religion there are: over 1 million Buddhists, over 1 million Taoists, 480,000 Protestants, 379,000 Catholics, 300,000 Muslims, 100,000 Hindus, 12,000 Sikhs, and other smaller communities. Hong Kong passport Holder can visit 161 countries without visa or visa on arrival. According to the world passport ranking index Hong Kong’s passport has ranking of 16th in index. Hong Kong does not allow dual citizenship but in some cases dual citizenship is recognized. Normally Pakistani, Indian and other south Asian who gets Hong Kong nationality, they have to leave former nationality. However mostly people prefer Hong Kong permanent ID card (permanent residence only) which gives the right to live and work for unlimited time period. Foreigners holding Hong Kong PR can bring their spouse, dependents and parents to Hong Kong. They can live, work, study as well as can enjoy other rights equal to Hong Kong citizens. So, Hong Kong Permanent residence is best choice as applicant don’t need to leave former nationality. But if someone leaves former nationality, one have to get visa to back to his native country or one can get country origin card which allows traveler to go to country of origin without any visa.
Hong Kong Visit Visa:
Hong Kong is friendly country for Tourists and businessmen. Hong Kong gives visa free or visa on arrival entry to many country citizens. List of countries of which passport holders can visit Hong Kong without visa can be found at this link of official website of Hong Kong immigration https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html
Rest of countries nationals need a visa or entry permit to visit Hong Kong. Applicant have to arrange the following documents to apply for Hong Kong visit visa:
- Hong Kong Visa Application Form ID 1003A which Can be downloaded at this link: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/forms/id1003a.html
- The most important requirement is a Sponsor from Hong Kong, sponsor must be 18 years’ age or above and must hold Hong Kong Permanent Id card, should have some relation with applicant and also have some funds too. Sponsor should fill the ID 1003B form which can be downloaded from this link https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/forms/id1003b.html.
- Applicant’s recent photograph should be affixed on Visa application form ID 1003A.
- Applicant’s valid passport.
- Flight reservation (round trip)
- Hotel booking (if applicant wants to live in hotel, if sponsor takes responsibility of accommodation, hotel booking is not required)
- Documents to prove the purpose of trip.
- In case of family visit applicant have to give proof of relationship with sponsor.
- In case of business visit applicant should arrange sponsor from some Hong Kong business organization on form ID 1003B which can be downloaded at this link https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/forms/id1003b.html
- Furthermore, applicant have to show his business or job history for business visit only.
- For leisure trip, applicant have to show his tour plan as a proof of tour purpose.
- Proof of sufficient funds in form of bank account statement more than 15000Hong Kong Dollars average (more is better) in case of leisure or business trip.
- Police clearance certificate.
- Sponsor must provide Hong Kong ID copy and Passport copy.
Please note: Documents arranged by applicant should be attested by ministry of foreign affairs of applicant’s country. (normally police clearance, business registration, NTN, Chamber of commerce membership certificate need to be attested.)
Hong Kong is making its visa policy stricter since last few years. Before visa was issued without any sponsor letter. Sometimes an invitation was enough to Hong Kong entry visa but now sponsor is required for Hong Kong visa. If a person come to Hong Kong first time, he have to face a long and complicated investigation by airport immigration despite having a valid visa. Many times persons having valid are refused to entry and sent back to the home country, if airport immigration is not satisfied. Before Indian had visa free entry to Hong Kong, but now they have to apply online for “Hong Kong pre-arrival registration” to get entry to Hong Kong. If online pre-arrival registration is done successfully only then traveler can leave for Hong Kong but still need to face investigation at Hong Kong airport. normally strict investigation is seen first time visit. If applicant has some relative or friend in Hong Kong who can give a verbal guarantee for traveler on telephone call, entry is granted to traveler. If applicant leave country within visa time period, doesn’t overstay in Hong Kong, he can get Hong Kong visa and entry second time very easily.
How to Submit Hong Kong Visa Application?
If there is no embassy of Hong Kong in applicant’s country, visa application along with original documents can be sent by post directly to Hong Kong immigration in Hong Kong at the following address:
Receipt and Despatch Sub-unit
Hong Kong Immigration Department
2/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
If applicant is living in China, Hong Kong Visa application can be submitted at the following offices in China:
The Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing
No. 71, Di’anmen Xidajie, Xicheng District
People’s Republic of China
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Shanghai
21/F, The Headquarters Building, 168 Xizang Road (M), Huangpu District
People’s Republic of China
If there exist an embassy of Hong Kong in Applicant’s country, visa application along with required documents can be submitted to Hong Kong embassy according to the schedule fixed by the embassy.
Hong Kong Visa Fee:
Hong Kong visa fee is 190 Hong Kong Dollars. It can be paid by draft or cashier order payable to “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”. Cash sent with visa application is not accepted. Sponsor of applicant can also pay fee through cross cheque payable to Hong Kong government.
Hong Kong Visa Processing time:
Normally, Hong Kong immigration takes 4 weeks to finalize visa application but it is witnessed that immigration takes much more time in issuance of visa. Hong Kong immigration does not like inquiries however applicant can seek more information about Hong Kong Visa application status at this link of Hong Kong Immigration https://www.gov.hk/en/residents/immigration/nonpermanent/appstatusenq.htm
Extension in Hong Kong Visa:
Normally Hong Kong immigration issues 14 days’ entry visa first time; it may be issued up to 30 days in some cases. Anyway, this entry visa is extendable. Extension from 7 days to 14 days can be granted with a fee of 190 HK$.
Hong Kong Transit Visa:
Hong Kong Immigration requires documents for transit visa same as visit visa. But in this case, applicant don’t need sponsor from Hong Kong as hotel booking will be enough for transit visa if applicant want to leave Hong Kong airport. Applicant should have visa of destination country and onwards flight ticket in order to apply transit visa.
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