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If you need to search for a birth, death or marriage record or obtain a certified copy of the related entry or certificate, you can use the Immigration Department’s quick-and-easy online service. This article will give you the details.

How to Start

You can apply for a certified copy of an entry in the births or deaths register if you have the original or a photocopy of the certificate of registration, or the result of a previous search. Otherwise, you will need to apply for a search of the records first. There are two types of search:

  • Particular search
    • A search for any given entry in relation to an identified person (i.e. the person’s exact name and date of birth (if available) can be provided for the search).  The search conducted will not exceed a period of 5 years.
    • Unless otherwise specified by the applicant, the search will be conducted on the year of birth / death as provided (e.g. 1990).  In case no matched record is found against the year of birth / death provided, the search will be conducted with 2 years preceding and 2 years following the year of birth / death provided, with a period of 5 years in total. (by the above example, i.e. 1988-1992)
  • General search
    • A search for any entry other than ‘particular search’, for example, in relation to a person whose personal information could not be specified (i.e. the person’s exact name and/or exact date of birth cannot be provided for the search).

If you want to obtain a certified copy of a marriage certificate, you will need to apply for a search unless the copy is applied at the same time as the original is issued.

No signature is required when you complete the application form online. However, you will need to sign on the printed copy of the relevant form when you collect the search result and/or certified copies.

Application Fees

The application fee that you need to pay will depend on the type of search or copy you require.

  • Particular Search (birth/death records): HK$140
  • General Search (birth/death records): HK$680
  • Certified copy of an entry in births/deaths register: HK$140 per copy
  • Search of marriage records: HK$140
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate: HK$280 per copy

Search fees can be paid online by VISA, MasterCard or PPS, but the fees for certified copies can only be paid in cash, or by crossed cheque or cashier's order payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" at the time of collection of the certified copies.

Processing Time

The processing time of your application will depend on the particular record you wish to obtain (Working days denote Monday to Friday excluding Public Holidays):

  • Search for birth or death record: 9 working days
  • Issue of a certified copy of an entry in births or deaths registers (if search of record is not involved): 9 working days
  • Search for birth or death record and issue of a certified copy of an entry in births or deaths registers : 14 working days
  • Search of marriage record and/or issue of certified copy of marriage certificate: 9 working days

For a General Search of birth or death record, there is no pledged processing time. You will be notified separately when the result is ready.

Collection of Search Results and/or Certified Copies

As the search of records will take time, the results will not be immediately available online.  You will be asked to select a Births, Deaths or Marriage Registry of the Immigration Department for collection of the search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned in person.

When you complete the online application, the collection date will be shown on the acknowledgement receipt.  Please remember to print or save the acknowledgement receipt, or write down the application reference, collection date and selected registry for collection.  You are required to produce the printout or provide the application reference number upon collection at your selected registry.

If you do not collect the search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned from that registry within 6 months of the collection date, they will be cancelled.

Supporting Documents to be Produced on Collection

When you collect your search result or certified copy from the selected registry of the Immigration Department, you will need to produce the following supporting documents:

  • Hong Kong Identity Card or valid travel document
  • Printout of online application acknowledgement
  • Original or photocopy of the certificate of registration, or the result of a previous record search if an application for search of birth or death records is not submitted
  • For organisation application, letter of authorisation from the organisation

Assistance and Further Information

If you need assistance in using the online service, you can call the Immigration e-Services Hotline at (852) 3128 8668 between 7 am and 11 pm daily.

Please collect the search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned at your selected registry on the ‘collection date’ shown on acknowledgement receipt.

Should you have any other enquiries about this application, you may contact the registry selected for collection purposes direct.

Further information on the service is also available in a set of helpful frequently asked questions.

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