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Most residents and eligible visitors can enjoy simplified immigration clearance when entering or leaving Hong Kong. Here you can learn about the procedures involved, the types of documents you will and will not need, and what to do if you are a Mainland resident travelling to Hong Kong.

Residents

Hong Kong residents enjoy simple immigration clearance with a minimum of documents to be presented

Self-Service Immigration Clearance with Identity Cards

Most smart identity card holders can take advantage of self-service immigration clearance through e-Channels. Further information on the e-Channels is available through the following link.

When Travel Documents Are Needed

If you hold a Hong Kong permanent identity card issued in Hong Kong or Hong Kong identity card bearing the asterisk, or ‘R’ code, and you are aged 11 or over, you can use it to travel in and out of Hong Kong without the need to present your travel document. However, if your identity card is lost, invalidated or defaced, or you only hold an acknowledgement of application for an identity card, you will need to produce a valid travel document such as a passport when you reach an immigration control point.

Children under 11 years of age with permanent identity cards should also produce a valid travel document or Re-entry Permit bearing their photograph. If your children are included on your travel document, they can use that document only when travelling with you.

Arrival and Departure Cards Not Needed

If you hold a Hong Kong identity card you do not need to complete arrival or departure cards when passing through immigration clearance points. You are also exempt if you can present one of the following travel documents:

  • Hong Kong Passport
  • Hong Kong Re-entry Permit
  • Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes
  • Hong Kong Seaman’s Identity Book
  • Multiple Entry Permit for Chinese residents of Taiwan who have been permitted to take up employment or residence in Hong Kong
  • British National (Overseas) Passport
  • Travel document with an endorsement indicating that you have permission to stay in Hong Kong for residence, employment or study

Special Points to consider Before Travelling

Before arriving at an immigration control point you should ensure that you are carrying:

  • A travel document that is valid for travel to your destination country or region and
  • Your Hong Kong identity card

If you are travelling to the Mainland you should have:

  • Your Hong Kong identity card or Hong Kong Re-entry Permit and
  • For non-permanent residents, a Document of Identity for Visa Purposes or your valid travel document and
  • Your Home Visit Permit or a travel document valid for travel to the Mainland

You should check the validity of your Home Visit Permit, particularly if you are under the age of 18 with a Home Visit Permit that is valid for three years from the date of issue.

If you are travelling to Macau you should have:

  • Your Hong Kong identity card or Hong Kong Re-entry Permit and
  • For non-permanent residents, a Document of Identity for Visa Purposes or your valid travel document and
  • A travel document valid for travel to Macau

Note: Hong Kong passports are for international travel, and are acceptable for travelling to Macau only if you are in transit to another country.

Visa-Free Travel

HKSAR passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to over 130 countries and territories, with the Immigration Department continually lobbying to increase that number for your convenience. The list of countries and territories currently offering visa-free access is available through the following link.

Visitors

Immigration control procedures have also been simplified for certain categories of visitors.

Automated Immigration Clearance (e-Channel) Service for Visitors

Automated immigration clearance service through designated e-Channels is available if you have successfully enrolled with the Immigration Department. Further information on e-Channels for visitors is available through the following link.

When Arrival and Departure Cards Are Not Needed

You will not need to complete an arrival or departure card if:

  • You hold an Exit/Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau or a Chinese Travel Permit issued by the Mainland authorities and are not a cross-boundary driver; or
  • You are a Macau permanent resident holding a Macao Smart Permanent Identity Card.

Mainland Residents Travelling to Hong Kong

If you are a Mainland resident visiting Hong Kong you will need to hold a valid Exit/Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau with a relevant endorsement, and will need to meet the general entry requirements.

If you are a pregnant Mainland resident and are at an advanced stage of pregnancy – seven months (28 weeks) or above – and are travelling to Hong Kong to give birth you must also produce a booking confirmation certificate issued by a Hong Kong hospital (not an individual doctor) for admission to the hospital for delivery. Whether you are at an advanced stage of pregnancy will be judged by the relevant staff; you can provide documentary proof such as doctors’ medical examination reports for reference.  If the aim of your visit is not to give birth in Hong Kong, you must provide sufficient proof.

These requirements for pregnant Mainland residents are for ensuring that pregnant local women can enjoy proper obstetric services to which they are entitled and apply to all pregnant Mainland residents visiting Hong Kong, including those married to Hong Kong residents.  For details of the obstetric service arrangements, you should refer to the press release entitled “New measures on obstetric services and immigration control announced” issued by the Hong Kong Government on 16 January 2007.

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