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Hong Kong residents living overseas are not normally required to apply for an identity card. If you are aged 11 or above and are required to register for or replace your identity card, you shall apply for one within 30 days of your return to Hong Kong. However, when you apply for a HKSAR passport from abroad, you will also be required to apply for a permanent identity card if you do not already have one. Here you can learn about whether you are eligible to apply for a permanent identity card while overseas, where to find application forms, the supporting documents required, the processing time of your application and the extent of your card’s validity.

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for a permanent identity card concurrently with an overseas application for a HKSAR passport if you belong to one of the following categories:

(a) A Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR; or

(b) A Chinese citizen who has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 7 years before or after the establishment of the HKSAR; or

(c) A person of Chinese nationality born outside Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR to a parent who, at the time of his or her birth, was a Chinese citizen falling within category (a) or (b).

The following link will take you to a definition of ‘Chinese citizen’.

Application and Submission

Application forms are available at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General in your host country or through the following links.

You should submit your application to the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General in person or by mail.

Supporting Documents

You should provide copies of the following documents with your application:

  • Your birth certificate if you were born in Hong Kong
  • Proof of your previous residence in Hong Kong such as school documents, proof of employment, official receipts or bank statements if you have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 7 years
  • Your birth certificate and parent’s permanent identity card if you claim the right of abode in Hong Kong by virtue of your parent’s status in Hong Kong

Note: If your name is different from that on your birth certificate, a copy of a supporting document such as a deed poll, travel document, adoption certificate, or marriage or divorce certificate showing the change of name must be included with your application.

You will also need to supply two recent identical photographs of the following format:

  • Size: 29 mm (width) x 35 mm (height)
  • Showing full face with no hat
  • Plain background of a light colour
  • Photographic paper: thin, unglazed, unmounted and of a type that can be firmly affixed to paper

If you already hold a non-permanent identity card, you should return it upon submission of your application.

Processing Time

It will take 6-8 weeks to process your application, excluding the delivery time.

Fee

No fee is payable for the first issue of a permanent identity card.

Validity

Your permanent identity card issued overseas will remain valid as long as you stay abroad. It must be renewed within 30 days after you return to Hong Kong unless you are still under the age of 11.

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Last review date: March 2010

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