Settling in Hong Kong

Settling in a new city is often a challenge. This article gives you an overview of the different aspects of living in Hong Kong and tips for settling in.

General Information for New Arrivals

To facilitate the early integration of new arrivals into the local community, the Government publishes the following guide and handbook.

Your Guide to Services in Hong KongService handbook for new arrivals from the Mainland (available in Chinese only)

Registering for the Hong Kong Identity Card

If you are a new arrival aged 11 or over and have been permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days, you must register for an identity card within 30 days of arrival. Hong Kong identity cards are required on many occasions to identify yourself as a Hong Kong resident. You should keep the card in good condition and carry it with you at all times, which is a statutory requirement for persons aged 15 or over.

Hong Kong identity cardsOnline appointment booking for Hong Kong identity card application and form pre-fillingForms related to Hong Kong identity card


You can choose to own an apartment or rent a flat when you first settle in Hong Kong.

Renting a domestic propertyBuying a dometsic propertyInformation on private property & building management in Hong Kong


Hong Kong has a comprehensive and sophisticated transport system comprising a wide range of public transport modes.

Overview of public transport in Hong KongSearch for public transport routes


The Labour Department provides free employment services for job seekers who are lawfully employable in Hong Kong. You can also refer to the code of practice against discrimination in the workplace issued by the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau for your rights in employment.

Information on job searchCode of practice against discrimination in employment

If you own a non-local qualification, it may need to be assessed when you are looking for a job. There are also many opportunities for vocational training and continuing education.

Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational QualificationsInformation on continuing education & vocational training


Once you are employed or hold an office, you will be chargeable to salaries tax on your income arising in or derived from Hong Kong. If you commence to carry on a trade, business or profession in Hong Kong, you have to apply for a business registration and you will be chargeable to profits tax on all profits arising in or derived from Hong Kong.

Information on taxes in Hong Kong

Health Services

Public health services are all easy to access and are usually free or offered at low cost to the general public.

Information on hospitals & clinics

Social Services

There is a wide range of services and activities for new arrivals, such as familiarisation courses, employment seminars, language classes, experience sharing and visits, offered by the government and non-governmental organisations.

Services & activities for new arrivals from the Mainland on district levelList of NGOs offering services & activities for new arrivals from the Mainland

Education for Children

Education and support services are provided for newly arrived children to assist them to integrate into the education system and community in Hong Kong.

Education & support services for newly arrived childrenEducation services for non-Chinese speaking studentsGeneral information about education in Hong Kong


For emergency assistance, including making fire or ambulance calls, you can dial 999. In cases of crime, you can also report to the Hong Kong Police at the nearest police station.

Contact details of police stationsFire services & rescue from the Fire Services Department
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Last revision date: July 2022