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Complete Guide to Becoming a Permanent Resident in Hong Kong

Acquiring permanent resident status is an essential step for maintaining your prolong stay in Hong Kong. In addition to providing your company with the necessary legal stability, this status gives you the freedom to live and work in Hong Kong without being constrained by short-term visas or uncertain immigration status.

We are aware that applying for residence can be a difficult procedure, particularly given the amount of paperwork and identity checks required. For that reason, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to make the process easier for you to comprehend and navigate.


Overview of Hong Kong permanent residency

It’s important to have an accurate understanding of Hong Kong’s permanent residents before going into details.

An individual who has been granted the right to live and work in Hong Kong eternally without requiring a work permit or visa is known as a Permanent Resident.

This status, also referred to as “right of abode” or “permanent residency,” has several benefits, such as:

  • Unrestricted entry and stay: People who possess this status are not subject to any temporal restrictions when entering or living in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
  • Deportation immunity: Those who are permanent residents of Hong Kong are guaranteed against being deported.
  • Protection against involuntary departure: Permanent residents are exempt from being taken from the area against their will.

Qualifications for Permanent Residents in Hong Kong

Individuals may have different paths to permanent residency (PR) depending on factors like immigration history, family ties, and visa status.

You have to fulfill one of the following requirements in order to be qualified for PR in Hong Kong:

  • Meet the requirements for PR under particular categories, which we shall go over in more depth soon.
  • Comply with the transitional provisions specified in Schedule 1’s Paragraph 6 regarding the Immigration Ordinance.

Categories of Hong Kong PR Eligibility

The categories of eligibility for permanent residency in Hong Kong are as follows:

  • Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong
  • Chinese citizens born outside Hong Kong but legally residing in Hong Kong at least 7 years
  • Chinese citizens born outside Hong Kong to a parent (either father or mother) who was already a Hong Kong permanent resident at the time of their birth.
  • Non-Chinese citizens who have resided in Hong Kong legally for a minimum of 7 years and have declared Hong Kong as their permanent place of residence.
  • Non-Chinese citizens under the age of 21 who were born in Hong Kong to at least one parent holding permanent residency. Upon turning 21, these individuals must establish their own permanent resident status under one of the above categories; otherwise, their Hong Kong permanent residency will be forfeited.
  • If you had a right of abode in Hong Kong prior to the transfer of sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, you might be able to regain your right to permanent resident status through transitional arrangements

Application for Hong Kong Permanent Residency

To make the process easier for you to follow and to make sure you are ready to submit your application, we have broken it down into a step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1: Choose the appropriate application

Choose the application form that best fits your qualifying requirements to start the application process:

  • Chinese applicants aged 18 and above should use Form ROP 169.
  • Chinese applicants below the age of 18 should use Form ROP 170.
  • Non-Chinese applicants should use Form ROP 145.

Step 2: Compile the necessary paperwork

Obtaining the necessary paperwork to prove your eligibility is crucial for bolstering your application for permanent residence.

The particular paperwork you’ll require may vary depending on your situation:

  • If you were born in Hong Kong: Hong Kong birth certificate.
    • If you are a Chinese national and have been residing in Hong Kong for at least 7 years:
    • Proof of 7-year residency in Hong Kong; and
    • Valid travel document.
  • If you were born outside Hong Kong, but either of your parents falls into the two categories mentioned above:
    • Your birth certificate;
    • Your parent’s Hong Kong permanent ID; and
    • Your parent’s proof of residency in Hong Kong.
  • If you are a non-Chinese national and have been residing in Hong Kong for at least 7 years:
    • Proof of 7-year residency in Hong Kong.
    • Valid travel document.
    • Submission of Form ROP146 to declare Hong Kong as your sole residence.
  • If you are under 21 years of age and have non-Chinese parents:
    • Your Hong Kong birth certificate; and
    • Your parent’s Hong Kong permanent ID
  • If you had the right of abode in Hong Kong before the establishment of the HKSAR: Proof of your right of abode
  • If you were a permanent resident of Hong Kong before July 1, 1997:
    • Identity documents;
    • Proof of 7 years of residency; and
    • Your parent’s documents if your residency is based on descent.

Additionally, you must meet the following:

  • For minors (under 18), include the ID of the parent or guardian and proof of their relationship to the child.
  • If any documents are in a foreign language, ensure they are accompanied by a certified translation from a recognized authority.

Step 3: Submit your application

You have three ways to submit your application after obtaining the required paperwork:

  • Send hard copies through postal mail.
  • Drop off your application in person.
  • Scan and upload through the online portal.

Once your eligibility for a permanent identity card is confirmed, your current Hong Kong status will be canceled, and the following steps apply:

  • If you are 11 years or older, you can apply for the identity card at the Registration Office.
  • If you are under 11 and hold valid foreign documents, you can obtain an endorsement confirming your eligibility.

Application For Certificate of Entitlement

For Chinese nationals who were not born in Hong Kong but have a direct family connection to the city, obtaining a Certificate of Entitlement (CoE) is an essential step. Their right to settle and live in Hong Kong is affirmed in this agreement. This is a thorough tutorial to help you grasp the requirements for qualifying, the necessary paperwork, and the submission procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes. Residents of Hong Kong are granted HKSAR Re-entry Permits to enter the Mainland and the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR).

Yes. You can apply for a HK passport if you are a Chinese citizen, a permanent resident of the HKSAR, or the owner of a valid Hong Kong permanent identity card.

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Simard & Associates helps clients apply for citizenship and residence under the applicable programs. To schedule an initial free consultation, get in touch with us.


Simard & Associates helps clients apply for citizenship and residence under the applicable programs. To schedule an initial free consultation, get in touch with us.


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