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Travel Advisory

Hong Kong Visa Requirements

Short Term Visitors to Hong Kong

U.S. Citizens visiting Hong Kong for not more than three months/90 days are not required to obtain visas. They must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months and evidence of adequate funds for their stay and onward transportation. Those wishing to stay more than three months must obtain visas from a Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Visitors are not permitted to study or work (whether paid or not).

Travel to the People's Republic of China (PRC)

Americans need visas to visit China. Transit visas are required for any stop (even if you do not exit the plane or train) in China. These visas are available only from the Chinese authorities and are not issued by the American Consulate. See Visas for China and Elsewhere for more information.

In the U.S., Americans should consult the Visa Section of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC (202/328-2500). Internet: Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States.

Student, Employment and Other Visas for Hong Kong

Extensions of stay for tourists past 90 days are judged on a case by case basis by the Hong Kong Immigration authorities. Reasons for the request must be convincing and the visitor must have adequate funds. Subsequent applications for the extension are scrutinized more closely. Each application for extension costs HK$135 (about US$18).

Persons wishing to study or work in Hong Kong must apply for the appropriate visa in advance. These visas are available only from the Chinese authorities and are not issued by the American Consulate. For more information, please contact the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or Hong Kong Immigration directly at:

Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2824-6111
Fax: 2824-1133
Website: Immigration Department

Visa Problems

Some Americans have reported to us requests by local officials for additional documents or information, or other problems relating to visas. The decision to issue a visa, or on what type and duration of visa to issue, rests exclusively with the local visa officials. The American Consulate cannot intervene in individual visa cases.

U.S. Military Personnel

Active duty US Military Personnel and their family members are required to have valid (at least four months validity) Passports when they transit Hong Kong. Passports are required whether on Permanent Change of Station (PCS), TAD/TDY (Temporary Assigned Duty) or Leave Status. Aircrew members may enter and depart Hong Kong on military ID card with crew orders or passenger manifest. Ship's Crew are not required Passports if they arrive and depart with the vessel. Only Personnel with Command Funded Emergency Leave Orders may depart Hong Kong on the strength of their Military ID. Passport Holders do not require Visas if the duration of the stay/visit is less than 90 days.

Consular Protection And Right Of Abode In Hong Kong

According to the agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China regarding the maintenance of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong signed between the United States and China in March 1997, all U.S. citizens entering Hong Kong after July 1, 1997 on their U.S. passports including dual nationals (U.S. citizens who are Hong Kong residents or former residents who are of Chinese descent and born in the mainland of China or Hong Kong) will be considered U.S. citizens by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region authorities for purposes of ensuring consular access and protection.

Dual nationals (as described above) who wish to ensure consular access and protection after the initial 3-month period of admission must declare their U.S. nationality by presenting their U.S. passports and completing an application for declaration of change of nationality with the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This declaration to ensure U.S. consular protection will result in loss of one's Chinese nationality but not necessarily one's right of abode. (note: failure to declare U.S. nationality after the initial 3-month period of admission may jeopardize the guarantee of consular protection. Dual national residents of Hong Kong who desire to guarantee consular protection after July 1, 1997 should, similarly, declare their U.S. nationality to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.)

U.S. citizens having renounced their Chinese nationality will retain their permanent residence (right of abode) in Hong Kong if they had right of abode in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, and if they are settled or returned to settle in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, or if they return to Hong Kong after July 1, 1997 within a period of 18 months (i.e. until December 31, 1998), or if, on the date they return to settle in Hong Kong, they have not immediately before that date lived outside Hong Kong for a continuous period of more than 36 months.

Further information on the right of abode in Hong Kong may be obtained from the Hong Kong Immigration Department via fax: (852) 2824-1133, Internet: Immigration Department, or E-mail: General Enquiry.


Last modified: February 15, 2006

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