How to Apply For Hong Kong Permanent Residency (HKPR)

Planning to reside for a significant amount of time in Hong Kong? It’s a good idea to consider becoming a Hong Kong permanent resident (HKPR). The process of securing an HKPR status can be intimidating, especially if there is no one to guide you through all the paperwork and immigration matters. To take the stress out of the process, we are going to break down everything you need to know about applying to become a Hong Kong permanent resident.

Who can apply to become a Hong Kong Permanent Resident?

There are no restrictions on which nationalities can apply to become a Hong Kong Permanent Resident,  but the requirements do differ depending upon where you were born. Chinese nationals who were born in Hong Kong are considered permanent residents automatically. Foreign nationals need to be continuously living in Hong Kong for 7 consecutive years in order to fulfil the basic legal requirement to apply for permanent residency. The concise terms are set out in Article 24 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, and paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance. They explain that the following persons are entitled to permanent resident status:
  1. Chinese nationals who were born in Hong Kong.
  2. Chinese nationals who were born outside Hong Kong but who are lawfully permitted to live in Hong Kong and have done so for 7 years.
  3. Chinese nationals who were born outside Hong Kong to a parent who, at the time of birth, was already a Hong Kong permanent resident.
  4. Foreigners (persons not of Chinese nationality) who have lived in Hong Kong lawfully for 7 years and have taken Hong Kong as their permanent place of residence.
  5. Foreigners under the age of 21 who were born in Hong Kong to a parent who is a permanent resident as defined in category (iv). On reaching the age of 21, these persons must establish their own permanent resident status under one of the above categories; otherwise, they will cease to be permanent residents of Hong Kong.
  6. Persons who had no right of abode anywhere other than Hong Kong before the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR.
Some provisions exclude certain professions such as foreign domestic helpers or mainland Chinese government officials from obtaining Hong Kong permanent resident status. As a non-national, you should also be aware that the Immigration Department can ask for additional documentation, such as evidence of all Hong Kong taxes having been paid before accepting your application.

Benefits of Hong Kong Permanent Resident status

There are numerous benefits to becoming a HK permanent resident, such as the right to permanently reside and work in Hong Kong. Some other entitlements include the right to vote in certain local elections along with access to quality healthcare and education.

Hong Kong Permanent Resident Application (HKPR Application)

If you are not a Chinese national, then you will need to apply under Article 24 of the Immigration Ordinance. This means you will need to provide documentation evidencing that you have lived in Hong Kong for 7 consecutive years. There are a few steps you need to follow for a successful Hong Kong Permanent Resident Application. First, you should fill out the correct application form relevant to your eligibility. Second, as a foreign national, you will also need to complete the ROP146 form, which declares Hong Kong as your permanent residence. Then, either upload or hand in a hard copy of your application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. You will likely be asked to provide tax information or rental contracts as evidence Hong Kong has been your permanent place of residence. On occasions, further supporting documents may be requested by the immigration authorities during the HKPR application process.

How long does it take to process the application?

On average, the processing time for Hong Kong Permanent Resident Applications is approximately 6 weeks, but the time required may vary depending on the level of demand. Once you are notified that your application has been approved, you will need to visit the Registration of Persons office at the Immigration Department to receive your card. After being approved, your existing visa will be revoked, so it is a matter of priority that you collect your permanent residence card. Children under the age of 11 do not receive a physical residence card, but their passports will be updated to reflect their permanent resident status.

Need help?

Still got questions about applying to become a Hong Kong Permanent Resident? FastLaneHR can help! As a trusted work visa agent, we are experienced in liaising directly with the Hong Kong Immigration Department and helping numerous clients successfully process their work visas and various immigration-related application. We can help guide you through the entire application process from start to finish, making your journey to becoming a Hong Kong Permanent Resident as stress-free as possible. Get in touch with FastLaneHR today!