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Hadley Says

How Can a Foreign National Permanent Resident of Hong Kong Get a HKSAR Passport?

January 30th, 2013

Posted by / in Hadley Says…, Long Stay & PR / 53 responses


The HKSAR passport is an excellent travel document affording visa free privileges to travel to and visit some 150 countries worldwide.

If you are a foreign national permanent resident of Hong Kong you can consider, if you so desire, applying for a HKSAR passport, usually if your present country of origin does not offer you a convenient means to travel, needing visas for most any place that you might like to visit on a regular basis.

In order to do this you must first naturalize as a Chinese citizen and in the process relinquish your current citizenship as Chinese nationality law does not recognize dual nationality.

Broadly speaking, becoming a Chinese citizen means that you have to have some connection to China, possibly via marriage or an ability to speak Chinese, possibly own a business on the Mainland or have property there or in Hong Kong.

The rules are not hard and fast and very many non-ethnic Chinese applicants have been successful in their applications and so it is certainly worthwhile giving it a shot if Hong Kong is very much the only place you can possibly now call home.

There are mechanisms in place such that you do not find yourself stateless, giving up your current nationality before having Chinese nationality confirmed, and the process involves both the Hong Kong Immigration Department nd also the consulate of your current nationality.

Changing nationality is a serious matter and should not be pursued lightly.

However, once your Chinese citizenship is conferred, your ability to secure a HKSAR passport is a right afforded  by law and the process of issuing the document is just a simple application exercise.

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

  • AM

    9 Mar 2024 pm31 12:46pm

    Hi I have RTL in Hong Kong. Can I apply Chinese Naturalisation right now or after completing 7 years. I was born here and HK birth certificate etc. I’m interested in getting HKSAR passport if I can. Please give lil guidance.

    • The Visa Geeza

      25 Mar 2024 pm31 7:30pm

      You need RoA.

  • S

    18 May 2023 pm31 12:43pm

    Hi, I am a HK PR and not born in HK and applied for Chinese Naturalisation last year. As I haven’t heard anything from them, I have sent many inquires regarding my application submitted for Chinese Naturalisation. Every time I get the same reply saying: “Your e-mail has been forwarded to our relevant Section for appropriate action”. But until now I have not heard anything. The HK immigration website says an acknowledgement receipt would be sent within 1-2 weeks upon submission. Now it has been more than 5 months, I haven’t heard or got anything regarding my application. Is it a normal case? Does it take such a long time? Or maybe the reasons I gave was not satisfactory or appealing to them.

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 May 2023 am31 1:33am

      6 months is the minimum waiting time.

  • Saru

    15 Nov 2022 pm30 10:48pm

    Hello, Good evening to Visa Geeza and the team! 🙂

    I have read your post and also watched your video about the naturalization of foreign nationals. I have a few questions to ask if that would be alright!

    I am an HKSAR permanent resident – born and raised in HK, did all of my schooling, and my current territory education here, does this give me better chances of getting naturalised?

    I have also worked for the citywide 2021 Population Census and was authorized as a census officer for the time being – does working in such a government sector also give me a better chance of being naturalized? However, the working period was only for a short time, 1 month.

    My Uncle has an HK passport but he is not deemed to be written as a near relative for my application – so I will have to fill out the “Other Reasons” part. What exactly can I write in that part to further support my application?

    Thanks a lot, Visa Geeza!

    Hope you have an amazing day 🙂

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Nov 2022 pm30 2:49pm

      I beleive my colleague spoke to you / answered this offline already?

  • KB

    17 Oct 2022 am31 2:22am

    Im born and raised in Hong Kong, but I have an Indian Passport. I applied to change to Chinese nationality in August 2021 before applying for HK passport. I still haven’t heard from them or anything. How can I check? or does it normally take this long?

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Oct 2022 pm31 2:11pm

      Call the officer tasked with your case and ask him/her what’s happening.

  • Suchina rai

    6 Apr 2022 pm30 2:13pm

    Hi i wanted to know if i change my nepalese passport into hk and then later on would like to change back to nepalese passport is it possible or not

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Apr 2022 am30 8:58am

      Not according to Chinese Nationality law whioch doesnt recognise dual nationality. You’d have to check with a Nepalese immigration lawyer about the Nepal side – I have no clue about that.

  • Aamir

    27 Jan 2022 pm31 6:10pm

    i have a permanent ID in hong kong as I completed my 7 continuos years in Hong Kong . I am not Chinese . how long does it take to get the naturalization and then Hong Kong sar passport altogether?

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Feb 2022 am28 9:31am

      About 3-4 months

  • Suchina rai

    23 Jan 2022 pm31 11:58pm

    Hello i am an non Chinese citizen but was born in hk and have permanent id my question is to naturalise as a Chinese is it compulsory to know the Chinese language ??

    • The Visa Geeza

      25 Jan 2022 am31 9:38am


  • jim.M

    14 Jun 2021 am30 5:52am

    I was born in H,K and I can speak Cantonese too, however, I have a criminal record in H.K which was theft and it happened 6 years ago and I have confirmed with my probation officer 6 years ago that this crime is regarded as “SPENT” in H.K. So my first question is will my criminal record which is regarded as ‘SPENT’ could be a barrier for getting HKSAR passport? Second question is should i disclose this criminal record on my HKSAR application form as my probation officer told me that if you dont commit crime within 3 years, then you have the right to say that you dont have a criminal record on any application form.

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Jun 2021 pm30 7:05pm

      I have no idea of your immigration status. More information please.

      • jim.M

        19 Jun 2021 pm30 9:13pm

        born and raised in H,K, never left Hong Kong.

        • The Visa Geeza

          21 Jun 2021 pm30 6:32pm

          If you’re a PR you first must seek to naturalize as a Chinese Citizen and then apply for a HKSAR passport. Once you’re a Chinese Citizen the passport part if a simple admin procedure and you can’t be denied the passport. I am not an expert on Chinese Nationality so I’m afraid I can’t assist there.

  • JC

    23 Nov 2020 pm30 1:44pm

    Hi. We are considering to apply for a Hong Kong passport. I’ve just had my permanent residency this year. Is it a requirement to have a ready Chinese name? Thanks

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Nov 2020 am30 11:34am

      None needed.

  • mandy

    20 Nov 2020 am30 3:24am

    im a Nepali born and raised in Hong Kong can I apply it through online?

    • The Visa Geeza

      20 Nov 2020 pm30 7:09pm

      Yes but you must be in HK when you submit.

  • NSL

    4 Aug 2020 pm31 5:48pm

    I am a Filipino national and married to a Chinese citizen (born in Hong Kong) since 1999 but working overseas. I only applied my HKID year 2005. Am I eligible to apply HKSAR passport? I am still working overseas and my stay in Hongkong is only during an annual vacation.

    • The Visa Geeza

      10 Aug 2020 am31 10:01am

      The mere fact of a marriage for a HK permanent resident doesn’t accord ‘citizenship’ privileges in HK. First you must apply for PR (if you haven’t yet) and then naturalise as a Chinese citizen. This will require you to relinquish you present nationality first then once a Chinese citizen you can get a HKSAR passport.

  • Romy

    27 Oct 2019 am31 2:14am

    I am Hong Kong permanent resident almost 17 years in hk,very late to decided to have SAR passport, now my situation is complicated i have debt and stop paying my loans and credit cards payments almost 2 years any solutions, thanks

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Nov 2019 pm30 3:00pm

      Nope. You need to be solvent.

  • Wai KL

    13 Jan 2019 pm31 8:09pm

    I was born in HK. Moved to Denmark and still live there. I got HK permanent residence when in 2012.
    can my with wife and my 2 kids , all Danish passport get permanent residence like me?

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jan 2019 am31 10:48am

      No. They need to move here, live in HK continuously for 7 years and then apply for PR.

  • Vinay

    13 Aug 2018 pm31 4:56pm

    Sir, my son is Indian, worked in H K and recently got PR, can he apply for HKSAR Passport innear future

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Aug 2018 am31 11:50am

      If he can qualify to Naturalise as a Chinese citizen which in turns requires him to announce his Indian nationality then yes.

  • Naina

    19 Jul 2018 pm31 9:25pm

    I want to apply for hisar passport but I take social welfare as I am pregnant at the moment while I can’t work .will they regret my application ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Jul 2018 pm31 2:04pm

      If you are already a Chinese national and holding the RoA in HK then the fact of your personal financial circumstances will not impact on your ability to get a HKSAR passport which is just an administrative application. if you are NOT YET a Chinese national then the naturalization process will requirement you to prove you will not be a charge on the coffers of HK. Given that you are on social welfare you are not a good candidate for naturalization. I would wait until you’re financially back on your feet before thinking about pursuing Chinese Naturalization and subsequently a HKSAR passport.

  • Tiffany

    15 Mar 2018 pm31 6:11pm

    Hi, I was born in the UK but have a 3 star HKID. My parents live in HK with 3 star HKIDs too. Can I get the HK SAR passport without having to give up my UK passport?

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Mar 2018 pm31 12:13pm

      Well, you used to be able to, however there have been changes to ImmD practice recently to accord with a general reinforcement of the integrity of Chinese nationality and the preclusion on dual nationality under Chinese Nationality law. The outcome is no longer so certain.

      • Tiffany

        28 Mar 2018 am31 7:44am

        Thanks! If I give birth to a child in HK will they be able to get 3star HKID?

        • The Visa Geeza

          29 Mar 2018 am31 9:38am

          Only if you have a claim to Chinese nationality.

          • Tiffany

            31 Mar 2018 pm31 2:52pm

            Okay thanks visageeza

  • MP

    25 Feb 2018 pm28 7:23pm

    I am a foreign national w/ PR and right of abode in HK. So to apply for HKSAR passport I need to apply first as naturalized Chinese? How do I go about it? or would you have a website or link for the requirements or procedure to apply forChinese naturalization? Thanks in advance.

  • Zohaib Mukhtar

    1 Feb 2018 am28 7:13am

    I am the permanent residence of hongkong but i am not the citizen of china so can i apply for hongkong paasport

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Feb 2018 am28 10:30am

      If you give up your current nationality and apply to naturalise as a Chinese citizen then you can try.

  • Alex

    24 Jan 2018 pm31 1:50pm

    I have a sister, Indonesian citizen, who is going to marry a man from Hong Kong. I was wondering what would be the requirements for her to obtain a Hong Kong permanent ID and passport? Thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Jan 2018 am31 10:14am

      She cannot. She needs to get a dependant visa first, hold that for 7 years, then apply for PR and to naturalise as a Chinese citizen. Once that is all complete she can apply for a HKSAR passport. She will need to give ip her Indonesian nationality first, though.

  • KENSha

    16 Dec 2017 am31 5:00am

    I am a single mother holding a british passport and have a permanent hkid. My baby was also born in hk.can i applt hksar passport for my baby?

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Dec 2017 am31 10:47am

      Only if the child has a claim to Chinese nationality.

  • Gurung Basantaraj

    17 Jan 2017 pm31 10:41pm

    I want to apply for SAR passport,,l am non Chinese citizen,,but am resident of Hong Kong

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Jan 2017 pm31 4:06pm

      Congratulations! What’s your question?


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