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How Do Foreign National Children Resident In Hong Kong For 7 Years Go On To Acquire Permanent Residency Here?

February 7th, 2024

Posted by / in Family Visas, Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / 2 responses


How Do Foreign National Children Resident In Hong Kong For 7 Years Go On To Acquire Permanent Residency Here?

Permanent Residency

The test for the right of abode for foreign national children resident in Hong Kong for 7 years is the same as for adults but the manifestation of that PR takes a slightly different form…


I’ve heard that our children can independently hold permanent residency once they turn 7.  Is this correct and if so, how do we go about applying for it?



Once a child that was not born in Hong Kong has lived here continuously prepared and not less than seven years and that child goes on to make an application to have his eligibility for a permanent identity card verified and that exercise involves exactly the same approvability test as is applied to adult counterparts that are also seeking to go ahead and secure the right of abode in Hong Kong.

So using the context of children that are naturally resident in Hong Kong with their parents, the evidence that’s submitted in support of that application is that they are together with their parents and that they are in school. And the Immigration Department take proof of schooling typically as being definitive evidence that they have been a continuously ordinarily residents in Hong Kong.

And of course they do check to see their whereabouts during that time, so insofar as the test goes, it is essentially the same as it is for adults when it comes to children. But the manifestation of the right of abode is reflected not in the issue of a permanent identity card. Because the child, if it’s under 11 years of age, can’t secure a permanent ID, can’t secure any kind of identity card.

Effectively once they get to 11 they get a juvenile ID card and that juvenile ID card states that the holder has the right of abode but prior to that the actuality of having had your very verification for eligibility for the right of abode is reflected in a sticker that’s placed in the back of the passport of the child and then the child then presents that at the boundaries and at the airport when the child is travelling and of course, the Immigration Department immediately admits the child on the strength of the child having the right of abode.

So that’s it it’s – an endorsement to the passport first until the issue of the first ID card where upon the permanent identity card is formally issued. The only wrinkle to that is that at the point of issuing the ID card at the age of 11, there will be a further examination to ensure that the child has remained continuously and ordinarily in Hong Kong.

Throughout the proceeding, say in this case three or four years, if the child had his eligibility verified at the age of seven and if the child has not been continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong throughout all at that time and/or has been absent I should say from Hong Kong for more than three years at a stretch then the ID card that will be issued will be a right to land ID card and will not be a permanent identity card.

So eligibility can be verified through the placements of the sticker in the passport, but you still need to maintain your connections to Hong Kong under the basic law. Which means that a child must have been in Hong Kong on at least one occasion during the interim period over a course of three years in order to maintain eligibility for the right of abode and the issue of the permanent identity card accordingly.

Otherwise, as I’ve stated the child will be issued with an ID card that grants him the right to land.

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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.

  • SA

    2 May 2022 pm31 4:26pm

    Hi there, I have been living in Hong Kong since August 2016 and hope to be eligible to apply for PR in August 2023. I have a question regarding my son who has been living here since January 2017 without any break. He was not born here and doesn’t have any HK ID. He has been having some allergy-related health issues for quite some time now, which doctors here say are due to Hong Kong’s environment. I have been thinking about whether I should send him to my home country with his mother for a few months (maybe not more than six continuously) to see whether it helps him overcome the health issues. But before I decide to send them outside Hong Kong, I need to know whether my son and his mother will still be eligible to apply for PR in January 2024 when they complete seven years? Looking forward to your response. Thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      1 Jun 2022 pm30 2:39pm

      You didn’t indicate his immigration status. Assuming he has a dependant visa AND the time away was due to documented health issues AND your wife also holds a dependant visa AND it is imperative that she be with him for these health reasons then it may be possible they will boht still qualify for PR. You problem related to the notion of ‘going home’. If they are perceived just to have ‘gone home’ then they will not qualify for PR in HK


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