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So, Just What is the Deal With the Right to Land in Hong Kong Anyway?

November 17th, 2020

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / 12 responses


The right to land in Hong Kong impacts quite a number of people here but does not figure much in the general immigration scheme as it is not a status that you can apply for per se, nor is it an immigration status that you can acquire by descent.


The right to land in Hong Kong is available in certain situations which I discuss in the context of this question which popped into my Inbox first thing this morning (and I have assumed the questioner’s parents are Chinese citizens for the purpose of this question).


“Hi, I was born in Netherlands in 1974, but my parents are from Hong Kong. Will I still be able to apply for the right to land? “

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

Will you qualify for the Right of Abode in Hong Kong if it is not your intention to live here permanently?

The right of abode for foreign nationals in Hong Kong – when does the clock start ticking?

10 must have resources for a successful permanent residency application in Hong Kong

Will any time you spend in Hong Kong as a visitor count towards the magic 7 years for a right of abode application?

DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST ANSWER – I am an overseas Chinese and my mother holds a Permanent ID Card and a HKSAR passport so do I have the right of abode in Hong Kong?




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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.

  • IB

    23 Feb 2021 am28 1:43am

    Hi there – thanks for this helpful podcast!

    First question: I am a foreign national who acquired permanent residency from growing up in HK. I left for college a few years ago but am not able to return to HK as planned this year due to covid. As a result, i will have missed my 36 month window to return. Do I get automatically downgraded to right to land and can continue to use my ID card to enter HK or do i have to re-apply for right to land?

    Second question: does right to land give me the right to work and live for an unrestricted period of time in HK (without needing an additional visa, and conditional to not being arrested etc.)?

    Thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Feb 2021 pm28 12:17pm

      First question: YES and YES. Next back to HK though you must apply to change your ID card

      Second question: YES RTL is still PR even if not the right of abode.

  • Damo

    12 Mar 2020 am31 10:55am

    is the application process for permanent residency the same if you already have Right to land?

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Mar 2020 pm31 2:05pm

      Yes – need to demonstrate continuous ordinary residence in HK for at least 7 years to upgrade from RTL to ROA.

  • Pauline Lo

    2 Jun 2019 pm30 10:39pm

    If I have the Right to Land in Hong Kong, would my son who was born overseas, has the same Right to Land too?

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Jun 2019 pm30 12:55pm

      No. he must qualify in his own right.

  • David

    26 Nov 2012 am30 4:08am

    If both parents were born in Hong Kong, the questioner almost certainly has the right to land. This is because, prior to 1 July 1997, the questioner was a Hong Kong permanent resident (British Dependent Territories Citizen by descent).


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