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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 / 20 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.

SMALL-keep-calm-and-ask-the-visa-geeza

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).

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? “

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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?

PODCAST ANSWER

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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.

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RESPONSES
  • CJ

    18 Jul 2022 pm31 2:33pm
    01

    G’day Visa Geeza!

    Can’t find a concrete answer anywhere on the HK gov website – but is it your understanding that you cannot loose your RTL ID? Ie the 3 year rule doesn’t apply to the RTL does it? Been hard to get back to hk with all the covid restrictions.

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Jul 2022 am31 8:45am
      02

      Correct. You cannot lose the Right to Land under any circumstances.

  • Lara

    31 Mar 2022 am31 4:56am
    03

    Good day,

    I will also miss my 36 months window due to covid. This means that I will not be in a hurry to go back, and it could be a couple of years before I will do so. Can I postpone applying for a new ID card with the right to land this long, or should I apply from overseas (is that even an option, or do I have to be in the country?)?

    I am still a bit at a loss regarding the difference between “right of abode” (ROA) and “right to land” (RTL). Is the only difference that with the ROA you cannot be deported?

    Like so many others, my main concern is being allowed to live and work in HK without requiring a visa. Thus, if that is all that is really important to me, whether I have the ROA or the RTL does not seem to make a difference at all. Do I see that correctly?

    Thanks so much in advance, really appreciate you running this super helpful site!

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Apr 2022 am30 9:07am
      04

      When you next retunr to HK after missing the 36 month window you simply apply to have your ID card chnaged to denote Right to Land (apply for ROP145 and then ImmD will refuse it and this avails the RTL ID card therefater). You must be in country.

      See: https://hongkongvisageeza.com/covid-chronicles-can-i-extend-the-3-years-needed-to-keep-my-right-of-abode-in-hong-kong/

      RTL is functional PR, one rung below RoA. You can’t lose it and you never need to apply for any kind of visa for HK ever again.

      • Lara

        16 May 2022 pm31 7:55pm
        05

        Many thanks for your response, really appreciate it! Just to reconfirm, with the Right to Land I can still work in Hong Kong without restrictions and without applying for any other visa?
        Thanks a lot!

        • The Visa Geeza

          1 Jun 2022 pm30 2:26pm
          06

          Correct.

  • Chas

    8 Mar 2022 pm31 12:54pm
    07

    I have a Right to Land HKID card, would that also mean my wife also qualifies to stay visa free in HK ?
    Also would she qualify for a right to land HKID ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Mar 2022 am31 11:09am
      08

      It depends what you mean by ‘visa free’? She can qualify for a Dependant Visa sponsored by you if you’re planning to live here. Your right to land status is not transferrable to your spouse.

  • IB

    23 Feb 2021 am28 1:43am
    09

    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
      10

      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
    11

    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
      12

      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
    13

    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
      14

      No. he must qualify in his own right.

  • David

    26 Nov 2012 am30 4:08am
    15

    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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