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QOTW: Any Chance to Visit Hong Kong After Being Convicted of a Serious Offence Overseas?

July 15th, 2015

Posted by / in Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 2 responses


What might ImmD make of such a foreign national seeking to come to visit Hong Kong again?


My friend holds a British passport and has family in Hong Kong. He has been many times before as a visitor but 5 years ago was convicted of a sexual offence in the UK and served 18 months in prison. He is now on the UK’s sex offender’s register and must register his movements with the police. He wishes to make a short trip to visit Hong Kong, the first since his release. The UK police are content for him to travel and consider him low risk. He has not offended since leaving prison.

It is clear to me that Hong Kong could refuse him entry, but it is not clear to me what he should do. Should he apply for a visa in London first? Should he just go – and is there a positive obligation on him to disclose is offences? Or does he only need to disclose his record if asked by an officer?

When I came to visit Hong Kong previously I do not remember having to declare that I was free from convictions on any landing card.

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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.

  • Mark

    25 Apr 2019 pm30 9:44pm

    I do have a question about this. On various forms and pages I have seen ‘no known record of serious crime’. Could you please inform me what ‘serious crime’ means? Would common assault be deemed serious in HKID’s eyes?

    Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Apr 2019 pm30 4:14pm

      Not in my experience. But anyway, ImmD will generally not ask and you have no firm obligation to disclose unless asked directly by ImmD.


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