In our Spotlight on APAC series, we round up the latest developments across Asia Pacific. In this post, we explore the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) decision to remove the special arrangements for extension of stay that were introduced during the pandemic.
Extension of stay applications on or after 1 January 2024
In this note we provide a reminder of the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) decision announced on 1 November 2023 to remove the special arrangements introduced during the pandemic for non-permanent residents submitting extension of stay applications outside of Hong Kong.
The HKID will remove the special arrangements effective 1 January 2024. Any applications for an extension of stay in Hong Kong will revert to the usual policy of requiring the applicant to be physically present in Hong Kong at the time of submission of the application.
All applications reaching the Immigration Department on or after 1 January 2024 will be considered under the original policy that was in operation prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that an applicant applying to extend their visa in Hong Kong must be both physically present at the date of submission and physically present at the time of collection of the e-visa for the extension of stay. Note that this does not preclude travel during the period that the application is being processed. But applicants should note these requirements and plan accordingly to ensure that visa extension applications are submitted in good time and that individuals do not overstay the permitted duration of the visa.
Extension of stay applications submitted prior to 1 January 2024
Under the special arrangement implemented on 8 April 2022 non-permanent residents who were outside Hong Kong and unable to return in time to submit extension of stay applications, the HKID allowed those individuals to submit extension of stay applications from outside of Hong Kong.
Currently, whilst the special arrangements are still in place, it may be possible for extension of stay applications (ie those visas with duration expiring within four weeks) to be submitted whilst the applicant is outside of Hong Kong. The following visa categories fall within the special arrangement:
- General Employment Policy (including employment and entrepreneur investment visas)
- Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals
- Quality Migrant Admission Scheme
- Immigration Arrangements for Non-Local Graduates
- Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents
- Technology Talent Admission Scheme
- Capital Investment Entrant Scheme
- Residence as dependants; and
- Students enrolled in full time study programmes.
Applicants in these categories applying for an extension of stay prior to the 1 January 2024 may be able to take advantage of the special arrangements. We advise applicants to take advice from your immigration provider as these applications may require additional supporting documentation and will be considered on a case by case basis.
All applications submitted on or after 1 January 2024 will be considered under the original policy and directives of the Immigration Ordinance.
If you require further advice and assistance on your Hong Kong extension application or have queries regarding Hong Kong immigration rules in general, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]