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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)




General Policy

While Hong Kong welcomes overseas students in general, with effect from 2005, The Hong Kong Immigration Policy on Study stipulates that nationals from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam are not allowed to undertake studies in HKSAR.

Part-time programme
If you are admitted to a part-time programme, the Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) will still accept your student visa application. They, however, will take the actual teaching dates of your study programme into consideration during the assessment process. It is very likely that ImmD will permit you to stay in Hong Kong as a student only on those dates that you need to attend classes at the University. For the rest of the week, you are expected to leave the HKSAR territory and return to your city of domicile.

All visitors who do not have the right of abode or right to land in Hong Kong are required to apply for a student visa/entry permit.

You do not need a student visa/entry permit if:

  • you are permitted to enter/stay in Hong Kong under the “Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates” (IANG)
  • you hold a valid dependant visa
  • you hold a valid employment visa (for part-time students only)

IMPORTANT NOTE:
A student should not commence studies before the student visa has been issued AND activated.

While HKSAR government allows some nationals entering Hong Kong without having any ENTRY visa, you are still required to apply for a STUDENT visa/entry permit if you intend to undertake educational activities including elective/short-term, summer, exchange/visiting, or full-degree programmes in Hong Kong. You are expected to apply for a HKSAR student visa irrespective of the duration of your study programme or academic-related activities.

Student Visa Application

If you choose to apply for a student visa on your own, you will need to find a local sponsor. Also, you will have to check with relevant arrangements with the ImmD and monitor the progress of application yourself. Please note that you must not commence studies without an activated student visa/entry permit.

Please note that student visa application via local Chinese Embassy is not applicable for:

  • students pursing part-time programmes
  • students pursing elective or short-term programmes
  • student holding a conditional offer
  • students from PRC, Taiwan, Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam

In addition to mailing your documents for visa sponsorship application to CEDARS, HKU, you also need to contact your local Chinese Embassy. They will pass your visa application to the ImmD in accordance to their schedule. The ImmD will then draw references from CEDARS, HKU and send your visa application result to your local Chinese Embassy. Your local Chinese Embassy is responsible for informing you of the result and passing the student visa label to you. The processing time of visa application is around 8-10 weeks. You also need to take into account the additional processing time by the Chinese Embassy, which varies among different Embassies. As it usually takes longer to apply for a student visa via Chinese Embassies than via CEDARS, please allow more time for your application. You are responsible to monitor the progress and result of your student visa application.

Your local Chinese Embassy will ask you to fill in extra forms, and you may also need to pay additional charges.

To complete the ID995A Form, please note the following:

  • Please complete the fields on the form that are highlighted in yellow.
  • For Section 6 – ‘Applicant’s Estimated Cost of Living in Hong Kong’, please refer to “HKU Preparatory Guide for Non-local Students” for details. Please provide the total estimated cost for the whole of your period of studies.
  • For Section 7 – ‘Financial Situation of Applicant’, please refer to the items listed under Q11 and Q12 in the Frequently Asked Questions section. Please fill in accordance to the exact details in the financial supporting documents (e.g. bank statements or bank letters in Chinese/English, proof of scholarship/grant/loan, etc.) you provide for your student visa application.
  • You must sign by hand at the bottom of every filled-in page of ID995A Form with the same signature as the one in your passport.

Multiple admission offers would cause delay to your application progress. If you are holding multiple admission offers, you are responsible to confirm your final decision on the study programme in order to proceed with the student visa application.

Should there be any subsequent changes in your study programme/curriculum, please inform us in writing as soon as possible. Any changes in your study programme/curriculum may lead to cancellation of your current visa application, and you may be required to re-submit a new visa application at your own cost.

If you are under the age of 18 before the commencement of your studies, one of your parents should authorize a relative/friend in Hong Kong or the University to be your guardian. A consent letter (sample), duly signed by both the guardian and one of your parents, should be provided.

If you have received a conditional offer of admission, you may still submit your student visa application to the ImmD via CEDARS. After the ImmD approves your application, CEDARS will pick up your student visa label upon receiving a copy of your confirmed offer of admission.

Show your entry student visa label at the immigration clearance counter when you arrive in Hong Kong. Please make sure that the immigration staff issues a landing slip to you.
Please check the following information listed on your landing slip:

  1. Student – Permitted to remain until “dd/mm/yyyy”
  2. Studying the approved course at THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
  3. Your English name
  4. Travel document number
  5. Arrival date

Please make sure that you see the word “Student” on your landing slip. Otherwise you are considered as a visitor and not a student. You must rectify the problem at the immigration clearance counter as soon as you notice it.

You are advised to staple the landing slip to your passport and NOT TO LOSE IT throughout your stay in Hong Kong. You will need to provide it for your student visa extension application (if applicable).

Financial Proof Documents

You are expected to provide financial proofs showing that you have sufficient means to cover your total cost of academic and living expenses in Hong Kong. Listed below are some of the common documents:

  • student’s latest bank statement(s) and/or income proof(s) (e.g. pay slip)
  • parent’s latest bank statement(s) and/or income proof(s) (e.g. pay slip), together with a supporting letter signed by your financial sponsor, and a photocopy of his/her passport showing the same signature as the one in the letter
  • a confirmed loan letter
  • an award letter of scholarship

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. All the documents provided should contain the name of student/financial sponsor.
  2. Any documents provided that is not in English/Chinese should be accompanied by certified translated version(s) in English/Chinese.

ImmD has not specified any particular amount. You are expected to demonstrate that you or your financial sponsor have sufficient means to cover your academic and living expenses for at least a year or during your study period in Hong Kong, whichever is shorter. For the estimated expenses, please refer to our publication “HKU Preparatory Guide for Non-local Students” here.

Dependant Visa

Students on full-time studies may bring along their spouse and unmarried dependant children under 18 years of age by applying for dependant visa(s)*.

*Not applicable for students admitted to elective/short-term, exchange/visiting or part-time programme

(The following arrangement applies to students from overseas who apply for an entry student visa only. Other students* should apply for a dependant visa on their own.)

You should complete the relevant parts for accompanying dependant(s) in the official visa application form ID995A. CEDARS will help you forward the complete visa application set to ImmD. After ImmD has approved your dependant visa application, CEDARS will pick up the visa label and send it to you by courier. The required documents are listed below:

  • a completed official visa application form ID995A;
  • a photocopy of your spouse and/or children's passport;
  • a photocopy of your spouse's financial proof document;
  • a photocopy of your marriage certificate and/or children's birth certificate; and
  • an application fee of HK$900 (for one accompanying dependant).

*Students from the Mainland are suggested to apply for the dependant visa(s) on their own after obtaining a student visa and securing a living place in Hong Kong, since a local address proof will be required for dependant visa application.

A dependant visa holder is not allowed to work in Hong Kong. However, he/she can take up full-time or part-time studies in Hong Kong without having to apply for a separate student visa.

Visa Extension

(Note: Students on part-time studies have to apply for a new student visa every year. The procedure is the same as the first time they apply for the student visa.)

If you have extended your period of studies or your limit of stay is shorter than the normal duration of your study programme, you should apply for visa extension 4 weeks before your limit of stay expires.

You will have to apply for a supporting letter from CEDARS before you submit your application to ImmD. Please log in to the online visa system to apply for supporting letter from HKU.

Please note that it is the responsibility of individual students to renew the student visa in a timely manner to maintain a valid and legitimate visa status throughout studying at HKU. For undergraduates and taught postgraduates from the Mainland, please contact the China Affairs Office (email: visaapp@hku.hk) for assistance. For all other students, please contact CEDARS for help.

Applications will normally be accepted 4 weeks before the limit of stay expires. You may apply in person or authorise in writing a representative to submit the application for visa extension at ImmD. However, you (the applicant) must be physically in Hong Kong on the date of submission and on the date of collection of the visa label.

Mainland students should submit the applications to the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section, Immigration Department, 6/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Students other than those from the Mainland should submit their applications to the Extension Section, Immigration Department, 5/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong or any Immigration Office (except Hong Kong Island Travel Documents Issuing Office).

Students can apply for an early visa extension should the need arise. Please state the reasons for your early visa extension when applying for a supporting letter for visa extension from CEDARS.

List of documents required for application for a supporting letter from CEDARS:

  • a duly completed Faculty/Department confirmation sheet on study status for visa extension (click here to download the form)
  • a photocopy of student card
  • a photocopy of Hong Kong Identity card (if applicable)
  • a photocopy of passport/travel document pages showing your personal particulars
  • a photocopy of passport/travel document with the latest visa /entry permit label/arrival stamp/landing slip/extension of stay label in the HKSAR

You are required to submit the following documents to ImmD: (i) a duly completed application form ID91; (ii) a photocopy of your travel document; (iii) a photocopy of your Hong Kong Identity Card; and (iv) a supporting letter from HKU.

For details, please visit the website of ImmD here.

It normally takes 2 to 3 weeks for ImmD to process an application upon receipt of all required documents. For details, please visit the website of ImmD here.

You may wish to find out more information on the website of ImmD here.

Entry and Travelling Arrangements

You can enter Hong Kong with your entry student visa label/entry permit before the date specified on it.

Non-permanent residents of the HKSAR, irrespective of their nationalities and type of travel document held, do not require a re-entry visa/entry permit to enter HKSAR provided that they return within the currency of permitted limit of stay, and that the circumstances upon which they have acquired their residential status remain unchanged.

For Taiwanese students, after entering Hong Kong on your single entry permit, you have to apply for a 'Multiple Entry Permit' (MEP) and transfer the endorsement onto the MEP to facilitate your future travels to and from Hong Kong. You may apply for the MEP in person at ImmD.

Yes, you need to apply for a separate tourist visa to Mainland China. If you would like to apply for it in Hong Kong, you can do so in person at the China Travel Service (H.K.) Limited (E-mail: enquiry@ctshk.com). You may be able to apply for it at your local Chinese Embassy before you come to Hong Kong. Please contact the authorities concerned directly for assistance.

If your length of stay in Hong Kong is more than 180 days, you need to apply for a HK Identity Card within 30 days of arrival/or upon acquiring such permission to stay. Please refer to the webpage of the Hong Kong Immigration Department here for application procedure. You may make an appointment via the online booking system or by phone beforehand.

A note to all student visa holders under the age of 18:
If your parents have nominated a relative to be your local guardian, you should be accompanied by that local guardian when you submit your Hong Kong Identity Card application at ImmD. If your parents have nominated “The University of Hong Kong” to be your local guardian, you can submit your application to ImmD on your own. You will be asked to fill in a declaration form there.

You have to report to the Hong Kong Police and obtain a loss report memorandum. You also have to report to your consulate in Hong Kong and apply for a new passport.

After receiving your new passport, you need to get a supporting letter from your visa sponsorship office. You will then have to visit ImmD and apply for replacement of your student visa label with issuance fee incurred.

For students from overseas, Taiwan or Macau, please visit:

The Hong Kong Immigration Department
5/F, Immigration Tower,
7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

For students from Mainland China, please visit:

The Hong Kong Immigration Department
6/F, Immigration Tower,
7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

Please bring along the following documents with you:

  • A photocopy of the loss report memorandum issued by the Hong Kong Police;
  • A supporting letter issued by CEDARS;
  • A photocopy of your new passport/travel document;
  • A completed application form (ID405) and application fee;
  • A photocopy of your Hong Kong Identity Card (if any);
  • A photocopy of your HKU Student Card (if any);
  • A photocopy of your offer of admission letter issued by HKU (if any).

Details can be viewed under the section of “Transfer of Endorsement” and “Loss of EEP” at the website of the ImmD.

Your passport/travel document should contain at least six months validity beyond the proposed date of your entry into Hong Kong.

You should present both your old and new passports/travel documents when entering Hong Kong. Afterwards, you may apply for ‘Transfer of Endorsement’ in person at ImmD.

Change of Educational Institutions/Programmes and Termination of Studies

Student visa holders are imposed with a condition of stay to take up a prescribed course in the prescribed educational institution. Any change in condition of stay requires the prior approval from ImmD. Application for change of educational institution may be approved under the condition that you continue to fulfill the eligibility criteria for study in Hong Kong. If your application for change of educational institution is approved, an appropriate visa label specifying the name of the new educational institution will be issued to you, with a visa label issuance fee incurred.

You may apply for switching from one study programme to another within the same educational institution if you continue to fulfill the eligibility criteria for study in Hong Kong. However, any change in condition of stay requires the prior approval from ImmD. If your application for change of study programme is approved, you will be informed in writing by ImmD. CEDARS will inform you by email about the notification and instructions from ImmD. If you have extended your study or your limit of stay is shorter than the normal duration of your study programme, you should apply for student visa extension 4 weeks before your limit of stay expires. Please contact CEDARS for assistance if necessary.

It is the responsibility of individual students to maintain a valid and legitimate visa status throughout their studies in HKU. Should there be any circumstantial or personal changes leading to the termination of the student’s prevailing visa status, you should report the changes immediately to ImmD and apply for a new visa for study. Pursuing studies in Hong Kong without a valid visa is regarded as a breach of law.

Eligible graduates can apply for staying in Hong Kong under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates Scheme (IANG), or you can apply for extending your stay in Hong Kong as a visitor with valid reason(s). Unless with such prior approval from ImmD, all student visa holders are required to leave Hong Kong within 4 weeks from the date of termination of studies. Please refer to the website of ImmD here (under Q19 of “Frequently Asked Questions”). Please also refer to your landing slip issued to you by ImmD.

Employment during the Study Programme

For non-local students studying full-time locally accredited programmes at undergraduate level or above whose study period is not less than one academic year, they will be notified by ImmD individually with a “No Objection Letter” (NOL) if they are eligible for taking up part-time/summer work upon approval of entry and extension of stay.

Interested students should refer to the detailed information available under “Employment during the Study Programme” of the website of the ImmD.

As specified in the NOL, eligible students should take up employment at operators within the campus designated by HKU for not more than 20 hours per week. The list of designated operators of HKU is available here . The list is updated from time to time.

If your NOL is lost or damaged, you should get a replacement from the ImmD. Mainland students may approach the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section for the issuance of a fresh NOL at no fee. Other non-local students may approach the Extension Section for the same formalities. For enquiries, please contact the ImmD at enquiry@immd.gov.hk. Applicants should submit a duly completed form ID91, together with his/her travel document containing the latest visa label/entry permit and landing slip (if any).

Details are available at the website of ImmD.

For students studying programmes with compulsory internship requirements, they would be issued a NOL by ImmD. Please contact your Faculty office for support and submit an application to ImmD.

For students studying programmes without compulsory internship requirements, they have to seek prior approval from ImmD before they take up any internships. Students need to submit the following documents in person to 5/F (for non-Mainland China students) or 6/F (for Mainland China students), Immigration Tower, the Hong Kong Immigration Department, Wan Chai, Hong Kong:

  • the contract and relevant documents of the internship;
  • a supporting letter from your Faculty confirming that the internship is study-related (only internship related to your current studies in HKU will be considered).

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis by ImmD.

For details of the application procedure, please contact ImmD directly.

Enquiry telephone number: (852) 2824 6111
Fax number: (852) 2877 7711
Email: enquiry@immd.gov.hk
Address:
Immigration Department
Immigration Tower,
7 Gloucester Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

If you wish to take up voluntary or charity work, you should also seek prior approval from ImmD.

Employment after the Completion of Studies

Interested students should refer to information under “Employment after the completion of studies” on the website of the ImmD.

For information on job vacancies, please contact our Careers and Placement Section (email: careers@hku.hk) or visit CEDARS website.

Please refer to the information available on the website of the ImmD.

A fresh HKU graduate can apply for a “Certificate of Graduation” as a proof of graduation for IANG application purposes. Application should be submitted to our Academic Support and Examinations Section. Details can be viewed at http://www.ase.hku.hk/ (under “Guidelines and Forms”).

You and your guests may need to apply for a visit visa to enter Hong Kong and to attend your own graduation ceremony. Please check with your student visa sponsor office or the Immigration Department of HKSAR for details.

China Affairs Office: visaapp@hku.hk (for all mainland students except research students)

CEDRAS: cedars@hku.hk (for all overseas full degree students)

Immigration Department of HKSAR
E-mail: enquiry@immd.gov.hk
Website: http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html

Disclaimer

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs) on the student visa matters serves as reference only. The Hong Kong Immigration Department will update its procedures any time without prior notice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)