Hong Kong Expats
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Understanding Right of Abode in Hong Kong

HKID_pic-adult-front_sampleThe right of abode in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is determined by the Immigration Ordinance.

What does Right of Abode mean?

If you have the Right of Abode in HKSAR then you have the right

  • To land in HKSAR
  • Not to be deported from HKSAR
  • To live in HKSAR without any conditions
  • To not be removed from HKSAR

What is Right to Land?

You attain the Right to Land if you lose the Right to Abode in HKSAR. The Right to Land will give you the right

  • To land in HKSAR
  • To not be removed from HKSAR
  • To live in HKSAR without any conditions

Who is a Chinese Citizen?

As implemented in the HKSAR pursuant to Article 18 of Annex III, a Chinese citizen is a person of Chinese nationality under the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China.

You will be considered a Chinese citizen under two conditions:

  • If you are a resident of Hong Kong
  • If you are a former resident of Chinese descent who was born in Mainland China or Hong Kong

What does “Settled” mean?

You are considered “settled” in Hong Kong when

  • You are residing in Hong Kong
  • There is no limitation on your stay in Hong Kong

What is Ordinary Residence?

You attain ordinary residence in Hong Kong if you remain in Hong Kong legally, voluntarily and for a settled purpose. The duration can be short or long.

Personal Proof of the Right of Abode

To exercise your right as a resident of the HKSAR you must be able to prove that you are a permanent resident. For that you will have to present one of the following documents:

  • A valid identity card issued to you.
  • A valid travel document issued to you with a valid Certificate of Entitlement issued and affixed to such travel document
  • A valid HKSAR passport issued to you.

Who is eligible for Right of Abode to HKSAR?

To be eligible you must

  • Belong to one of the six categories mentioned in Para 2 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance
  • Fulfill transitional requirements that are mentioned in Para 6 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance

Permanent Identity Card

Having a permanent identity card of your own is the proof of your Right of Abode in HKSAR. To obtain the card you must first apply for it by showing your eligibility for its registration. To do that

  • You must be in Hong Kong
  • Apply for verification of eligibility for a permanent identity card

You cannot apply for verification of your eligibility for a permanent identity card if

  • You are eligible to apply for the Certificate of Entitlement under Section 2AB of Immigration Ordinance
  • You have not been issued with such a certificate
  • You are currently living in Mainland China.

Certificate of Entitlement

You can apply for Certificate of Entitlement if

  • You are of Chinese nationality
  • You were born outside Hong Kong to parents who at that time were
    • Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR; or
    • Chinese citizen who has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.

Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

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