What is permanent residency?
Who is eligible for permanent residency?
The following persons are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Hong Kong:
- Chinese nationals who were born in Hong Kong
- Chinese nationals who were born outside Hong Kong but who are lawfully permitted to live in Hong Kong and have done so for 7 years
- Chinese nationals who were born outside Hong Kong to a parent (father or mother) who, at the time of birth, was already a Hong Kong permanent resident
- Foreigners (persons not of Chinese nationality) who have lived in Hong Kong lawfully for 7 years and have taken Hong Kong as their permanent place of residence
- Foreigners under the age of 21 who were born in Hong Kong to a parent who is a permanent resident. On reaching the age of 21, these persons must establish their own permanent resident status under one of the above categories, otherwise they will cease to be permanent residents of Hong Kong.
- Persons who had no right of abode anywhere other than Hong Kong before the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR
If Hong Kong is your home and you go abroad for a temporary purpose, then your residency is considered to continue. This means that if you go somewhere else for a holiday, for business or to study, your ordinary residence is not interrupted. You can still accumulate 7 years of residence and the right of abode, even though you were absent during part of that period for a temporary purpose.
The 7-year period must be continuous, and only includes the period for which you have lawfully been in Hong Kong. Also, you must be in Hong Kong for a settled purpose (such as for employment, education or business purposes) during the entire 7-year period. A visitor or tourist cannot claim to be an ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, as visiting is not considered to be ordinary residence.
Taking care of the whole application process from start to finish.
Application documents & timeline
Application for verification of eligibility.
A valid permanent identity card is evidence that the person to whom the card relates enjoys the right of abode in Hong Kong.
Before you proceed to register for the issue of a permanent identity card, you will need to show that you are eligible for registration under the Registration of Persons Ordinance and Regulations. For this purpose, an administrative arrangement has been made for you to apply for verification of eligibility for a permanent identity card.
In general, spouses of Hong Kong permanent residents cannot acquire the right of abode in the HKSAR by virtue of their marriage unless they are eligible on their own accord for Hong Kong permanent resident status.