Obtaining permanent residency status is a crucial step to maintaining your long-term presence in Hong Kong. With this status, you not only gain the legal stability needed for your business but also enjoy the free dome to live and work in Hong Kong without the constraints of temporary visas or immigration uncertainties.

We understand that navigating the residency application process can seem daunting, especially with the paperwork and various identity checks involved. That’s why we’ve put together this detailed guide, designed to help you understand and navigate the process with ease.

Overview of Hong Kong permanent residents

Before getting into details, it’s crucial to establish a clear understanding of permanent residents in Hong Kong.

A Permanent Resident is an individual who has been granted the right to live and work in Hong Kong indefinitely, without the need for a visa or work permit.

This status is commonly known as “permanent residency” or “Right of Abode” and comes with various advantages, including:

  • Unrestricted entry and stay: Holders of this status can freely enter and reside in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) without any time limitations.
  • Immunity from deportation: Permanent residents have the assurance that they cannot be deported from Hong Kong.
  • Safeguard against forced removal: Individuals with permanent residency are shielded from involuntary removal from the region.

Eligibility for Hong Kong Permanent Residents

The path to obtaining permanent residency (PR) can vary for each individual based on specific circumstances, such as immigration history, family ties, and visa status.

To be eligible for PR in Hong Kong, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Qualify under specific categories for PR, which we will discuss in detail shortly.
  • Fulfill the transitional provisions outlined in Paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance.

Categories of eligibility

The categories of eligibility for permanent residency in Hong Kong are as follows:

  • Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong
  • Chinese citizens born outside Hong Kong but legally residing in Hong Kong at least 7 years
  • Chinese citizens born outside Hong Kong to a parent (either father or mother) who was already a Hong Kong permanent resident at the time of their birth.
  • Non-Chinese citizens who have resided in Hong Kong legally for a minimum of 7 years and have declared Hong Kong as their permanent place of residence.
  • Non-Chinese citizens under the age of 21 who were born in Hong Kong to at least one parent holding permanent residency. Upon turning 21, these individuals must establish their own permanent resident status under one of the above categories; otherwise, their Hong Kong permanent residency will be forfeited.
  • If you had a right of abode in Hong Kong prior to the transfer of sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, you might be able to regain your right to permanent resident status through transitional arrangements

Application for Permanent Resident in Hong Kong

We have divided the process into a step-by-step guide to make it easy for you to follow, ensuring that you are well-prepared when you submit your application.

Step 1: Select the right application form

To begin the application process, select the application form that matches your eligibility criteria:

  • Chinese applicants aged 18 and above should use Form ROP 169.
  • Chinese applicants below the age of 18 should use Form ROP 170.
  • Non-Chinese applicants should use Form ROP 145.

Step 2: Gather supporting documents

To support your application for permanent residency, it’s essential to gather the appropriate documents that validate your eligibility.

The specific documents you’ll need depend on your unique circumstances:

  • If you were born in Hong Kong: Hong Kong birth certificate.
    • If you are a Chinese national and have been residing in Hong Kong for at least 7 years:
    • Proof of 7-year residency in Hong Kong; and
    • Valid travel document.
  • If you were born outside Hong Kong, but either of your parents falls into the two categories mentioned above:
    • Your birth certificate;
    • Your parent’s Hong Kong permanent ID; and
    • Your parent’s proof of residency in Hong Kong.
  • If you are a non-Chinese national and have been residing in Hong Kong for at least 7 years:
    • Proof of 7-year residency in Hong Kong.
    • Valid travel document.
    • Submission of Form ROP146 to declare Hong Kong as your sole residence.
  • If you are under 21 years of age and have non-Chinese parents:
    • Your Hong Kong birth certificate; and
    • Your parent’s Hong Kong permanent ID
  • If you had the right of abode in Hong Kong before the establishment of the HKSAR: Proof of your right of abode
  • If you were a permanent resident of Hong Kong before July 1, 1997:
    • Identity documents;
    • Proof of 7 years of residency; and
    • Your parent’s documents if your residency is based on descent.

Additionally, you must meet the following:

  • For minors (under 18), include the ID of the parent or guardian and proof of their relationship to the child.
  • If any documents are in a foreign language, ensure they are accompanied by a certified translation from a recognized authority.

Step 3: Submit your application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, you have three options to submit your application:

  • Send hard copies through postal mail.
  • Drop off your application in person.
  • Scan and upload through the online portal.

Once your eligibility for a permanent identity card is confirmed, your current Hong Kong status will be canceled, and the following steps apply:

  • If you are 11 years or older, you can apply for the identity card at the Registration Office.
  • If you are under 11 and hold valid foreign documents, you can obtain an endorsement confirming your eligibility.

Application For Certificate of Entitlement

Acquiring a Certificate of Entitlement (CoE) is a pivotal step for individuals of Chinese nationality born outside of Hong Kong but who have a direct link through their parentage to the city. This document asserts their right to land and reside in Hong Kong. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding the eligibility criteria, the required documents, and the submission process.

Check the eligibility criteria

An individual qualifies to apply for a CoE under the following conditions:

  • The applicant is of Chinese nationality.
  • The individual was born outside Hong Kong.
  • At the time of the applicant’s birth, one of the parents:
    • Was a Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong either before or after the establishment of the HKSAR.
    • Or, was a Chinese citizen who had lived in Hong Kong for an uninterrupted span of no less than seven years, regardless of whether this residence was before or after the HKSAR was established.

Prepare the required documents

  • Applicant’s birth certificate
  • Immigration status document
  • Valid travel documents of the applicant
  • Hong Kong permanent identity card of the applicant’s parents
  • Marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents if any

Submitting the application to relevant authorities:

For Mainland China Residents:

  • Submit your application at the Exit-Entry Administration where your household registration is based.

For Overseas Applicants:

  • Attach a clear, recent photograph of the applicant. The photo should be full-faced, without any hats or head coverings, and the dimensions should be between 50mm x 40mm and 55mm x 45mm.
  • Applications can be submitted in two ways:
    • Through the Chinese diplomatic mission in the respective country.
    • By post, directly to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong.

For Macau Applicants:

  • Like overseas applicants, ensure you attach a suitable photo to your application with the aforementioned specifications.
  • Submit your application via post directly to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong.


Obtaining permanent residency in Hong Kong provides a myriad of advantages and fosters a deeper connection to this vibrant city. By staying informed and following the prescribed steps, achieving this status becomes quite attainable. Whether you’ve spent years in the region or have family links to it, Hong Kong warmly welcomes you to secure your permanent residency.

If you have a plan to further expand your business in Hong Kong, feel free to contact us for any business-related inquiries via service@bbincorp.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How to submit a permanent residence application?

After having prepared the form application and the supporting document, you can submit the permanent residence application in 3 ways: by post, drop-in, or online

Can a permanent resident get an HK passport?

Yes. If you are a Chinese citizen; a permanent resident of the HKSAR; or a holder of a valid Hong Kong permanent identity card, you apply to get an HK passport.

Can Hong Kong permanent residents travel to China?

Yes. The HKSAR Re-entry Permits are issued to Hong Kong residents for travel to the Mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR).

Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.

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