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Hong Kong permanent residence

Hong Kong Permanent Residence (PR)

Table of Contents

The “Hong Kong Permanent Residency” concept does not exist since the People’s Republic of China relinquished its sovereignty over Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong maintains its highest level of independence and independent legal and financial system. Instead, Mainland China and its citizens are Chinese citizens who have the “right to reside” in Hong Kong.

However, overseas people in business do not need to be Chinese citizens to enjoy the rights of Hong Kong citizenship. China does not accept dual citizenship in any case. Withdrawal of Chinese citizenship is required, and the use of Chinese citizenship is longer. Detailed, complex, and expensive compared to the simple process of becoming a permanent resident of Hong Kong and maintaining the original foreign citizenship.

It’s worth noting that permanent resident status isn’t strictly permanent – it can be revoked if you leave Hong Kong for more than three years – unlike citizenship. You’ll also not be able to get a Hong Kong passport simply by being a permanent resident – there are several other eligibility criteria you’ll need to meet. You’ll first need to hold Chinese citizenship to get a Hong Kong passport. Following are the necessities to get permanent residency in Hong Kong.

Benefits of being Hong Kong permanent residents

In the District and Legislative Council elections, Hong Kong permanent residents can have the Right of Abode in Hong Kong with vote right. It is also the de facto citizenship status in Hong Kong because most civil rights are associated with the right of abode.

However, Hong Kong permanent residents are not entitled to a Hong Kong passport or stand for office in some Legislative Council constituencies unless they are also naturalized Chinese nationals. An individual must have been ordinarily resident of Hong Kong lawfully in the country for at least seven years before Hong Kong pr can be considered.

You will access some entitlements and benefits if you are a part of  Hong Kong permanent resident, such as:

  • Right to own permanent resident status.
  • Right to work in Hong Kong SAR
  • Healthcare and education access
  • Vote right in a few elections
  • Get access to a few government programs based on eligibility.

Right of Abode

People under six categories under Immigration Ordinance can enjoy the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Besides, a person who fulfills the transitional arrangement under the same Ordinance can also enjoy the right of abode in the HKSAR

All residents aged 11 or above living in Hong Kong for the last 180 days should register for an HKID. And this is as per the Registration of Persons Ordinance (chapter 177 of the Laws of Hong Kong ).

Eligibility criteria

Under the Hong Kong Immigration Department, if a person belongs to one of the following categories, they are a permanent resident of the HKSAR and enjoy the right of abode.

Chinese citizens

(a) Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong before or after establishing the HKSAR. 

(b) A Chinese citizen who had resided ordinarily in Hong Kong continuously for less than seven years after or before the HKSAR establishment.

(c) Chinese nationality born person living outside the Hong Kong after or before HKSAR establishment to parent, who was Chinese citizen at the birth time of respective person falls in one of the categories mentioned above (a or b)

(d) Right of a person by  Permanent residency of the HKSAR has right of abode under category (c) can only be exercised upon the establishment of their status as a permanent resident by holding :

  • a valid travel document issued to them and a valid Certificate of Entitlement also issued to them and affixed to the travel document;
  • a valid HKSAR passport issued to them; or
  • A valid permanent identity card is issued to them.

Non-Chinese Citizens

Non-Chinese citizens who entered Hong Kong have valid travel documents and resided ordinarily in Hong Kong for not less than seven years after taking Hong Kong. As their place of Permanent Residence before or after establishing the HKSAR.

Non-permanent residents Edit Non-permanent residents of Hong Kong are persons qualified to obtain Hong Kong Identity Cards (HKID) but have no right of abode.

  • The continuous period of seven years of ordinary residence must be immediately before the date when the person applies to the Director of Immigration for the status of a permanent resident of the HKSAR under this category.
  • The person must make a declaration in the form the Director of Immigration stipulates that they have taken Hong Kong as their permanent residence place. If a person under 21 shows a declaration by their legal guardian or parent. For this reason, the person needs to furnish information for the satisfaction of the Immigration Director, so they have taken Hong Kong as a place of permanent residence. The information should depict that any applicant’s family member would have Hong Kong permanent resident status. Or the president should have a reliable source of income.
  • Keep checking that person who claims the permanent resident status of HSKAR under such category doesn’t show status until or unless they have applied with approved application to the Immigration Director.

One must provide the information the Director of Immigration may reasonably require to determine whether they have the right to reside in Hong Kong only before establishing HKSAR.

One must declare that you have the right to reside in Hong Kong only before establishing HKSAR. If the person is under 21, the declaration must be made by one parent or legal guardian.

A person under 21 born in Hong Kong on or before July 1, 1997, to an HKSAR permanent resident parent under this category is considered a permanent resident. Of HKSAR, if a person has, but in this case, there is no right to reside in any place, including Hong Kong.

Please note that at the age of 21, a person ceases to be a full HKSAR citizen under this category. However, she can apply to the Director of Immigration for a permanent HKSAR position under section (d).

Transitional Arrangements

Chinese nationals

Chinese nationality means you are born in China, or any of your birth parents were a Chinese nationality holder at your birth!

A Chinese citizen who was a full Hong Kong citizen before July 1, 1997, under the Immigration Ordinance as he was then working, from July 1, 1997, has become a permanent resident of HKSAR as long as he is a Chinese citizen.

Non-Chinese citizens

A non-Chinese citizen who was a permanent resident of Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, is a full HKSAR citizen under section (d) above and is exempt from the requirements of less than two and three points in paragraph (d) if The man settled in Hong Kong shortly before July 1, 1997;

After resigning from Hong Kong shortly before July 1, 1997, that person returned to Hong Kong within 18 months from July 1, 1997; but only if he had not been in Hong Kong for fewer than 36 months.


Generally, married couples of permanent residents in Hong Kong will not be able to obtain the right to reside in HKSAR because of their marriage unless they qualify for permanent residency in Hong Kong.

You must be in Hong Kong at the time of application. Foreign applications will not be processed. It will usually take six weeks to process your application once all the supporting documents have been submitted. Still, it may take longer depending on the complexity and number of requirements for foreign nationals applying for permanent residency in Hong Kong.