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COVID-19 - Visa Extension Applications by Non-Permanent Residents Outside Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong
  • Other

18-01-2021

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, the Immigration Department announced measures on 31 December 2020 which allow applications for extension of stay be made from outside Hong Kong.

In general, persons admitted into Hong Kong under various immigration policies/schemes may apply for extension of stay not earlier than four weeks before their limit of stay expires. Applicants have to be physically present in Hong Kong both at the time of application and collection of the relevant label (for approved applications).

New Measures:

Those whose limit of stay will expire within four weeks or has already expired within the last 12 months, but are not in Hong Kong may apply for an extension of stay according to the guidelines set out below.

Eligibility:

The Immigration Department may consider issuing an applicant with a visa/entry permit if:

  • the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria under the relevant immigration policy/scheme concerned; and
  • the Immigration Department is satisfied that the applicant’s circumstance is a continuation of his/her previous residence in Hong Kong.
These measures are not applicable to foreign domestic helpers and imported workers.

Documents for Submission:

In addition to the usual forms and application document, the Immigration Department will require a letter setting out the details on the applicants’ inability to return to Hong Kong timely for the extension of stay formalities, and an authorisation letter authorising a person in Hong Kong to collect the visa on the applicant’s behalf.

Application Submission and Visa Collection:

An application may be submitted by post, courier or via drop-in box, and the visa label should be collected by an authorised person in Hong Kong.

The authorised person should then deliver the visa label to the applicant for them to enter Hong Kong with the visa.

We have confirmed with the Immigration Department that these are expected to be temporary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants should watch out for further changes in the policy as the pandemic and travel restrictions evolve.