Once you have been accepted by an institution, you must get a student visa or entry permit.* All non-local students need one, whether they come for an exchange programme or full-time studies. In general, non-local students will need local sponsors, which can be arranged through their institutions, with the necessary supporting documents. Normally, the Immigration Department requires the following documents, although they may ask for others depending on the actual circumstances. It will normally take six weeks to process a visa or entry permit application for study upon receipt of all the required documents - apply as far in advance as possible!
- Form ID995A completed and signed
- Form ID995B completed and signed by sponsor (which can normally be arranged by your university)
- Photocopy of your identity card and/or travel documents
- One recent photo of yourself (affixed on form ID995A)
- A photocopy of your letter of admission from an education institution in Hong Kong, as well as your letter accepting their admission
- Evidence of your financial standing (bank statements, passbooks, proof of scholarship funds, etc.). If someone is sponsoring you financially, that person must submit a declaration stating their relationship to you, their intention to support your study and living expenses and their financial standing
- Evidence of your accommodation arrangement in Hong Kong e.g. an undertaking that the sponsor is prepared to provide accommodation to the applicant
Chinese residents of the Mainland of China should submit their applications to the Immigration Department through the education institution (the sponsor) granting the acceptance. Other students can submit their application forms and supporting documents in one of the following ways:
- By post directly or through the local sponsor in the HKSAR to the Receipt and Despatch Sub-Unit, Hong Kong Immigration Department, 2/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;
- Applicants residing in overseas countries or territories may submit their applications in person to the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in their place of domicile; or
- Foreign passport holders living in the Mainland of China may submit their applications to the Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing.
* Please contact your institution for visa information upon admission. Individual institutions will help non-local students apply for their visas or entry permits, or even complete the process for them.
If you take up studies in a full-time locally-accredited local or non-local post-secondary programme, you will normally be granted a length of stay in line with the normal duration of your study programme, subject to a maximum period of six years upon entry and the validity of the travel document held, whereas for those studying other courses, they will normally be granted permission of stay for 12 months upon entry or in accordance with the duration of their studies, whichever is shorter. Your parents would probably be unhappy if you got removed for having overstayed, so please renew your visa within four weeks before your old one expires!
For details of the policy on entry for study, please visit http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/study.html