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The Ultimate Guide To The Right Of Abode In Hong Kong After 7 Years Of Ordinary Residence

September 23rd, 2023

Posted in Feature Article, Long Stay & PR, Musing /


The Ultimate & Definitive Guide to the Right of Abode in Hong Kong

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Guide To The Right Of Abode In Hong Kong:

Understanding the Right of Abode (RoA) in Hong Kong is crucial for long-stay foreign nationals who wish to make the city their permanent home. This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of RoA, its eligibility requirements, challenges, and the implications of obtaining this significant immigration status.

Understanding the Right of Abode (RoA):

The RoA is a coveted immigration status for non-Chinese citizens residing in Hong Kong. It bestows upon its holders the privilege of permanent residency, enabling them to live and work in the city without any constraints. However, achieving this status comes with its own set of challenges and requirements. This guide to the Right of Abode in Hong Kong is designed to set these out for you.

Eligibility Criteria for RoA:

Any guide to the Right Of Abode in Hong Kong necessarily anticipates the following:

  1. Continuous and Ordinary Residence: Applicants should have resided in Hong Kong continuously and ordinarily for a minimum of seven years. Temporary absences are permissible, but they should be brief and backed by substantial ties to Hong Kong.
  2. Back-to-Back Residence Visas: Throughout the seven years, applicants must possess consecutive residence visas, ensuring their legal status remains intact.
  3. Security and Taxation: Applicants should be free from security objections and have no pending tax liabilities in Hong Kong during the application process.
  4. Settled Purpose: The type of visa held by the applicant determines their settled purpose, which could be for investment or employment in Hong Kong.

Challenges and Implications of RoA:

  • Absences from Hong Kong: Absences exceeding six months within the seven-year period require justification, such as work commitments or family responsibilities.
  • Third Country Permanent Residence: Applicants with permanent residency in another country (not their passport’s country) must prove their commitment to making Hong Kong their sole permanent residence.
  • Application Process: Submission of forms ROP145 and ROP146 to the Immigration Department is mandatory. Alternatively, online submissions are also accepted.
  • Tax Filings and MPF Contributions: Personal tax filings and Mandatory Provident Fund contributions (if employed in Hong Kong) are pivotal for the application.
  • Verification and Appeal: Post-eligibility verification, applicants must obtain a Hong Kong permanent identity card. In case of refusal, an appeal can be made to the Registration of Persons Tribunal.

Implications and Considerations:

  • Benefits: RoA holders enjoy unrestricted living and working rights in Hong Kong.
  • Maintenance: It’s essential to maintain a valid limit of stay under the current visa to avoid complications.
  • Children’s Eligibility: Children born in Hong Kong to a parent who later acquires permanent residency automatically secure the RoA. Others must fulfil specific criteria.
  • Revocation: Non-compliance with maintenance requirements inconsistent with the RoA status can lead to its revocation and downgrade to the right to land.

Professional Assistance:

For a seamless RoA application process, it’s advisable to seek expert guidance. The Hong Kong Visa Centre specializes in offering advice on the RoA application process, helping individuals navigate its complexities.

For an in-depth understanding of RoA and the application process, consider these guide to the Right of Abode in Hong Kong resources:

  1. The Hong Kong Visa Handbook
  2. VisaGeeza.Ai


  1. Maximum Absence from Hong Kong for RoA: Absences beyond six months during the seven-year period require substantial justification. Each case is assessed individually by the Immigration Department. For more details, refer to The Hong Kong Visa Handbook and my American Club Talk.
  2. COVID-19 Allowances: The Hong Kong Immigration Department has implemented measures in response to COVID-19, including visa extensions for those affected by travel disruptions. Stay updated with The Hong Kong Visa Handbook and VisaGeeza.Ai.


The Right of Abode in Hong Kong is a significant milestone for long-term residents. By understanding its requirements, challenges, and implications, and with the right professional guidance, one can navigate the application process effectively.

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For further assistance, please Ask A Question or reach out to us here.


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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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