Free & Easy Access for Visitors of the HKSAR

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Quick Summary


Once admitted into Hong Kong, first extensions of stay to visitor visas are usually , although reluctantly, granted.

Approvability Test

Upon application, the visitor visa holder must be able to satisfy ImmD that he or she remains a bona fide visitor to Hong Kong. Particularly, the examining officer is looking to ensure that you are not breaching/will not breach your conditions of stay if they allow you to remain in Hong Kong as a visitor for a further period of time.

Structuring Your Argument

When applying at ImmD Immigration Tower in Wanchai, you will need to prepare in advance a letter justifying your reasons for the extension and also provide a written undertaking as when you will finally end the visit and exit Hong Kong. First extensions are usually granted for the period of time requested, such being no longer than the original visa granted upon or prior to arrival. If you believe you will be requiring a further extension it is wise to anticipate this and provide for it in your written representations the first time around. Securing the support of a local business or social contact is very helpful in promoting your case, especially if the same writes to substantiate the essential rationale for your extension request.

Further Extensions & Appeal

Second and subsequent applications are not granted lightly and are scrutinized thoroughly. Hence the importance of anticipating the possibility of a further extension when you make your first application. A similar process to the first is followed for subsequent applications; namely the same type of representations and third party communications in support (which are even more critical). If refused, there is no right/process to appeal.

The Shenzhen Shuttle

In a practical sense, you may choose to leave Hong Kong just prior to the expiry of your current period of stay as a visitor and immediately (or after a relatively short period of time, in any event) re-enter the HKSAR with a fresh period of stay. This often involves a quick visit across the boundary to Shenzhen or Macau. Whilst seemingly common practice, it is not recommended. The immigration officials are alert to these techniques and still subject the traveller to the Approvability Test each time they present at immigration control. There is a real risk of refusal of entry.