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Maximize Your Hong Kong Business Experience with the HKSAR Travel Pass: A Comprehensive Guide

November 11th, 2023

Posted in Musing, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Visitor Visas /


The HKSAR Travel Pass: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the benefits of the HKSAR Travel Pass, eligibility criteria, and the application process for frequent business visitors to Hong Kong.

HKSAR Travel Pass

What is the HKSAR Travel Pass?

The HKSAR Travel Pass is a valuable resource for foreign nationals who frequently visit Hong Kong for short periods. It allows efficient clearance through immigration formalities upon arrival and departure, helping you focus on your business activities.

Benefits for Frequent Business Visitors?

The benefits of the HKSAR Travel Pass include:

  • Streamlined immigration clearance upon arrival and departure using Hong Kong Residents’ counters.
  • Two-month period of stay upon each entry with unlimited entries permitted.
  • Valid for three years.

However, the Travel Pass has its limitations. It does not grant residency rights in Hong Kong, nor does it allow you to secure a Hong Kong Identity Card, Dependant Visas for your family, or employ/sponsor a foreign domestic helper. Furthermore, the Travel Pass does not permit you to take up employment in Hong Kong, establish or join any business, or be employed by a business entity in Hong Kong.

Eligibility Criteria for the HKSAR Travel Pass

To be eligible for a HKSAR Travel Pass, you must:

  • Have made at least three separate trips to Hong Kong in the previous 12 months via the airport.
  • Have pre-existing employment in another country, which will continue after receiving the Travel Pass.
  • Be a citizen of a country that enjoys visa-upon-arrival access to Hong Kong.
  • Satisfy the Director of Immigration that granting a Travel Pass will positively benefit the Hong Kong economy.

In special circumstances, the Immigration Department may waive the three-trip rule.

Application Process for the HKSAR Travel Pass

To apply for a Hong Kong SAR Travel Pass, submit the following documents:

  • Form ID 888, completed and executed by the applicant with a recent passport-sized photograph affixed.
  • Acknowledgement Card ID 889.
  • Address Labels ID 839, completed with the applicant’s full correspondence address.
  • A photoccpy of the valid passport, including relevant personal particulars pages and records of at least three visits to Hong Kong in the preceding 12 months.
  • A second passport-sized photograph identical to the one appended to the form.
  • The Official Fee of HK760 (as of this date).
  • A letter from the applicant’s current employer in support of the application, including the company’s background information.
  • A supporting letter from the applicant’s major business contact in Hong Kong if the visits are primarily for business purposes.
  • Detailed representations illustrating how the applicant’s frequent or extended visits will be of ‘especial benefit’ to Hong Kong if the visits are for purposes other than business.

Tips for a Successful HKSAR Travel Pass Application

To make a successful case for a Travel Pass, ensure that you:

  • Clearly articulate the reasons for your frequent trips to Hong Kong in the past 12 months.
  • Explain how these trips have led to growth opportunities for your employer, possibly resulting in a formal business presence in Hong Kong in the future.
  • Indicate the specific value of your firm’s turnover attributed to your Hong Kong activities and how local contacts have benefited.
  • Provide a detailed plan for your company’s activities in Hong Kong, and illustrate your role in it.
  • Obtain solid, extensive representations from your Hong Kong contacts to support your application.

Please note that in case of refusal, there is no appeal process for a Travel Pass, and any person holding a Travel Pass can be removed from Hong Kong and does not guarantee admission into the HKSAR as of right.

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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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