Removing All Conditions of Stay & Becoming a 'Hong Kong Belonger'

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Quick Summary

RoA for Non-Chinese Citizens

The information which follows relates to the Right of Abode for long stay foreign nationals of Hong Kong who are not Chinese Citizens.


To be eligible for the Right of Abode you need to have had “continuous residence in Hong Kong for a period of not less than seven years” all the while holding a qualifying residence visa (this excludes Foreign Domestic Helpers and persons admitted under the Supplementary Labour Scheme) and have taken Hong Kong as your only place of permanent residence (as evidenced by your intention and conduct.)

Approvability Test

Subject to there being no security objection and no outstanding taxation liabilities, if you have been continuously resident in Hong Kong for a period not less than seven years and will declare that you have taken Hong Kong as your only place of permanent residence (evidenced via your intention and conduct) you should, a priori, be granted the Right of Abode.

Structuring Your Argument

The key challenge is to be able to argue away any periods of missing residence. Absences from Hong Kong of more than 6 months will require proof that, irrespective of the length of absence, at the time of your departure from the HKSAR, your intention was to depart only temporarily. Your application can also be complicated by the fact that you could be holding permanent residence in a third country, not being the country of the passport which you are current holding. Case law underpinning the current procedures governing how the Right of Abode is administered by the Director of Immigration state that the applicant should be able to demonstrate that he has taken concrete steps (via intention and conduct) to having taken Hong Kong as his only place of permanent residence. This notwithstanding, ImmD do appear to have taken a liberal interpretation of the words of the judge but it is prudent to downplay the fact of any third country permanent residence at the time you are declaring you have taken Hong Kong as [your current and] only place of permanent residence.

How to Apply

You must apply to verify your eligibility for a Permanent Hong Kong Identity Card via form ROP145 which is submitted to ImmD at Immigration Tower via the Right of Abode section along with the completed the declaration on Form ROP146. Alternatively you can initiate your application on line via the dedicated online submission process located at:

Approval Formalities

After your eligibility for a permanent identity card has been verified, your condition of stay in Hong Kong will be cancelled and you will be asked to attend the Registration of Persons Office to apply for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.  Kids under 11 years of age will receive an endorsement in their passport stating that their eligibility for a permanent identity card is verified; approved children over 11 must apply for a PHKID in their own right.

Refusal & Appeal

If your application for the Right of Abode is refused, you may appeal to the Registration of Persons Tribunal under Section 3C of the Registration of Persons Ordinance which deals with appeals made under section 3D(1) of the Ordinance by a person who is aggrieved by a decision of a registration officer not to issue a permanent identity card to him.