Visa Matters for Non-local Students - Academic Secretariat - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University JDocumentHTML

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Visa Matters for Non-local Students

 

Hong Kong Identity Card

Q1: Do I need to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card?

 

According to the Registration of Persons Ordinance, non-local students must apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID card) at the Immigration Department within 30 days of arrival. You are therefore required to apply for an HKID card in person at the Immigration Department as soon as possible upon arrival. You may make an advanced booking via the Immigration Department’s 24-hour Appointment Booking Service for Hong Kong Smart Identity Card application at 2598 0888 or at www.gov.hk/icbooking. In making an appointment, you need to enter the number of your travel document as the number of the identity document.

 

Please produce your travel document for the application. There is no charge for HKID card issued to new arrivals. The processing normally takes about 10 working days (i.e. excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays).

 

Once you get the HKID card, you are entitled to use the government medical services at local rates. You need to complete and return Form AS1 together with a copy of the HKID card to the Academic Secretariat in person at AS Service Centre. You are required to carry your HKID card at all times in Hong Kong. In case you have lost it, you should report to the Police immediately and apply for a replacement at the Immigration Department within 14 days or, if it is lost or damaged outside Hong Kong, within 14 days of your return. A fee will be charged for the replacement.

 

 

Student Visa

Q2: Do I need to apply for a student visa to study in Hong Kong?

 

If you do not have the right of abode, right to land, or dependent visa in Hong Kong, you need to apply for a student visa before taking up full-time study in Hong Kong.

 

If you have a valid work permit, you do not require a student visa to take a part-time programme, but you need to apply for a student visa to take a full-time programme.

 

If you are staying in Hong Kong under the "Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates" (IANG), you do not need to apply for a student visa to study in Hong Kong.  But once your IANG expires, you will need to apply for a student visa.

 

 

Q3: If I fail to get my student visa when the semester begins, can I come to Hong Kong as a visitor and start my study at PolyU?

 

No, it is by law that people entering Hong Kong as visitors are not allowed to study at any school/university without holding a valid student visa issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Our University will not accept a student for enrolment if he/she is not able to present a valid travel document together with a student visa at the time of enrolment.

 


Q4: How do I activate my student visa?

 

Non-local students from the Mainland, Macao and overseas will be issued with a self-adhesive student visa label.

 

If you are from the Mainland, you must apply for an "Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao" (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office where your household registration is kept. The visa label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of the EEP for arrival clearance upon your entry to Hong Kong.  In case your EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic one, you should present the electronic EEP together with the visa label for immigration arrival clearance.

 

If you are from overseas or Macao, you must affix the visa label onto your passport or "Visit Permit for Residents of Macao to HKSAR" (for Macao students) and enter Hong Kong on the strength of the documents.

 

If you are a full-time student from Taiwan, you will be issued with a single-journey entry permit. You must present it at the Immigration Counter and enter Hong Kong on the strength of the entry permit. If you are a part-time student from Taiwan, you will be issued with a multiple-journey visa label. You must affix the visa label onto your Declaration of Identity for Visa Purposes (a copy of which should have been furnished to the Immigration Department upon your visa application).

 

You should present your student visa label (affixed on relevant travel documents) or entry permit (for full-time students from Taiwan) at the Immigration Counter when you arrive in Hong Kong. Please ensure that the Immigration Officer puts an immigration stamp on your passport/travel document or issues a landing slip to you stating "Student - Permitted to remain until (a student status due date in a format of DD-MM-YYYY)".

 

 

Q5: If I am a full-time student from Taiwan entering Hong Kong to take up studies on the strength of a single-journey entry permit, what should I do to facilitate my future travel to and from Hong Kong?

 

After entering Hong Kong on the strength of the single-journey entry permit, you may apply for a "Multiple Entry Permit" (MEP) and transfer of endorsement onto the MEP to facilitate future travel to and from Hong Kong. For details on application for MEP, please contact the Extension Section of the Immigration Department.



Visa Extension

Q6: How do I apply for student visa extension?

 

It is your responsibility to apply for student visa extension before it expires.

 

For full-time students

You should extend your student visa by following the procedures below:

  • Get a letter from the Academic Secretariat in support of your application, around 4 weeks before the expiry date of your student visa, by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:
    • Quote your student number and contact phone number in Hong Kong;
    • State the expected date of your graduation and how many credits you will be taking in each semester of your remaining study period; and 
    • Attach copies of:
      • your student visa label;
      • the immigration stamp or landing slip which shows until when (dd-mm-yyyy) you are "permitted to remain" in Hong Kong as a student; and
      • biodata page of your travel document (i.e. the page which shows your photo and personal particulars).
  • Submit the application for student visa extension within 4 weeks before the expiry date of your student visa, together with the following documents, in person at the Immigration Department:
    • The supporting letter from the Academic Secretariat;
    • A completed application form ID91;
    • Your travel document; and
    • Your Hong Kong Identity Card.
  • Upon receipt of all necessary documents, it normally takes the Immigration Department 2 to 3 weeks to process your application.
  • Once your application has been approved, the Immigration Department will contact you to collect your new student visa label and No Objection Letter (NOL).  You should be in Hong Kong at the time of application and collection of extension of stay label.

 

For part-time students

You have to submit an application for a new student visa at least 8 weeks before your visa expires. Please follow the procedures as stated in Q17.

 


Q7: Can I still apply for student visa extension if I cannot complete my current study programme within its normal duration?

 

If you cannot complete a full-time programme at sub-degree level or above within its normal duration, the Immigration Department may consider extending your stay for up to one year to enable you to complete the programme.



Loss of Travel Document in Hong Kong

Q8: What are the replacement arrangements if I have lost my travel document whilst in Hong Kong?

 

If you have lost your travel document whilst in Hong Kong, you need to follow the procedures below:

  • Get a reported loss memo from the Hong Kong Police and a supporting letter from the Academic Secretariat;
  • Upon receipt of the above documents, the Immigration Department will issue a bearer letter and a visa label to you;
  • Mainland students need to bring along the bearer letter and the visa label to the China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited at Mongkok branch (Tak Po Building, 62-72 Sai Yee Street, Mongkok, Kowloon) for replacement of the EEP and the relevant exit endorsement. Other non-local students need to bring along the bearer letter and the visa label to their country's consulate for replacement of the travel document.

 

 

Internship and Employment

Q9: Who are eligible for undertaking study-/curriculum-related internship, part-time on-campus employment and/or off-campus summer jobs?

 

If you are studying a full-time programme at degree level or above with a study period of not less than one academic year, you may take up study-/curriculum-related internship arranged or endorsed by the programme offering department. The duration of the internship is up to one year, or one-third of the normal duration of the relevant full-time study programme, whichever is shorter. You may also take up part-time on-campus employment for not more than 20 hours per week throughout the year and summer jobs during the summer months (i.e. 1 June to 31 August) without any limit in relation to working hours and location. You are, however, not allowed to roll over unused hours of part-time on-campus jobs from one week to another.

 


Q10: Do I need to seek permission from the Director of Immigration before taking up study-/ curriculum internship, part-time on-campus employment and/or off-campus summer jobs?

 

Eligible students may receive up to two No Objection Letters (NOLs) notifying them of the relevant arrangements upon approval of their applications for student visa:

  • For full-time students, they will be issued an NOL to allow them to take up part-time on-campus employment and summer jobs.  This NOL will be valid as long as their student visa is valid.
  • If their study programmes allow or require them to take up study-related internship, they will be issued a separate NOL for it.  But this NOL will only be valid for one academic year while they remain a student studying the same programme and their limit of stay in the HKSAR remains unexpired.  We will inform eligible students to collect the renewed NOL at an appropriate time every year.

 

There is no need for eligible students with the appropriate NOLs to seek individual permission from the Director of Immigration for study-/curriculum-related internship arranged or endorsed by your department, part-time on campus employment or off-campus summer jobs.

 

 

Q11: Are the NOLs still valid if I transfer to another study programme?

 

In this case, the NOLs in respect of the current programme or institution will cease to be valid. Your eligibility for study-/curriculum-related internship, part-time on-campus employment and summer jobs will be assessed afresh.  New NOLs, if applicable, will be issued.

 


Q12: Can I get a replacement of NOL if the original one has been lost, damaged or defaced?

 

Mainland students may request Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of the Immigration Department direct for the issuance of a fresh NOL free of charge. Other non-local students may approach Extension Section for the same arrangement.



Charity / Voluntary Work

Q13: Do I need to seek permission from the Director of Immigration before taking up charity or voluntary work?

 

Yes, you need to seek prior permission from the Director of Immigration beforehand. Otherwise, you will be committing an offence of breaching your conditions of stay. To seek permission, you should follow the procedures below:

  • Seek approval from your programme offering department at least 3 weeks before starting the activities, by providing the following information:
    • Name of the organisation and its registration number;
    • Period of the service (with start date and end date);
    • How frequently will you undertake the service and the servicing hours within the above period;
    • Nature of the service and post;
    • Details of remuneration or subsidy you will be given, if any;
    • An official letter from the organisation that covers the above details, if any; and
  • Your programme offering department will submit your application to the Immigration Department via the Academic Secretariat.
  • The Academic Secretariat will advise you the outcome of your application by email.

 

 

Transfer of Study

Q14: Do I need to seek approval from the Director of Immigration for switching from one programme to another at PolyU?

 

Yes, you need to seek prior approval from the Immigration Department by following the procedures below:

  • Seek approval from the transfer-in department by submitting the relevant AS form (for details, please read the relevant section of the Student Handbook).
  • Once the department approves your application, the Academic Secretariat will seek approval from the Director of Immigration on your behalf and advise you the outcome of your application by email.
  • Collect your renewed No Objection Letter(s) (NOLs) from the Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section of Immigration Department (for mainland students) or Extension Section (for other non-local students) before taking up study-/curriculum-related internship and any employment (as the NOLs in respect of the current programme or institution will cease to be valid).

 


Q15: Will my stay be extended long enough to complete my study if I switch from one programme to another?

 

If you transfer to another locally accredited full-time programme before completing the current one, you will normally be allowed to extend your stay to pursue the new programme so long as you would not be able, with such extension, to accumulate 5 years or more of continuous residence in Hong Kong.



Deferment of Study / Zero Subject Enrolment and Resumption of Study

Q16: Do I need to inform the Director of Immigration of my deferment of study or zero subject enrolment? 

 

Yes, you must do so by following the procedures below:

  •  Seek approval from your programme offering department by submitting the relevant AS forms (for details, please read the relevant sections of the Student Handbook).
  • Once the department approves your application, the Academic Secretariat will report your application to the Director of Immigration and inform you by email after getting the acknowledgement letter from the Immigration Department.

  


Q17: What should I do: to resume my study after deferment or upon reinstatement of my registration status; or to extend my student visa as a part-time student?

 

You need to submit your student visa application by post, together with the following documents to the Immigration Department via the Academic Secretariat at least 8 weeks before you resume your study

  • Duly completed student visa application form ID995A (see This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with:-
    • One recent passport-size photo (55 x 45 mm) adhered to the relevant page of the student visa application form;
  • A copy of your travel document(s)* or identity document(s):
    • For students from Chinese Mainland: Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (EEP) (front and back sides);
    • For students from Macao: Macao Identity Card (front and back pages) and Visit Permit for residents of Macao to HKSAR;
    • For students from Taiwan: Recent Taiwan Household Registration Record (front and back pages), Taiwan Identity Card (front and back pages) and passport;
    • For students not from the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan nor Macao: Passport
  • A copy of financial proof (i.e. a recent bank statement indicating that you have enough money to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for one year of study in Hong Kong). If the financial proof is not under your name, your sponsor is required to provide a written consent testifying that he/she will provide financial support to your study in Hong Kong. In this case, a copy of your sponsor’s passport (including the signature page) should be provided; and
  • An explanation if you cannot complete your study within the normal duration of the programme

 * Please make sure that your travel document is valid for at least one year. For students from Chinese Mainland, you should check the validity of your EEP. 

 

Part-time students are required to provide the following documents in addition:- 

 

To avoid unnecessary delay in the processing of your visa application, please provide all the required supporting documents to the following address in one go.

 

The Academic Secretariat Service Centre 

Room M101, Li Ka Shing Tower,

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 

Hung Hom, Kowloon. 

[Please mark "Visa Application (Student Name & No.)" on the envelope]

 

Upon receipt of all the above documents from you, the Academic Secretariat will submit your application to the Immigration Department. It normally takes 8 weeks for processing your application. The Immigration Department will not be able to start processing the application unless all the required documents and information have been received. Please refrain from making enquiries about the progress of the application unless it is absolutely necessary, as it may delay the processing of the application. To streamline the process, the University will pay for you in advance the fee charged by the Immigration Department for processing your student visa (HK$190). You are required to reimburse the University this visa fee after your arrival in Hong Kong.

 

If your visa application is successful, the Academic Secretariat will send you the visa label/entry permit issued by the Immigration Department by express post together with the other relevant information, if any. (Please read Q4 above for steps to activate your student visa.)

 

For enquiry on visa extension, please contact the Academic Secretariat by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Q18. Do I need to apply for a new student visa upon resumption of study after deferment or zero subject enrolment if my current student visa is still valid?

 

If your student visa has not yet expired at the time you return to Hong Kong, you do not need to apply for a new student visa to resume your study after deferment or zero subject enrolment. You should follow the procedures outlined in Q6 to extend your visa before it expires. However, if you have discontinued or withdrawn your study at PolyU or you have been de-registered from your programme, you may to apply for a new student visa to resume your study.

 

 

Nullification of Registration

Q19. Are there any implications if I fail to complete the subject registration on the scheduled date, fail to settle my tuition fees by the payment deadline or the fee payment is rejected by the bank?

 

In such cases, your registration on the programme, including subject enrolment, will be declared null and void and your registration/student status with the University will be removed. The Academic Secretariat will inform the Immigration Department of the termination of your study at the University. This may lead to cancellation of your student visa or refusal of your re-entry to Hong Kong by the Immigration Department. You may need to re-apply for a student visa even if your registration status is reinstated subsequently.

 

 

Discontinuation or Withdrawal of Study / De-registration

Q20. Can I continue to stay in Hong Kong after discontinuation of my study?

 

Once it is confirmed that you have discontinued, withdrawn your study at PolyU or have been de-registered from your programme, the Academic Secretariat will inform the Immigration Department accordingly. According to Immigration Regulations, you must leave Hong Kong before the expiry of your limit of stay or within 4 weeks from the date of termination of the study, whichever is earlier; otherwise, you will be committing a criminal offence of breaching your conditions of stay. 

 

 

Change of Student Status

Q21. Can I change my student status (e.g. from full-time to part-time)?

 

If you are going to change your study load which leads to a change in your student status (e.g. from full-time to part-time), your visa status may be affected. You must seek prior approval from the Director of Immigration by following the procedures below: 

  • Seek approval from your programme offering department by submitting the relevant AS form, if appropriate (please refer to the relevant section of the Student Handbook).
  • Once the department approves your application, the Academic Secretariat will seek approval from the Director of Immigration on your behalf and advise you the outcome of your application by email.

 

  

Exchange Activities

Q22. Do I need to seek approval from the Director of Immigration before taking up exchange activities?

 

If you wish to take up exchange activities for 1 year or more, it is necessary for you to seek prior approval from the Director of Immigration.

 

Once the department approves your exchange application, it will inform the Academic Secretariat to seek approval from the Director of Immigration on your behalf. You will be advised the outcome of your application by email.

 

 

Employment / Stay in Hong Kong after Completion of Study

Q23. Can I apply for employment or stay in Hong Kong after I have completed my study?

 

Under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), you can apply to stay in or return to Hong Kong after you obtained a degree or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong. You will normally be granted a stay of 12 months on time limitation without any condition upon application, provided that you meet the normal immigration requirements. During the stay, you are free to take up employment or pursue studies in Hong Kong without the need to seek prior approval from the Immigration Department.

You need to submit the application to the Immigration Department together with any of the following documents which proves that you have completed your study:

  • A transcript of studies;
  • A testimonial; or
  • An official Assessment Result Notification.

 

You may apply for any of these documents upon the release of overall assessment results. For details, please refer to relevant sections in the Student Handbook.

 

 

Q24. My student visa is going to expire and I wish to apply to stay in Hong Kong under the IANG. However, I have not yet received the result of graduation. Can I extend my stay in Hong Kong to wait for the result?

 

If you intend to apply to stay in Hong Kong under the IANG but have not yet received the result of graduation, you may apply for interim extension of stay at the Immigration Department. You need to bring along the travel document and HKID card upon application. The Immigration Department will normally grant a 3-month interim extension to eligible students.

 

The interim visa, however, does not entitle you to study or work in Hong Kong. You should apply for such an extension only after you have completed all coursework and examinations. And once it is confirmed that you need to continue to study, you should apply for student visa extension immediately (Please read Q6 above for steps to extend your student visa). Before your application for student visa extension, or for staying under the IANG, is approved by the Immigration Department, you should not attend classes at the University or start working in a job.

 

To apply for the stay under the IANG or for the interim extension, you do not need a supporting letter from the Academic Secretariat

 

 

Contact Details of the Hong Kong Immigration Department

Address

Hong Kong Identity Card application 8/F, Immigration Tower*
Visa extension

For mainland students  Quality Migrants and Mainland Residents Section, 6/F, Immigration Tower*

For other non-local students  Extension Section, 5/F, Immigration Tower*

Other matters Information and Liaison Section, 2/F, Immigration Tower*
Telephone Hotline 2824 6111
E-mail Address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website

www.immd.gov.hk  (Please check this website for updated information.)

* Immigration Tower is located at 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.