Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes

Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes
Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes
HKeDOIcover.PNG
The front cover of the Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes with its electronic document sign EPassport logo.svg circled.
Traditional Chinese 香港特別行政區簽證身份書
Simplified Chinese 香港特别行政区签证身份书

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Document of Identity for Visa Purposes is a biometric travel document issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department to residents of Hong Kong who are unable obtain national passports. It is usually valid for seven years.

Contents

Eligibility

The Document of Identity can be issued to the following categories of individuals who are connected with Hong Kong and who are unable to obtain a national passport or travel document from any other country:

  • Those on a limit of stay in Hong Kong
  • Those on unconditional stay (i.e. possess the right to land) who do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong
  • Those who have the right of abode in Hong Kong and hold a permanent identity card, but are not of Chinese origin or ineligible for Chinese nationality

Use

China

As an international travel document, while it may be used for entry into and exit from Hong Kong, the Hong Kong SAR Document of Identity is, in most circumstances, not accepted as a travel document used for travel to other parts of China.

Mainland China

The Hong Kong SAR Document of Identity is not generally accepted for travel between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Macao SAR

If a person without Chinese nationality holds a Hong Kong SAR Document of Identity by virtue of his right of abode in Hong Kong, as well as his inability to have a national passport issued (or is stateless), then the person will be able to use his permanent identity card to enter Macao visa-free for a maximum of 180 days visa-free. Otherwise, if a person possesses a Document of Identity but not the right of abode in Hong Kong, he will need to apply for a visa in order to enter Macao.

Taiwan

Hong Kong does not recognise Taiwan as separate from China. Holders of a Hong Kong Document of Identity are required to apply for a visa in advance.

Overseas

Few foreign countries/territories which offer visa-free access to Hong Kong SAR passport holders confer the same privilege to holders of the Hong Kong SAR Document of Identity.

In theory, recognised refugees and stateless individuals who possess a Hong Kong SAR Document of identity can enter Germany and Hungary visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180 day period.[1] In the case of Germany, for recognised refugees to enter visa-free, their travel document must be endorsed and issued under the terms of the Agreement of 15 October 1946 regarding the issue of travel documents to refugees or the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, whilst stateless individuals need to have their travel document issued under the terms of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 28 September 1954. However, though the People's Republic of China is a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, since the Handover in 1997, Hong Kong has not incorporated the convention into its legislation, and so Hong Kong's immigration system does not recognise refugees.[2] Similarly, both the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong are not signatories to the 1954 Stateless Persons Convention. Consequently, in practice, the visa exemption to Germany does not apply to any holder of the HKSAR Document of Identity. However, Hong Kong stateless individuals do nonetheless qualify for a visa exemption to Hungary since the Hungarian government does not require their HKSAR Document of Identity to be issued under the terms of the 1954 Stateless Persons Convention.

If the holder of a Document of Identity is a school pupil who is an Annex I national (i.e. he/she is required to possess a visa for all stays in Schengen agreement states), he/she can enter Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden visa-free by virtue of Article 4(2) as long as they are travelling as part of a school trip led by a school teacher for a maximum of 90 days within a 180 day period.[3] For entry into Sweden, the school pupil must be less than 18 years old. This visa exemption applies equally to any Annex I national (e.g. a Chinese citizen who holds a Mainland China passport) who is resident in Hong Kong who satisfies the above conditions. Note, however, that this visa exemption for school pupils does not apply to the holder of a Document of Identity if he/she is stateless, since he/she would not fulfil the criteria of being the national of an Annex I country.

Since holders of the Hong Kong SAR Document of Identity are not usually Chinese citizens (unless, for example, they are new immigrants from other parts of China to Hong Kong and have been unable to obtain an ordinary Chinese passport), they are not entitled to the consular protection offered by the People's Republic of China government while overseas. However, Chinese foreign missions are able to assist should a Document of Identity become lost or stolen whilst abroad.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Information pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement
  2. ^ Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre: How Are Refugee Claims Processed?
  3. ^ Information pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement

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