Home Return Permit

Home Return Permit
Home Return Permit
Homereturn sample.jpg
Back of current card
Traditional Chinese 回鄉證
Simplified Chinese 回乡证
Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents
Traditional Chinese 港澳居民來往內地通行證
Simplified Chinese 港澳居民来往内地通行证

A ‘Home Return Permit’ (Chinese: 港澳居民來往內地通行證, Chinese: 港澳居民来往内地通行证), also referred to as a ‘Home Visit Permit’[citation needed] or ‘China Back Home Pass’[citation needed], is the colloquial name for the national identity document officially known as the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents issued to PRC citizens who are permanent residents of Hong Kong and Macau as the entry permit to China. The permit is issued by the Public Security Bureau of Guangdong province through China Travel Service sub-branches in Hong Kong and Macau and allows holders to travel freely to mainland China.

The word 'home' is used because this permit used to be issued to Chinese migrants living in Hong Kong and Macau for travelling to China which was their homeland. Today, most holders of this permit are people who were born and brought up in Hong Kong and Macau; the permit plays the role of a travel document for visiting China rather than a permit which allows the holder to 'return home'.



Home-Visiting Certificate for Compatriots from Hong Kong and Macau
Pre-1999 home return permit.jpg
Pre-1999 permit.
Traditional Chinese 港澳同胞回鄉證
Simplified Chinese 港澳同胞回乡证

Before the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong and Macau, 'home-return permits' were issued to any ethnic Chinese person in those territories.

Prior to 1999, permits were called Home-Visiting Certificate for Compatriots from Hong Kong and Macau and resembled passports. These booklets were considered inconvenient, because they were large and cumbersome to carry around. Furthermore, the booklets were also found to be inefficient because they could only be used at manned checkpoints where a manual stamp could only be made by an immigration official. Thus they are being phased out as residents replace them upon expiration.

In 1999, the permit was changed into its current card and the official name has changed from 'Home-Visiting Certificate for Compatriots from Hong Kong and Macau' to the current name.


The current permit is a credit card-sized card which facilitates entry into mainland China at any manned immigration checkpoint or through self-service electronic gates (currently available at Hong Kong-Shenzhen,Macau-Zhuhai crossings and Shanghai Pudong International Airport). These gates read the permit cards with an optical reader and use biometric software to match thumb prints and facial scans with those on record.[citation needed]


Most adult permits are valid for 10 years and minors under 18 years old are issued permits for three years. Temporary permits are given for practical reasons, such as when a person's permit has expired and the replacement has not arrived. There have been instances of limited single and double entry home visit permits issued due to political reasons. For instance, controversial individuals such as pro-democracy politicians—often from Hong Kong—are only issued single visit permits.

Rights and responsibilities

Holders of the Home Return Permit are able to freely enter Mainland China for tourism or business purposes (except purposes of employment) within the validity of their travel document, regardless of the point of origin whether it is from Hong Kong/Macau or from overseas.[1] However, they must register with the local police (Public Security Bureau) within 24 hours - or within 72 hours in the countryside - if they are staying overnight for a short trip in a friend or relative's home.[2]

If holders of the Home Return Permit intend to reside in the Mainland on a long term basis, they are required to first obtain permission from the local prefecture/municipality police (Public Security Bureau), from whom they will obtain a special long-term residence permit if their application is accepted.

Applying for a Home Return Permit

The China Travel Service (CTS) is the sole authorised agency by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) to provide services to help accept applications in Hong Kong and Macau. However, it is the Guangdong Province PSB that processes the applications.

Holders who have lost their Home Return Permit in the Mainland can apply for a temporary replacement at the CTS branch in Huanggang. They will, however, need to apply for a full, new Home Return Permit on return to Hong Kong or Macau with the CTS.

Hong Kong and Macau permanent residents in foreign countries, who do not already have a Home Return Permit,[3] can apply to their local Chinese foreign mission for a special travel pass to mainland China, although this document is not a Home Return Permit. This document is called the People's Republic of China Travel Document. (中華人民共和國旅行証) [4][5]

Nationality of holders

A home return permit constitutes proof of PRC citizenship; however, not all PRC citizens in Hong Kong or Macau have a home return permit. Unlike a compulsory Hong Kong identity card, application for a home return permit is voluntary.

They are still eligible for an HKSAR passport issued by the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Government, or an MSAR passport by the Macau Government. The SAR passports are only issued to PRC citizens with the Right of Abode in Hong Kong or Macau. The HKSAR passport allows travel to foreign countries and regions. Note that the HKSAR passport may not be used for travel to Macau; and while it is not to be used as a travel document for travel to Taiwan, it is nonetheless used in conjunction with the entry permit issued by the authorities in Taiwan so to prove the identity of the holder. PRC citizens holding an HKSAR passport cannot use the SAR passport to enter the Chinese mainland. The HKSAR Government has once stated that "in line with the one country principle, it was considered inappropriate to adopt HKSAR passport as a travel document to enter the Mainland".[6]

Likewise, the home return permit cannot be used to enter Hong Kong or Macau.

Issues facing British passport holders

Many, but not all, residents of Hong Kong are British Nationals (Overseas) (BN(O)s). The PRC Government does not recognise BN(O) passports issued to Hong Kong residents of PRC nationality. They cannot use their BN(O) passports to enter China before and after the handover.

Issues facing other foreign passport holders

Besides BN(O) status, British citizenship and PRC citizenship, many Hong Kong residents have obtained overseas citizenship in countries such as Australia, Canada or the United States. Officially speaking, if they have not made a "declaration of change of nationality" at the Immigration Department of Hong Kong, they are regarded by the PRC authority as PRC citizens. In this case, they can use their home-visit permits to enter mainland China instead of their foreign passports. Under the master nationality rule, such nationals are not entitled foreign consular protection.

Reciprocal treatment for residents of mainland China

PRC citizens that are residents in the mainland of China are required to apply for an exit endorsement to visit Hong Kong and Macau just as they would for other countries.


Ching Cheong

In 2005, Ching Cheong (程翔), a Hong Kong-based journalist of the Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times, was arrested by the mainland national security authorities. He was accused of stealing "state secrets". The correspondent entered the mainland on his home return permit, while he is also a BN(O) passport holder. Since he is both PRC citizen, British National (Overseas), as well as a permanent resident of Singapore, some organisations, like the Hong Kong Journalists' Association and Reporters without borders, urged the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to intervene. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had no plans to comment on the case. British officials have indicated that if there were any representations to be made, they would take place behind the scenes. A London spokesperson said: "We can offer consular assistance but we cannot interfere in the legal affairs of another country." The PRC central government never recognised his British National (Overseas) status. The PRC states that its citizens from Hong Kong cannot enjoy United Kingdom consular protection inside the PRC on the basis of their BN(O) or BC passports. The Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom stated that "Mr Ching is a British National (Overseas) passport holder and we have pressed the central authorities for information on the circumstances of his arrest and will continue to seek consular access as a matter of urgency, which so far has been denied." There are other cases that the British Government was asked to assist BN(O) passport holders detained inside the Chinese mainland.[7][8]

Pro-democracy politicians

Before the handover some pro-democracy Hong Kong politicians, such as Margaret Ng,[9][9] Emily Lau[10][11] and Christine Loh[12] attempted to use their British Citizen passports to enter mainland China because they were denied from applying for a Home Return Permit. These were rare occasions since they were considered to be detrimental to China. Without the permit they are denied from entering mainland China; however, those politicians are still PRC citizens under the Chinese nationality law; acquisition of PRC citizenship of ethnic Chinese residents in Hong Kong is involuntary, although they may elect to forfeit their Chinese citizenship if they hold a foreign nationality, except the British National (Overseas) status and the British citizenship obtained in the British Nationality Selection Scheme.

See also

External links


  • Book in Chinese: 張勇、陳玉田:《香港居民的國籍問題》(出版社:三聯書店(香港))


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 港澳居民赴内地手续办理指南 (Information page from the Central People's Government in Chinese) Retrieved on 2008-10-20.
  3. ^ http://newyork.china-consulate.org/chn/lszj/bzyq/hzqz/t42306.htm#10
  4. ^ 香港居民旅行证件 (Information page from the Chinese Embassy in London in Chinese) Retrieved on 2008-10-20.
  5. ^ 澳门居民旅行证件 (Information page from the Chinese Embassy in London in Chinese) Retrieved on 2008-10-20.
  6. ^ HK Gov. " Legco." LegCo Panel on Security. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  7. ^ HKhrc. " HKhrc." Local Human Rights Issues. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  8. ^ FmcoprcHKhrc. " Fmcoprc." Office of the Commissioner of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  9. ^ a b HK Human Rights Monitor. " HKhrm." Rule of Law Protector should not be left unprotected. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  10. ^ BBC News. " BBC." Pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong gives up British citizenship. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  11. ^ HK Human Rights Monitor. " HKhrm." Report on 1998 Legislative Council Election. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
  12. ^ Asiaweek. " Asiaweek." Newly Found Patriotism. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Permit — may refer to:*Permit (fish) *Various legal licenses::*License:*Work permit:*Learner s permit:*Permit to travel:*Construction permit:*Home Return Permit:*One way Permit *Permit is the common name for the Trachinotus falcatus, a type of Pompano.… …   Wikipedia

  • Exit & Entry Permit (Taiwan) — An Exit Entry Permit (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國台灣地區入出境許可證, more commonly known as 台證 or 入台證) is a document issued by the Immigration Office of the National Police Agency of the Republic of China, for Hong Kong and Macau residents holding PRC… …   Wikipedia

  • Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents — Taiwan Compatriot Entry Permit The Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents[1] (Traditional Chinese: 台灣居民來往大陸通行證, Simplified Chinese: 台湾居民来往大陆通行证, Hanyu Pinyin: Táiwān jūmín láiwǎng dàlù tōngxíngzhèng; abbreviated: 台胞證 or 台胞证 Táibāo zhèng,… …   Wikipedia

  • Taiwan Compatriot Entry Permit — The Entry Permit of Taiwan Residents to the Mainland (Traditional Chinese: 台灣居民來往大陸通行證, Simplified Chinese:台湾居民来往大陆通行证 Táiwān jūmín láiwǎng dàlù tōngxíngzhèng ; abbreviated: 台胞證 or 台胞证 Táibāo zhèng , literally Taiwan Compatriot Pass ) is the… …   Wikipedia

  • Hong Kong Re-entry Permit — (Traditional Chinese: 回港證) are issued to Hong Kong residents by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for travel to the mainland of China and Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR).Under the Easy Travel Scheme, holders of Hong… …   Wikipedia

  • Home front during World War II — U.S. Government Publicity photo of American machine tool worker in Texas. The home front covers the activities of the civilians in a nation at war. World War II was a total war; homeland production became even more invaluable to both the Allied… …   Wikipedia

  • Right of return — The term right of return refers to the principle in international law that members of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigration and naturalization into the country that they, the destination country, or both consider to be that… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Home and Away characters (2011) — The following is a list of characters that first appeared or will appear in the Australian soap opera Home and Away in 2011, by order of first appearance. All characters are introduced by the shows series producer Cameron Welsh. The 24th season… …   Wikipedia

  • Palestinian right of return — The Palestinian right of return (Arabic: حق العودة Ḥaqq al ʿawda ; Hebrew: זכות השיבה zkhut hashivah ) is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to …   Wikipedia

  • The Home Depot — Infobox Company company name = The Home Depot, Inc. company company type = Public (nyse|HD) slogan = You Can Do It. We Can Help. foundation = 1978 (Marietta, Georgia) location = Vinings, Georgia key people = Frank Blake, CEO chairman industry =… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”