U.S. Visas

English

U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A
H-2B None N/A N/A
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

General Document Information:  Passports, Documents of Identity (DIs), and identity cards issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) are considered secure and reliable documents. The government continues to follow advances in document security and comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s guidelines. Current e-passports from Hong Kong include more than 14 security features. Hong Kong issues secure ID cards including a computer chip containing biometric data. SAR residents commonly use these cards in lieu of passports for entering and exiting both Hong Kong and Macau SARs. These documents contain significant security features and are considered reliable. The Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) aggressively combats counterfeit document fraud rings within the SAR and regularly communicates its findings. Post rarely encounters counterfeit civil documents from Hong Kong. Post views documents issued by the Hong Kong SAR to be reliable for visa and citizenship adjudication and obtaining genuine documents is a simple process. HKID is efficient and quick to respond to document needs from residents and is willing and able to amend incorrect documents as necessary.

Hong Kong no longer stamps passports upon entry to and exit from the SARs, instead providing a printed slip. This has made it more difficult to verify applicant travel patterns. However, HKID is able to provide Post with detailed, reliable entry and exit records when requested.

General Issuing Authority Information: Since 1979, HKID has controlled the issuance of birth, marriage, and death certificates.  The District Court of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region registers divorces. HKID cooperates with post’s Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) to verify questionable documents.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees:  HK$140, for details, see Fees Leaflet (BDR 100) or immd.gov.hk

Document Name:  COPY OF AN ENTRY IN A REGISTER OF BIRTHS KEPT IN THE COLONY OF HONG KONG (before 1960s). CERTIFIED COPY OF AN ENTRY IN A REGISTER OF BIRTHS KEPT IN TERMS OF THE BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION ORDINANCE (after 1960s).

Issuing Authority: REGISTRAR GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT, HONG KONG (before 1960s). BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRY, HONG KONG (since 1960s).Immigration Department, Hong Kong (since 1997)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: An embossed seal of the REGISTRAR GENERAL OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS (before 1997). An embossed seal of the Regional emblem (since 1997).

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar of Births & Deaths (before 1960s).  “A registrar of births and deaths” (after 1960s).

Registration Criteria:  A birth will be registered upon receipt by the registrar of the relevant electronic birth return (e-birth return that records a baby's birth) from the hospital in which the baby is born.  The person in charge of a public institution where the child was born or is admitted (e.g. medical superintendent of a hospital) is required to report the occurrence of a birth within 42 days.  If registration occurs after 42 days of the birth but within one year, a registration fee will be charged.  If one year or more lapses, more registration fees will be charged and consent of the Registrar is required to agree to post registration.

When registering a child's birth, parents should supply originals of the following documents of:

  • Hong Kong identity cards or valid travel documents (e.g. passports, documents of identity etc.) for both parents; and
  • Their marriage certificate.

These documents are normally required to verify permanent residency of the child under the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115); additional documents or information may be required if necessary.

In the case of illegitimate children, the father’s name is to be included in the birth register under the following circumstances:

  • at the joint request of the parents, who personally attend the registry to make the joint request; or
  • at the request of the mother, who personally attends the registry and produces her Declaration and the father's Statutory Declaration to confirm the child's paternity; or
  • at the request of the father, who personally attends the registry and produces his Declaration and the mother's Statutory Declaration to confirm the child's paternity; or
  • at the request of the father or mother, who personally attends the registry and produces a certified copy of the relevant Court Order to confirm the child's paternity, and if the child has reached the age of 16, the written consent of the child to the registration of that person as his father.

Procedure for Obtaining:  Parents are required to make prior appointment booking through either the Internet or the telephone booking system for birth registration of the newborn baby.  Parents must register a birth in the births registry responsible for the district in which the hospital is located.  Before selecting the date of appointment, parents should confirm with the hospital where the child was born to ensure that the “birth return” has been delivered to the Births Registry concerned. Upon making the appointment, information provided should match with that on the baby’s “birth return,” otherwise, the appointment booking cannot be processed.  A parent must attend the registry for birth registration; no representative is allowed.  The following information will be collected in the course of birth registration:

  • When and where born
  • Name, if any
  • Sex
  • Surname and name of father
  • Maiden surname & name of mother
  • Signature, description & residence of informant

The registration of a birth normally takes 30 minutes to complete. Parent(s) will need to pay HK$140 for a certified copy of a birth entry after the birth registration, and a certified copy of a birth entry can usually be issued within another 10 minutes.  If parents did not apply for a certified copy at the time of the birth registration but need to get one afterwards, they are required to apply for a search of birth records first and a search fee will be charged – HK$140 for Particular Search and HK$680 for General Search. Please refer to “Application for Search of Birth Records and/or a Certified Copy of a Birth Entry” for more information.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: If an applicant is unable to obtain her/his birth certificate, s/he should present a Certificate of No Birth Record for herself/himself to prove that her/his birth certificate does not exist or is unobtainable AND secondary evidence such as a Certificate of Registered Particulars (CRP) from the HKID in lieu of the birth certificate. The Registration of Persons Office of HKID issues this serialized CRP on tamper-resistant paper and reflects a photo of the applicant and an embossed seal. In addition to basic biographic information, the CRP may contain a record of the applicant's marital history, family composition, and work experience. This information is supplied by the applicant at irregular intervals when s/he first registers for an identity card, obtains a replacement card, registers a child for an identity card, applies for a passport, or voluntarily reports other information.  Information on the CRP may or may not have been verified by HKID at the time it was recorded. Making false statements on a CRP is an offense under Hong Kong law, and violators are vigorously prosecuted. The CRP is an invaluable aid in establishing relationship or verifying claimed work experience. Posts with questions on interpreting CRPs should contact Hong Kong's Fraud Prevention Manager.

Present or former residents of Hong Kong can apply for a CRP at any of the five “Registration of Persons” Offices.  Former residents can apply by mail or through a representative, but the request must be signed by the individual and notarized.  CRPs are available for deceased persons but can only be obtained by close relatives. Requests for should include the applicant's Hong Kong identity card number whenever possible. Processing time is approximately five weeks.

Exceptions: Birth certificates are available for any person who was born in Hong Kong since 1873, except during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941-1945).

Comments: For details, please see gov.hk

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees: HK$140. For details, please see immd.gov.hk

Document Name:  CERTIFICATE COPY OF AN ENTRY IN A REGISTER OF DEATHS KEPT IN TERMS OF THE BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION ORDINANCE

Issuing Authority:  BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRY, HONG KONG

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: An embossed seal from the GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE. BIRTHS AND DEATHS

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  ‘a registrar of births and deaths’

Registration Criteria: Registering the death of a person is the first and key obligation to be fulfilled by a close relative of the deceased, i.e. the informant, whether the cause of death is natural or unnatural.

Under the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance, it shall be the duty for the informant (being the nearest relative or other relevant person of the deceased) to register a death from natural causes within 24 hours. In most cases, the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased person during his or her last illness will sign and issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (Form 18), which the informant will need to take to the Deaths Registry for registration of the death.

Death from unnatural causes need not be registered by any relative of the deceased. For a death resulted from unnatural causes such as poison or violence, the case will be reported to the Coroner. The Coroner may conduct a post-mortem examination or an inquest to determine cause of death. When cause of death is determined, the Coroner will inform the Registrar of Deaths to register the death. The Registrar will then notify the family members of the deceased in writing after the death is registered.

Procedure for Obtaining: When applying for registering a death at a Death Registry, the informant should supply originals of the following documents:

  • Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (Form 18), signed and issued by the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased person during his or her last illness
  • The deceased person’s Hong Kong identity card or travel document
  • The informant’s Hong Kong identity card or travel document
  • The informant is required to provide information on the deceased person's occupation, nationality, and marital status.

The registration of a death normally takes 30 minutes, and a certified copy of a death entry (commonly known as Death Certificate) can usually be issued within another 10 minutes. Registration of a death referred by the Coroner is only processed at the Births and Deaths General Register Office in Admiralty.  The family members of the deceased can apply for a certified copy of the death entry (commonly known as death certificate) at that Office or any of the other two Deaths Registries on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon after they have received the Registrar’s notification on the completion of death registration.

The Coroner usually takes one to six months to determine the cause of death. If the cause of death is determined by the Coroner and made known to the Registrar, the death will be registered within one week and the family members of the deceased will be notified by letter.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: Death certificates are available for any person who died in Hong Kong since 1873, except during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941-1945).

Comments: For details, please see gov.hk

Click here for a link to note the Addresses and office hours of Deaths Registries

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available - The Marriage Amendment Ordinance, which took effect in March 2006, expanded the definition of individuals legally allowed to conduct marriages in Hong Kong. Under the Marriage Amendment Ordinance, marriages may now be conducted by a Registrar, a minister, or any person appointed as a civil celebrant of marriages. The marriage must take place at a marriage registry before a Registrar, in a licensed place of public worship before a minister, or elsewhere in Hong Kong before a civil celebrant of marriage. The Hong Kong government keeps an updated list of "Licensed Places of Public Worship for Celebration of Marriage".

Fees: For details, please see Fees Leaflet (MR 60) or immd.gov.hk

Document Name:  Certificate of Marriage

Issuing Authority:  Marriage Registry, Hong Kong

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  An embossed  seal of the Registrar of Marriages

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Deputy Registrar of Marriages/Competent minister/Civil Celebrant of Marriage

Registration Criteria: The minimum age for getting married is 16 years of age (Gregorian reckoning). There are no residential requirements for marrying parties and the parties may be of any nationality. Solemnizing a marriage in Hong Kong will have to go through the following procedures:

  • Either one of the marrying parties has to give a Notice of Intended Marriage ("the notice") to the Registrar of Marriages ("the Registrar") in the prescribed form either directly or through a civil celebrant of marriages.
  • The Registrar shall exhibit Part I of the notice at the marriage registries (other than the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry and City Hall Marriage Registry) and Marriage Registration and Records Office until the issue of a Certificate of Registrar of Marriages or the expiry of the 3-month period.
  • The Registrar may, at least 15 days after the giving of a notice, issue a Certificate of Registrar of Marriages to enable the marrying parties to celebrate their marriage within three months from the date of notice giving if all the statutory requirements are met.
  • If a marriage does not take place within three months after the giving of the notice, the notice and all proceedings thereupon shall be void and a fresh notice must be given before a marriage can take place.

Procedure for Obtaining: With the presence of a valid Certificate of Registrar of Marriages, a marriage has to take place at a marriage registry by a Registrar; or in a licensed place of worship by a competent minister or at any other place in Hong Kong by a civil celebrant of marriages.  The certificate of marriage will be signed in duplicate by the Registrar, the officiating minister or the civil celebrant, by the parties and two witnesses aged 18.  The original certificate, entitled "Certificate of Marriage", is delivered to the marrying parties after the marriage ceremony, and the duplicate will be filed by the Registrar.

Certified Copies Available:  All are entitled "Certified True Copy of Certificate of Marriage"

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  Certificates of Marriage are available from 1945, pre-war records of the Registrar of Marriages are not normally available, but in certain cases may be obtained from the church where the ceremony was performed.

Comments: For details, please see immd.gov.hk

 

Divorce Certificates

Available from 1945. Prior to 1971, customary Chinese marriages could be dissolved by mutual written consent of the two parties, signed before two witnesses.  After October 7, 1971, all marriages must be dissolved through regular divorce proceedings conducted at the appropriate court, with the final decree or divorce registered at the Civil Registry.

Fees:  HK$630

Document Names:  (2 possible variations)

  1. Form 6 Certificate of making Decree Nisi Absolute (Divorce)
    IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
    Matrimonial Causes No. FCMC
  2. Form 7B Certificate of making Decree Nisi Absolute (Divorce)
    IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
    Joint Application No. FCJA

Issuing Authority:  District Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: An embossed  seal of the District Court

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Chief District Judge

Registration Criteria: Unless a court allows, divorce petitions can only be filed for marriages lasting a year or longer.  The court shall have jurisdiction in divorce proceedings under the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance if:

a) either of the parties to the marriage was domiciled in Hong Kong at the date of the petition or application;

b) either of the parties to the marriage was habitually resident in Hong Kong throughout the period of 3 years immediately preceding the date of the petition or application; or

c) either of the parties to the marriage had a substantial connection with Hong Kong at the date of the petition or application.

Procedure for Obtaining: If one party is petitioning for divorce on her/his own account, fill in a petition form and take it personally to the Family Court Registry, M2, Wanchai Law Courts, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong.  The party must be able to prove that s/he has reasons (or "grounds") for saying that the marriage is at an end, i.e. "the marriage has irretrievably broken down".

If both parties have agreed to jointly apply to the court, they should together fill in a joint application form and submit it as above.

Six weeks after the court has granted a decree nisi,  party/parties can apply for your decree to be made absolute by sending to the court a completed "Notice of Application for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute", using Form 5 (for a petition) or Form 5A (for a joint application). The Registrar will issue a Certificate of Decree Absolute to each party if satisfied that the statutory requirements have been complied with.

Certified Copies Available:  Applicants who plan to use a divorce decree in overseas proceedings should submit an application for a sealed copy of the decree at the District Court in Hong Kong.  Applicants should take that copy of the divorce decree to the High Court Registry for authentication.

Alternate Documents:  Prior to 1971, customary Chinese marriages could be dissolved by mutual written consent of the two parties, signed before two witnesses.

Exceptions:  Prior to 1971, customary Chinese marriages could be dissolved by mutual written consent of the two parties, signed before two witnesses.

Comments:  For details, please see judiciary.hk

Adoption Certificates

Available

Fees:  HK$140

Document Name:  Certified Copy of an Entry in the Records of the General Register Office the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Issuing Authority: BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRY, HONG KONG

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  An embossed  seal of the Registrar General of Births and Deaths

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  ‘a registrar of births and deaths’

Registration Criteria:  Possession of the following documents:

  • Adoption order granted by Districted court of High Court in respect of the adopted child; or
  • Notification from Director of Social Welfare (“the notification”); and
  • Adoption order granted overseas.

Procedure for Obtaining:  Upon receipt of the aforesaid required documents either from local court or director of Social Welfare and after clearance of relevant record checks, a call up letter will be sent to the adoptive parents for making a registration appointment.  On the appointment day, the adoptive parents are required to produce the originals of respective adoption order, the notification (if required) as well as their identity cards or other identification documents.  The adoption certificate will then be issued to the adoptive parents after the completion of the registration.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

 

Identity Card

National ID Cards

Available

Fees:  No fees are payable for identity card registrations for new arrivals and people reaching the age of 11 or 18.  However, fees are charged for the replacement of identity cards due to loss, damage, destruction, defacement or alteration of personal particulars.   

Document Name:  Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card

Issuing Authority:  Registration of Persons Office of Immigration Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The smart identity card is the size of a standard credit card, and is made from polycarbonate, a durable material strongly resistant to environmental influences as well as mechanical, chemical and thermal stress. Each smart identity card is embedded with an integrated circuit or ‘chip’ that stores and processes data. Besides, to cater for the needs of the visually impaired, the six digits of an identity card number (excluding the prefix and the number in bracket) can be printed in braille on the back of a smart identity card in order to facilitate the visually impaired to identify their identity cards. Apart from the braille printings as mentioned above, a braille-printed smart identity card has no difference with other smart identity cards. For details, please see immd.gov.hk

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria: Under the Registration of Persons Ordinance, all Hong Kong residents aged 11 or over (including those who have been permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days) are required to register for an identity card, except those who are exempted or excluded.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants can apply for an identity card at any Registration of Persons Office.  S/he should complete and submit an application form to the registration officer together with supporting documents and identity card (if any).  The registration officer will examine the applicant's eligibility for an identity card, scan her/his left and right thumbprints, and take her/his photo.  An assessment officer will then countercheck the data on the application form, confirm the applicant's eligibility for an identity card and scan his/her left and right thumbprints again. The applicant's identity card issued previously (if any) will be collected and he/she will be provided with an acknowledgement of application for an identity card.  S/he could collect their identity card.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  Consular Corps Identity Cards issued to diplomats

Comments: For details, please see immd.gov.hk

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available

Fees: HK$225

Document Name:  Certificate of No Criminal Conviction

Issuing Authority:  Hong Kong Police Force

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: An embossed  seal of the IDENTIFICATION BUREAU (HQ) HONG KONG OFFICE

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Commissioner of Police

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining:  Both individuals residing in Hong Kong and individuals residing outside of Hong Kong may apply.

Individuals residing in Hong Kong:

All applicants should appear in person at the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction Office which is located at 14/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters, 1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The office is open from 9am to 5:15pm from Monday to Friday. (Note: The payment window is closed daily between 1-2pm and stops accepting payments at 5pm.) Applicants may elect to make an advance appointment through the Automatic Telephone Appointment System at 2396-5351, no less than one day in advance of the intended appointment. Please note that the "Certificate of No Criminal Conviction" or an appropriate reply together with the applicant's police record will be sent directly to the U.S. Consulate General. Please do not ask for a copy to be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) as this could delay processing of your visa application.

An applicant should be prepared to present the following items:

  • his/her Hong Kong Identity Card or valid travel document;
  • the original and a photocopy (for each applicant) of the letter from NVC which contains his/her name and the checklist of documents necessary for obtaining a visa (the one that references the need for police certificates);
  • the original and photocopy of a document proving his/her relationship with the principal applicant for the visa if item #2 does not contain the applicant's name;
  • the processing fee of HK $210 per person - payment via cash, Octopus cards or checks payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region."

All applicants must consent to have their fingerprints taken. Each applicant must sign an authorization that the fingerprints can be retained by the Hong Kong Police and that details of any criminal conviction recorded in Hong Kong can be disclosed to the U.S. Consulate General.

Individuals residing outside Hong Kong:

Applications should be made in writing to:

The Commission of Police (Attn: EO CNCC)
14/F, Arsenal House
Police Headquarters, 1 Arsenal Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

An applicant residing outside Hong Kong must submit the following items (please note that documents issued in languages other than Chinese or English, must be accompanied by an official transcript, in Chinese or English, endorsed either by the issuing authority or a certificated translation services body):

  • his/her Hong Kong Identity Card or valid travel document;
  • the original and a photocopy (for each applicant) of the letter from NVC which contains his/her name and the checklist of documents necessary for obtaining a visa (the one that references the need for police certificates);
  • the original and photocopy of a document proving his/her relationship with the principal applicant for the visa if item #2 does not contain the applicant's name;
  • a full set of the applicant's fingerprints taken and certified by a recognized and official police or law enforcement agency where the applicant currently resides. Certification of the fingerprints must clearly state: (i) the full name and rank of the person taking the prints, (ii) the full name of the police or law enforcement agency with their official chop; and (iii) the date and place the prints were taken. Prints that do not clearly show certification will be refused. Fingerprints taken by the applicant him/herself, a legal representative or private/commercial agency are also unacceptable;
  • a bank draft in the amount of HK$210 per person, made payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region." The draft must be payable in Hong Kong. A personal check in Hong Kong dollars, which is issued an authorized by any licensed banks in Hong Kong, is also acceptable.

If an applicant is under investigation by the Hong Kong Police or is currently a defendant in criminal proceedings in Hong Kong or is subject to non-payment of fines including traffic offences, his/her application will not be further processed until the matter has been concluded.

The relevant application form, standard personal data form, and fingerprint consent form can be downloaded from the web page of "Certificate of No Criminal Conviction" on Hong Kong Police Force website. Any inquiries may be addressed to Certificate of No Criminal Conviction office, email: eo-cncc-ib@police.gov.hk, phone: +852-2860-6557 (for local residents); +852-2860-6558 (for overseas applicants), fax: +852-2200-4321. Please refer to police.gov.hk for further information and updates on police certificate from Hong Kong.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

 

Court Records

Available

Fees:  Approximately HK$36

Document Name:  Certificate of Trail

Issuing Authority:  Magistrates Courts or High Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:   A round ink stamp of the Magistrates’ Courts

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  First Clerk or Second Clerk of Magistrates’ Court

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining: Extracts from case registers are available to an applicant upon written application to the First Clerk of the Magistracy where the conviction occurred. The applicant should provide his/her full name, date and place of birth, and the case number. Magisterial records are normally available only for three years. If the conviction occurred in a District Court or the High Court, the application should be addressed to the Registrar of the court concerned.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

 

Prison Records

Available

Fees:  Free of charge

Document Name:  Certificate of Imprisonment

Issuing Authority:  Correctional Services Department

Special Seal(s)/Color/Format:  There are no special seals, colors, or formats.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Commissioner of Correctional Services

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining:  The applicant should complete Form OPS003 and apply in person.  Inquiries can be sent to email@csd.gov.hk.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

Military Records

Unavailable

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):  Regular

Fees:  For details, please see immd.gov.hk

Document Names:

  1. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Passport
  2. HKSAR Document of Identity

Issuing Government Authority:  Immigration Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Please see  immd.gov.hk

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria:  There are no registration criteria.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants can submit their application in persons, by post or via drop-in box.  When submitting the application in person, applicants should bring along the original supporting documents.  If the application is submitted by post or via drop-in box, applicants should submit the application form, photograph and cheque together with photocopies of supporting documents.  The applicant is required to present the originals of supporting documents together with her/his previous passport or Document of Identity for Visa Purposes for verification upon collection of her/his passport.

The HKSAR Immigration Department pledges to complete the process of an application in 10 working days after receiving all necessary documents, application fee and photograph and in 14 working days for children aged under 11 not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card (Working days denote Monday to Friday excluding General Holidays). In general, applicants can obtain the new passport on the next working day after the completion of the application process by the Immigration Department. For applications not submitted in person (e.g. via drop-in-box), an extra 2 to 3 working days may be required for handling formalities. The processing time may be longer for passport application due to loss, damage or change of personal particulars.

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

Comments:

  • HKSAR Passport (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region): Only Chinese nationals with the right of abode in Hong Kong can qualify for the new HKSAR passport. This document lists the bearer as a Chinese national with the right of abode in the HKSAR, and also lists the bearer's permanent Hong Kong ID number. Bearers may hold the HKSAR and the BN (O) passport concurrently.
  • British National (Overseas) Passport (BN (O)): This passport identifies the bearer's nationality as "British National (Overseas)." It is issued to persons with the right of abode in Hong Kong whom British authorities consider British nationals, but who lack the right of abode in the United Kingdom. The BN (O) does not confer the same rights as a regular United Kingdom passport. For example, BN (O) bearers do not have the right to live in Great Britain, nor are they eligible for the U.S. Visa Waiver Pilot Program. Hong Kong visa reciprocity should be followed for BN (O) bearers.
  • Hong Kong Certificate of Identity: This document has been issued to persons with the right of abode in Hong Kong who were not born there, or who lack proof of birth in Hong Kong. The issuance of these documents terminated after July 1, 1997 and Certificates of Identity ceased to be valid in 2007. Upon expiration, qualified bearers were able to replace the documents with the HKSAR passport.
  • Hong Kong Document of Identity: This document has been issued to persons who have been legally residing in Hong Kong for less than the seven years necessary to have full right of abode, and who cannot obtain a national passport. Previously, a Document of Identity was valid for re-entry to Hong Kong only if it contained a re-entry visa. According to Hong Kong immigration, the Document of Identity is now valid for return to Hong Kong at any time during its validity, even without an explicit re-entry visa. Currently Hong Kong reciprocity applies. Validity, Reciprocity, and Nationality Code: HKSAR and BN(O) passports, along with the Certificate of Identity are recognized as valid for return to Hong Kong for a period of six months beyond their expiration date, and thus qualify for the automatic extension of validity for purposes of INA section 212(A)(7)(B)(i)(I). [See 9 FAM 41.104 Note 2.] The Document of Identity does not qualify for the automatic extension of validity. Effective July 1, 1997, the British Dependent Territories Citizen Passport (BDTC), ceased to be valid for visa-issuing purposes.

    An applicant presenting any of the above-listed travel documents, not including the British Dependent Territories Citizen (BDTC), will be subject to the visa reciprocity schedule for Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents holding British citizenship with the right of abode in the United Kingdom (and thus carrying a UK passport) continue to be subject to the reciprocity schedule for the United Kingdom. Because the BN (O) identifies the bearer as a British national, it is essential to maintain two separate nationality codes for statistical reasons. Posts issuing MRVs to persons bearing one of the above Hong Kong travel documents should use the following codes in the nationality field:
  • HNK - HKSAR passport, HK Certificate of Identity, or HK Document of Identity,
  • HOKO - British National (Overseas) Passport.
  • Use of Visa in Expired Passport: Under 22 CFR 41.112(3), an alien can apply for admission to the United Sates with a valid visa in one passport (even if the passport has expired), provided the alien is also in possession of a valid passport issued by the authorities of the country of which s/he is a national.

Other Documents Available: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Seaman's Identity Book

For details, please see immd.gov.hk

Other Records

Certificate of Registered Particulars (CRP)

The Registration of Persons Office of the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) issues this serialized document on tamper-resistant paper and reflects a photo of the applicant and an embossed seal.

In addition to basic biographic information, the CRP may contain a record of the applicant's marital history, family composition, and work experience. This information is supplied by the applicant at irregular intervals when he or she first registers for an identity card, obtains a replacement card, registers a child for an identity card, applies for a passport, or voluntarily reports other information. Information on the CRP may or may not have been verified by HKID at the time it was recorded. Making false statements on a CRP is an offense under Hong Kong law, and violators are vigorously prosecuted. The CRP is an invaluable aid in establishing relationship or verifying claimed work experience. Posts with questions on interpreting CRPs should contact Hong Kong's Fraud Prevention officer.

Present or former residents of Hong Kong can apply for a CRP at any of the five Registration of Persons Offices. Former residents can apply by mail or through a representative, but the request must be signed by the individual and notarized. CRPs are available for deceased persons but can only be obtained by close relatives. Requests for CRPs should include the applicant's Hong Kong identity card number whenever possible. Processing time is approximately five weeks.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title:  U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau

Address:  26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

Phone Number:  (852) 2523-9011

Visa Services:  SAR of Hong Kong - Macau. All visa categories for all of Hong Kong.

Mailing Address:

PSC 461 Box 5
FPO AP 96521-0006

Fax: (852) 2845-4845

Email:  hk.usconsulate.gov

Visa Services

SAR (Special Administrative Region) of Hong Kong - Macau. All visa categories for all of Hong Kong.

Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.