Visa / Entry Permit for Study
Any person who wishes to enter Hong Kong for study is required to obtain a visa / entry permit before coming to Hong Kong.
- An application for a visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR for study may be favourably considered if
- the applicant:
- is admitted to a private school registered under the Education Ordinance (Cap. 279) or Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap. 320). Except for post-secondary education, entry for study in public or aided schools (other than English Schools Foundation Schools and Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools) is not permitted;
- takes up studies in a full-time locally-accredited post-secondary programme including short-term course or part-time locally-accredited taught postgraduate local programme (Note 1);
- is admitted on exchange in full-time locally-accredited local programmes at sub-degree level for not more than 6 months or on exchange in full-time locally-accredited local or non-local programmes for not more than one year at undergraduate or above level; or
- is enrolled in a full-time course on the register of non-local higher education or professional courses as set up under the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 493);
- the applicant is:
- from the age of 5 years and 8 months to 11 for primary education; or
- below the age of 20 for secondary education;
- the applicant holds a school acceptance letter to confirm that he/she has been accepted for a course of study; and
- the applicant is able to meet the fees for the course, the living expenses for his/her maintenance and accommodation without working and without recourse to public funds.
- This entry arrangement does not apply to:
- Chinese residents of the Mainland and Taiwan;
- former Mainland Chinese residents settled in Macao who were not settled there by 14 January 1979; and
- nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of ), Nepal and Vietnam.
- However, provided that the conditions in sub-paragraphs 1(c) & (d) above are met, Chinese residents of the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan as listed in sub-paragraphs 2(a) & (b) above may apply for entry to take up:
- studies in full-time locally-accredited post-secondary local or non-local programmes (Note 2 & 3);
- studies in part-time locally-accredited taught post-graduate local programmes (Note 4);
- exchange in full-time locally-accredited local programmes at sub-degree level for not more than 6 months or exchange in full-time locally-accredited local or non-local programmes at undergraduate or above level for not more than one year (Note 3); or
- full-time short-term studies, subject to the following conditions:
- the programme concerned is offered by Hong Kong higher education institutions with degree-awarding powers (excluding their continuing and professional education arms); and
- the cumulative duration of short-term studies taken up by any student should not exceed 180 days within any 12-month period.
In addition, Chinese residents of the Mainland may also apply to attend secondary school level short-term exchange programmes approved by the Education Bureau of not more than 2 weeks, if accompanied by Mainland teachers.
- In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the HKSAR, he/she requires a visa/entry permit to study in the HKSAR. While each application is determined on its individual merits, an applicant should meet normal immigration requirements (such as holding a valid travel document with adequate returnability to his/her country of residence or citizenship; be of clear criminal record and raise no security or criminal concerns to the HKSAR; have no likelihood of becoming a burden on the HKSAR, etc.) as well as the relevant specific eligibility criteria detailed above before he/she may be considered for the grant of a visa/entry permit. It should be noted that the eligibility criteria may be subject to change from time to time.
Local programmes refer to programmes leading to degrees awarded by local degree-awarding institutions whereas non-local programmes refer to programmes leading to degrees awarded solely by non-local institutions, irrespective of whether the programmes are jointly run by local and non-local institutions.
The agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on mutual recognition of degree awards in higher education is not applicable to sub-degree qualifications (i.e. associate degree and higher diploma). Mainland students may come to attend sub-degree level local programmes in Hong Kong since there is no restriction in the Mainland prohibiting them to pursue further studies at educational institutions outside the Mainland on a personal basis.
Mainland students are allowed to study in full-time locally-accredited local programmes. For the 2016/17 to 2020/21 academic years, Mainland students are also allowed to study in full-time locally-accredited non-local programmes at undergraduate or above level which have been approved by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.
The programmes to be taken up by Mainland students must be offered by the University Grants Committee-funded institutions.
For detailed information, please refer to the following link of the Immigration Department of Hong Kong:
Application for visa / entry permit to enter Hong Kong for study