The new “e-Visa”
On the 28th of December 2021, the Immigration Department (or the “ImmD”) has implemented the “e-Visa”. An applicant for an entry visa, extension of stay or change of status, among others, will be issued with an “e-Visa”. The “e-Visa” is a slip in a PDF file format, and the “e-Visa” holder may save his/her “e-Visa” in soft copy on a personal mobile device or print it on a sheet of A4 white paper for inspection when necessary. The “e-Visa” contains a QR code for anti-forgery purposes, enabling officers to verify the information on the e-visa by scanning the QR code with the Immigration Department’s mobile.
With the implementation of this arrangement, the ImmD has ceased issuing traditional sticker-type label visas.
Benefits of the “e-Visa”
With the implementation of the “e-Visa”, upon approval of the application, an applicant may pay online and instantly download or print the “e-Visa” without having to attend an Immigration Office in person for payment and collection of the “e-Visa”.
Information access to the “e-Visa”
An “e-Visa” contains an encrypted QR code printed on top-left of the visa for verification of its information. The information of the visa holder can be viewed by scanning the QR code with the ImmD Mobile Application. The “e-Visa” can also be verified by entering the “e-Visa” information on the GovHK website
or the ImmD Mobile Application.
Electronic procedures will be simple and conient for all.
Collection of an “e-Visa”
Regardless of whether the applications are submitted before or after 28 December 2021, applicants may pay online through the online payment link
provided in the application result, and then download or print the “e-Visa” by themselves upon payment. The current online payment service will accept payment either by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, JCB, UnionPay) or by PPS.
Payment at an Immigration Office
If an applicant or his/her representative collects the “e-Visa” at an Immigration Office in person, he/she will be issued an “e-Visa” printed on an A4 paper.
The time limit for payment will be provided in the notification of the application result. If the allowed time limit for online payment has expired, you will need to contact the relevant section that processed your application for a follow-up action.
If the applicant did not download or print the “e-Visa” immediately after paying the relevant fee online, he/she can download or print the valid “e-Visa” free of charge through the GovHK website
or the ImmD Mobile Application.
Re-download or Re-print an “e-Visa”
An “e-Visa” can be re-downloaded or re-printed through the GovHK website
or the ImmD Mobile Application.
Arriving in Hong Kong
To get through immigration clearance after obtaining an “e-Visa, the “e-Visa” holder should present his/her valid travel document, an exit endorsement issued by the relevant Mainland authorities (where applicable), and the “e-Visa” saved on a personal mobile device or printed on a sheet of A4 white paper and scan the encrypted QR code on the “e-Visa” with the optical reader at the immigration counter.
Validity of current sticker-type physical label
The sticker-type labels for entry visas issued before 28 December 2021 shall remain valid within the period or limit of stay as stated on the visas. Replacement of the sticker-type label is not necessary.
Electronic Services for Visa Application
With effect from 28 December 2021, the Immigration Department has introduced these electronic services for visa applications in phases to allow applicants to complete the entire process of visa-related application online through the GovHK website, the ImmD’s website or the ImmD Mobile Application. The first phase covers applications for visa extension, foreign domestic helpers’ visa, and those under the “Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates” (IANG) and “Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents”. The electronic services for visa applications will be further extended to cover other types of applications and expected to be digitized by the second half of 2022, with eligible individuals able to apply, collect and pay for them online. Applicants will have the option to submit forms on the department’s website, mobile application, or the GovHK website.
Applicants can complete the entire online application submission process, including filling in an electronic form, uploading photos and relevant supporting documents, and submitting supplementary documents, through the GovHK website, the ImmD’s website or the ImmD Mobile Application. There is no need to complete online forms in one sitting. During the process of online application submission, applicants can choose to temporarily store their application information in the computer system and leave the webpage. The entered information will be temporarily stored in the computer system for 14 days. If applicants do not complete the online application process within 14 days, the temporarily stored information will be deleted without further notice.
After submitting their applications online, applicants can also submit supplementary documents or enquire the application status online whenever necessary. Upon the application approval, applicants can pay online through the online payment webpage link provided in the notification of the application result, then download or print the “e-Visa” by themselves upon payment.
Information security is one of the essentials of electronic processes.
The ImmD will implement appropriate information security measures in accordance with the government’s security guidelines and by adopting the latest and appropriate information security technology on the market. The system will encrypt the personal data provided by applicants online to ensure the security and integrity of the data during transmission on the Internet. The ImmD will also ensure that all information will be processed in the department’s private and specific network and will be encrypted and stored in government data centers.
After the introduction of the electronic services for visa application, the existing application methods such as in person, by post or by box drop-in will remain, including the in-person payment and collection of the visa at the Immigration Office.
The conversion of the traditional sticker-type label visa to the “e-Visa” is a welcomed improvement by the Hong Kong ImmD, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
This online system generated “e-Visa” is exceptionally beneficial and convenient to applicants throughout the entire visa application process and simplifies the visa collection procedures. This arrangement streamlines the internal process for the ImmD and makes visa applications more stress-free and safer for the public. We look forward to the phase 2 implementation which will include more visa types and online applicant-friendly features.
If you are looking for a hassle-free visa application with the Hong Kong Immigration Department, you are welcome to seek advice from in-house visa and immigration specialists([email protected]
) of Kaizen Immigration Services Limited
, who will gladly assist you in such regard.