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, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic Peoples' 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.
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 only allowed to study in full-time locally-accredited local programmes.
The programmes to be taken up by Mainland students must be offered by the University Grants Committee (UGC)-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