Hong Kong has its own visa policy despite being a Special Administrative Region of China. Generally speaking, Hong Kong’s visa policy is very welcoming. There are around 170 nationalities who can enter without a visa for limited periods of time for tourism and other specific purposes.
However, there are some nationalities who need a visa to enter. In addition, if you wish to enter for work, study, or business purposes, it is necessary to apply for a visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
Hong Kong passport visa policy: All visitors, with or without a visa, need to hold a valid passport with at least 1 month remaining to be able to enter.
Hong Kong Visa-Free Countries
Under the visa policy of Hong Kong, there is a large number of countries whose citizens can travel to Hong Kong for limited periods without a visa. The amount of time a traveller can stay varies between 7 and 180 days depending on their nationality.
180 days visa-free
Only citizens of the UK and Macau can enter visa-free for up to 180 days.
90 days visa-free
There are 85 nationalities who can stay for up to 90 days without a visa. This includes all EU countries (except the UK), the US, Canada, most countries in South America including Brazil and Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and some Asian and African countries.
30 days visa-free
Citizens of 23 countries can stay for up to 30 days without a visa. These countries include Bolivia, Indonesia, Paraguay, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and the UAE.
14 days visa-free
Passport holders of 35 countries can enter for a maximum of 14 days without a visa. These countries include Russia, Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.
Hong Kong visa policy for India
Indian travellers are an exception. They can enter without applying for a conventional visa at an embassy or consulate, but they need to apply online for a Hong Kong PAR for Indians. It is simple to apply for the eVisa and the application form only takes a few minutes to fill out.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Hong Kong?
If you are not from one of the visa-exempt countries you need to apply for a Hong Kong visa before departure. At the moment, there are 49 nationalities who are not visa-exempt (for at least 14 days). The Hong Kong transit visa policy depends on nationality.
Nationalities who do not need a transit visa
Citizens of the following countries are not visa-exempt but do not need a transit visa as long as they remain within the airport transit area:
Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Moldova, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palestine, Senegal, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Nationalities who need a transit visa
The following nationalities need a Hong Kong transit visa even if they remain within the airport transit area:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra, Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Togo, and Yemen.
Other Types of Visas for Hong Kong
There are various types of visas for Hong Kong which are for purposes other than tourism. There is a Hong Kong general employment visa policy which enables certain people to move to Hong Kong for work. There are immigration quotas for certain countries as well as a Working Holiday Scheme(WHS), which allows workers between 18-30 to stay for up to 12 months.
Hong Kong student visa policy
Hong Kong issues student visas for those wishing to study. This includes short and long-term programs at private primary and secondary schools as well as universities.
APEC Business Travel Card
Certain nationalities can obtain an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) which allow them to enter visa-free for business trips of up to 60 days. The APBTC must contain the code “KKG” on the back.
The ABTCs are issued to nationals of the following countries:
Australia, Brunei, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.