Hellooo it’s your girl, Sheren!
So if you guys have read my previous post about renting an apartment in Hong Kong, I mentioned that August 26th was my 7th year anniversary living here.
Hitting the 7th year mark means I am eligible to apply for permanent residence card!
First thing first — I made a video about this as a self-reward because I am *that* extra. If you’d like to watch it:
But please continue reading to get more details! 😀
I didn’t really research much, as my closest friends — Aman and Austin — have done most of the part (cheers guys!). So, after delaying for 2-3 weeks, I finally applied online on Sept 17th.
Anyway, here’s what you need to know if you’re also thinking to apply for HK PR card:
** Before we start, just an fyi: my nationality is Indonesian, so all the info I list down here is for non-Chinese citizens. **
- You hold a valid travel document (make sure it’s not expiring soon)
- You have been residing in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 7 years (YES, uni life is counted – basically the moment you arrive here with a VALID visa)
- If there’s a certain period when you’re out of Hong Kong, it cannot be more than 6 months (continuously). Otherwise, the 7-YEAR mark is not valid.
- Make sure you extend your visa diligently (IANG / work visa etc), so there is no period in which you’re living here ‘illegally’.
- This period of 7 years, must be immediately BEFORE the application date; so I don’t think you can apply 1-2 months before the 7-YEAR mark.
- prepare and fill the form ROP145. Download here: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/forms/rop145a.html
- scan this form (PAGE BY PAGE), and the format should be JPEG – i know right… sadly they don’t accept PDF.
- go to the online application website: https://www.gov.hk/en/apps/immdes2permanentidcardapply.htm
- follow the steps on the website; basically you need to fill in personal details and upload your HKID card and form ROP145 (upload EACH PAGE, don’t combine!)
[and then let the waiting game begin, HAHA.]
- next, the Govt will send you the acknowledgement letter (please make sure your address is up to date!). The letter implies that we should not follow up with the Govt about the application status otherwise it will be further delayed (basically just don’t chase them lol)
- after 1 week or so, they will send you another letter, requesting Form ROP146 (to declare that you’ll only take HK as the place of permanent residence) and supplementary documents (proof of tax payment, university transcript etc).
Form ROP146: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/forms/rop146.html
[insert another waiting game]
- after 3 weeks (or even longer), the Govt will send another letter, which I believed is the last one: Verification of Eligibility for PR Card. You’ll be given a timeslot (can be changed if it doesn’t suit your schedule) to come to the Immigration Office, and bring your passport.
If you get this letter – CONGRATS! You’re one step closer!
- On the appointment day, go to the immigration office to the Right of Abode section. Register at the counter and go to the self-service kiosk, to fill out a form.
- Wait for a while and go to the designated counter. (I didn’t wait at all – it was not so crowded since I booked it early in the morning)
- They will verify your documents and take a profile photo. Also they’ll do some fingerprint scanning.
- Next, go to another counter to do the *last* verification. Here they will give you a temporary PR paper that you cannot lose, and in 10 days you can collect the actual card through a self-collection machine.
AND DONE. YOU’RE OFFICIALLY A PERMANENT RESIDENT!
To understand the process better, let me share my own experience.
I first landed in Hong Kong on August 26th, 2013 for university. During summer and Christmas holiday, I went back to Indo (out of Hong Kong), for 2 weeks or even 1 month. THIS IS OK, because it’s not more than 6 months period in one go.
In Dec 2015, I went back to Indo for Christmas. In January 2016, I was in Sweden for my exchange program, and stayed there for 6 months. I was back in Indo, in June 2016.
In August 2016, I came back to Hong Kong for a new semester.
And then I finished uni and started working (I hold IANG visa as a non local graduate). In late Sept 2019, I went back home to Indo for good – almost! – but I cleared my tax and cut my rent.
In Feb 2020, I came back to HK and extended my IANG visa that’s about to expire, and started working again.
Obviously the only period which I’m outside Hong Kong, is during my exchange program. I was everywhere else but HK, for 8 months.
So when I applied, I have to filled in form ROP145 and specify the exact date & reason for this. Literally, the exact date you were outside and in Hong Kong. You have no idea – I was like and FBI agent, checking emails & hotel / flight bookings to match the date.
After submitting ROP145, I checked my mailbox after around 1 week. I got 2 letters already – the acknowledgement letter & the other one requesting ROP146 form.
Because of my scenario of > 6months out, I was required to send the Govt my university transcript that shows my exchange program during specific period.
Again, I submitted the docs online in JPEG, page by page. It’s via the same web page: https://www.gov.hk/en/apps/immdes2permanentidcardapply.htm
(quote the reference number given in the letter!)
Btw, I got my tax payment receipt & employment contract ready LOL but the Govt didn’t ask – so I didn’t bother to submit online. I guess because I studied in HK, it’s easier to verify my 7-YEAR mark.
This time, I have to wait for a bit longer – I submitted on Sept 17th, and finally, on Nov 3rd, I opened my mailbox and saw there’s a letter!!!
I was so anxious because I thought they would reject me or require further documents, but apparently it’s the Verification letter!!! :’)
Lastly – I was asked to come to the Immigration Dept and bring my passport on the 26th, but I change it to 11th to make it faster 😀
So on 11.11, I officially became a HK PR!! (though I need to wait for 10 days to collect the actual card, so for 10 days I only have the paper version).
OK, I think that’s it for now.
I hope this could be helpful in some ways. As always, refer to the HK Govt website for more details, I believe they also provide a very detailed FAQs. Good luck and stay tuned for my next #7YEARSin7MINS post! 🙂
Hong Kong / 2020