With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to subside and taking into consideration the full resumption of cross-border and international travel, remote filing arrangements of extension of stay applications for non-permanent residents outside Hong Kong are to be discontinued effective 1 January 2024.
The Immigration Department announced that from 1 January 2024, the special arrangement for non-permanent residents outside Hong Kong to apply for an extension of stay are to be discontinued on 1 January 2024. Thus, for extension of stay applications received by the Immigration Department on or after 1 January 2024, applicants are required to be physically present in Hong Kong, both at the time of the submission of their applications and at the time of collection of their new e-Visas (formerly, the traditional sticker-type, physical labels).
Introduced in April 2022, the special arrangement for applications for extension of stay was put in place due to the volatile COVID-19 situation. The arrangement allows eligible non-permanent residents who were admitted into Hong Kong under selected immigration policies or schemes yet who are physically outside of Hong Kong, to submit their extension applications either through a representative or online if the validity of their stay is due to expire within four weeks. Under this measure, successful applicants may download their “e-Visa” for an extension of stay upon payment of the fee and the e-Visa for the new extension of stay may be activated outside of Hong Kong.
The six-month deadline allows ample time for eligible non-permanent residents who intend to apply for an extension of stay to make suitable travel arrangements to Hong Kong.
Although extensions of stay applications can now be submitted physically or online, the Immigration Department is able to access the travel movements of applicants. Thus, applicants are required to be physically present in Hong Kong at the time of the submission of their applications.
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