APPLYING FOR STUDENT VISA / ENTRY PERMIT

As required by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, non-local students planning to study in Hong Kong must obtain a student visa.

Since the whole visa application process may take up to 8-10 weeks from the day HKUST receives your application, you are strongly advised to send in your visa application documents to HKUST as soon as possible. Once the visa application is submitted, you should not change the port of departure, or you will be responsible for any delays on the visa application process and program registration.

For Degree-seeking UG Students
The Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Office (URAO) will assist you with your student visa/entry permit application.  Please apply according to the instructions provided by URAO.

For UG Exchange Students

Please follow the instructions available in your HKUST MyStudyAbroad account. 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENT VISA AND NO-OBJECTION LETTER

Receiving your Student Visa/Entry Permit
As a non-local student, you require a student visa or an entry permit for taking up your studies at HKUST.

Once your visa application is approved by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, they will inform HKUST. HKUST will pick up the visa and courier it to you. To help us get the visa label to you in time, please make sure that we have your correct mailing address.

Arriving in Hong Kong Without a Student Visa/Entry Permit
From past experience, most students receive their student visa in time for their departure to Hong Kong. For a small number of students, for reasons such as late release of examination results (Freshmen only) or complications at the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the student visa may not be approved in time. If HKUST expects that your student visa will not be ready in time for your departure to Hong Kong, we will let you know in advance. In this case, you should plan to enter Hong Kong as a tourist. On arrival at HKUST, we will advise you on the procedures for picking up and activating your student visa.

Activating your Student Visa/Entry Permit
Your student visa/entry permit will be issued as a self-adhesive label.  After receiving it from HKUST, please affix the label to your travel document, noting the below details:

For students holding Mainland Chinese travel documents
After you receive the entry permit issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, you should apply for an "Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao" (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office where your household registration is kept. Please affix the entry permit label onto a blank endorsement page of the EEP on which your relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. You should present the EEP for immigration examination upon arrival in Hong Kong.  In case your EEP bearing the relevant exit endorsement is an electronic EEP, it should be presented together with the entry permit label issued to you for immigration arrival clearance.

For students holding Macau SAR passport
You should affix the entry permit label onto your "Visit Permit for Residents of Macao to HKSAR”.

For students holding Taiwan passport
You will be issued with a single-journy entry permit to take up studies in Hong Kong. After entering Hong Kong on the strength of the single entry permit, you may apply for a "Multiple Entry Permit" (MEP) and transfer of endorsement onto the MEP to facilitate future travels to and from Hong Kong.

For students holding all other passports
You should affix the sticker label on a blank page in your passport.  

When you arrive at the immigration counter at the Hong Kong International Airport or other immigration checkpoints, please present your passport with the page where the student visa sticker label is stuck. Do not expect the Immigration Officer to look for the label. If they do not see it, they may enter you into Hong Kong as a visitor/tourist. Ensure that the Immigration Officer sees the visa label and that s/he issues a landing slip which bears your name, travel document number, arrival date, conditions and limit of stay in Hong Kong.  The landing slip should say "Student-Permitted to remain until DDMMYYYY" and the name of the Hong Kong university you will be enrolling in.  Without this landing slip, your student visa is not activated and you will not be permitted to register at HKUST.

No-Objection Letter (for Degree-seeking Students)
Non-local regular students will receive a No-Objection Letter (NOL) together with your student visa label. It is a letter from the Immigration Department, confirming your eligibility to engage in part-time on-campus employment at the University and summer employment. Should you later engage in such employment, you will be asked by the employer to present this letter, so please take care and keep this letter safe. This NOL has the same validity period as your student visa. If you lose it, you will need to re-apply for one.

In addition to the two types of employment, mentioned above, non-local regular students are also eligible to take up curriculum-related internships during your studies. This will require the application for a separate NOL, when the need arises, after you begin studies at HKUST. You can receive information about this after you enter HKUST.

STUDENT VISA / ENTRY PERMIT EXTENSION

For visas/permits issued after March 2014, the limit of stay granted on a student visa is in line with the normal duration of the study program, subject to the validity remaining on the travel document on the day of entry to Hong Kong. For example, in general, a student visa with a 4-year validity will be granted if you are enrolled in a 4-year program. However, if your travel document will expire in one year's time from the day you enter Hong Kong, then the limit of stay granted will only be one year. You will need to apply for a student visa extension later on. For your convenience, we advise that you obtain a travel document with longer validity before you proceed with your student visa application.

If the validity of your student visa is shorter than the normal duration of your study program, you should apply for an extension of stay four weeks before your limit of stay expires. The limit of stay will be extended in line with the remaining duration of your study program, subject to:

  • A maximum period of six years upon entry as a student under the same study program in the same institution.
  • The validity of your travel document.

To apply for visa extension, you need to first obtain a testimonial from the HKUST Academic Records and Registration (ARR), Academic Registry. With this supporting document, you may apply at the Hong Kong Immigration Department. You should apply in person or authorize in writing a representative to submit the application on your behalf. However, you (the applicant) must be physically in Hong Kong on the date of submission of your visa/entry permit extension and on the date of collection of your new student visa/entry permit.

For details about visa extension, please click here to visit the Hong Kong
Immigration Department webpage
.

WORKING IN HONG KONG DURING YOUR STUDIES

For Degree-seeking Students
For non-local degree-seeking students, the Hong Kong Immigration Department allows you to engage in the following types of employments:

    • Part-time on-campus employment offered by the University and designated on-campus operators
    • Summer job from 1 June to 31 August (both dates inclusive)
    • Curriculum-related internship

For the first two types of employment, your eligibility to engage in these is confirmed on the No-Objection Letter (NOL), which you receive together with your student visa label/entry permit. Should you engage in such employment, you will be asked by the employer to present this letter, so please keep this letter safe. This NOL has the same validity period as your student visa. If you lose it, you will need to reapply for one.

To engage in curriculum-related internships, you need to seek endorsement from the HKUST School Office, and apply for a separate NOL. The curriculum-related internship can be for up to one academic year, or one-third of the normal duration of the relevant full-time academic program, whichever is the shorter. The internship must take place while you are formally registered at the University. Hence, do not take up any internship if your study at the University has completed.

For details, please consult the HKUST Career Center.

For Exchange Students
Exchange students are not eligible to take up employment, whether paid or unpaid, during your studies in Hong Kong.

WORKING IN HONG KONG AFTER GRADUATION

The Hong Kong Immigration Department introduced a scheme called Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG) to encourage non-local graduates to stay and work as professionals in Hong Kong.

Under IANG, non-local students who have obtained a degree or higher qualification from a full-time, locally accredited local program in Hong Kong can apply to stay (or return) and work in Hong Kong.

Non-local graduates who apply for IANG within six months after the date of graduation (i.e. the date of graduation shown on the Letter of Certification or Graduation Certificate) are classified as fresh graduates. Fresh graduates may apply to stay and work in Hong Kong without having secured an offer of employment upon application. IANG applicants who meet the normal immigration requirements may be granted a 12-month stay with no conditions.

For graduates who apply for IANG beyond six months after the date of graduation (i.e. the date of graduation shown on the Letter of Certification or Graduation Certificate), they will be classified as returning non-local graduates. Returning non-local graduates who wish to work in Hong Kong must have secured an offer of employment when they apply for IANG. An application will be favorably considered if the job is at a level commonly occupied by degree holders and the pay package is set at market level.

Further details about IANG can be found at the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/IANG.html

special notes

International Students Traveling to Mainland China

The student visa, issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, does not entitle holders of overseas passports to enter Mainland China. Exchange students and degree-seeking students can apply for a Chinese Tourist Visa from the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in Hong Kong.  Degree-seeking students can also apply at the China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Ltd. Branch.

For those holding Singapore, Japan and Brunei passports, you may enter Mainland China for up to two weeks without a visa. Please check on the latest status regarding this policy before departure.

For details on applying for a China Visa, please visit:

 

Mainland Students Traveling Overseas

Students of Mainland Chinese citizenship who wish to travel overseas should ensure that you have a valid passport. The passport application should be made to the Public Security Bureau of their province/city or at the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in the HKSAR. The Entry Permit issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department allows for entry to Hong Kong only, and is not a travel document for travelling overseas.

 

Taiwanese Students Re-Entering Hong Kong

Taiwanese students will be issued a single-journey entry permit to take up studies in Hong Kong. After entering Hong Kong on the single entry permit, you may apply for a "Multiple Entry Permit" (MEP) at the Hong Kong Immigration Department and transfer of endorsement onto the MEP to facilitate your future travels to and from Hong Kong.

LOST OR STOLEN PASSPORTS

Should your passport or travel document be lost or stolen in Hong Kong, please follow the procedures below:

    • Immediately file a report of the stolen document to the Hong Kong Police Force online and keep a print out of this on hand.
    • Inform your consulate in Hong Kong and apply for a new passport. If your consulate is not situated in Hong Kong, you will have to contact the nearest consulate overseas and liaise with them. Remember you will not be allowed to leave Hong Kong without your travel documents.
    • Obtain a testimonial from the Academic Records and Registration Office as proof of your student status at HKUST.
    • Bring your new passport, the testimonial issued by HKUST and the lost report provided by the Hong Kong Police Force to the Extension Section at The Hong Kong Immigration Department, 5th Floor, Immigration Tower, Wan Chai to apply for a transfer of the endorsement of your student visa to your new passport.