Ordinarily, it is a strict requirement that visa holders looking to extend their stay in Hong Kong must be physically present in Hong Kong at the point of submission of the extension application (and at the point of collection of any new visa label). The Immigration Department has relaxed this requirement for visa holders who have been unable to return to Hong Kong due to the COVID-19 pandemic enabling such persons to apply for extension outside Hong Kong.

Applicants whose stay is to expire in 4 weeks or has expired for less than 12 months will be able to take advantage of this new arrangement which was introduced by the Immigration Department on 31 December 2020. Usual application forms and supporting documents should be submitted together with a letter explaining why the applicant has not been able to return to Hong Kong to lodge his/her extension application.

If the application is approved, applicants will be issued entry visas to allow them to return to Hong Kong meaning they will no longer need to wait for the COVID-19 related ban on visitors entering Hong Kong to be lifted before they can return. If you require immigration assistance, please contact us below.

Catherine Leung, Partner


Katy Lee, Legal Assistant