Asked by GY from Holland | Feb. 22, 2013 20:06
About:China Visa Application in UK

how can i apply for a home return permit and does it affect my current nationality?


I have a question, but I don't live in the UK so I don't know if this is the right place to ask my question.
Currently I live in the Netherlands (I also have the Dutch citizenship) and I want to apply for a home return permit. Does someone knows where I can find the application and do they accept application from overseas? Beside my Dutch passport I also have the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card and Hong Kong Passport. If i can obtain a home return permit, is there a chance that I have to give up my dutch passport?

Answers (21)
Answered by Demi from Canada | Feb. 23, 2013 03:35
Hi, don't worry, you can apply for a Home Return Permit. It will not affect your Dutch citizenship. You can find help from a China travel service for application.
Answered by Ms.URIENGILL | May. 16, 2013 12:06
Home Return Permit - First Time Application Difficulties
My situation:
• Born in HK to Chinese parents.
• Speak fluent Cantonese and Mandarin.
• Emigrated from HK well before 1997 and acquired foreign passport.
• Visited HK in 2008 and got my Permanent 3* HKID.
• Got my SAR Passport on my next visit.
• Now visiting HK again and was planning on getting my HRP.
After reading everything related to the HRP in this forum, I went to the CTS main branch to apply. Well, it appears things have changed yet again. It appears it is no longer enough to just have an HKID and SAR Passport.

Here's what happened:

Me: Arrive at CTS. Get into line to get a number. "I want to apply for an HRP."
Agent: "Let me see your HKID and SAR Passport." She examines the HKID. "Do you have a foreign passport?"
Me: "Nope."
Agent: "Then why did you only get your HKID in 2008?"
Me: "...Um..."
Agent: "Well, you won't be able to apply for an HRP today." She hands me a form titled 聲明書 (sheng ming shu). "Fill out this form. You will have to explain your entire HK citizenship history and why you only got a HKID in 2008. Give back the form, pay a fee of HK$150 and wait 3-6 months while we verify your eligibility. Then we'll call you and you can come in to apply for an HRP."

I took the form and left.

Went to 3 other CTS branches. The questioning at each branch is nearly uniform and very direct, sometimes almost hostile. This is even just at the gatekeeper stage to get a number. It looks like they have tightened up the rules for the HRP quite a bit and they appear to have identical training. I altered my story at each -- and at the last branch I even admitted to having a foreign passport, but the outcome is the same. I was given the same info and the 聲明書 form at each one. It appears that the 聲明書 is sent back to the mainland for processing and determination of eligibility.

Answered by Ms.URIENGILL | May. 16, 2013 12:08
At the last branch, I asked her why my (fictional) brother, who is in the same situation as me, didn't have to wait 3-6 months for this check, and she said the rules changed in mid 2011 so now this check is mandatory.

Actually it seems that having a foreign passport is not the issue -- what is at issue is when the HKID was issued. Another agent told me that if I had gotten my HKID in 2007 or before then I would not have to fill out the 聲明書 and could have applied immediately.

It looks like I won't be able to get an HRP this time around. From talking to the agents my feeling is what they really want to do is make sure that you have actually moved back to HK and are not just visiting and getting an HRP while you're at it. As for me I don't have time to wait around for 3-6 months for them to call me since I am after all just visiting -- exactly what they are trying to prevent people from doing...

Does anyone have any ideas about this? Has anyone in a similar situation been able to get an HRP in the last couple of months?

So I'd like to wrap up this thread with the conclusion of what happened.

When I visited CTS at the end of March, I left with them copies of my HKSAR passport, HKPID, and the 聲明書, which the CTS agent filled out for me as I cannot write Chinese. I could barely read her handwriting but it seemed to me that it was just a a history of when I left HK, why I left HK (official story -- to study overseas), when I got foreign citizenship, etc -- the timeline of my history that I told her.

They told me that the documents will be sent to the mainland for processing and the background check will take 3-6 months.

So I configured my mobile phone to forward to my foreign number, and left Hong Kong.
Answered by Ms.URIENGILL | May. 16, 2013 12:08
About 4 months later I receive a call in the middle of the night from CTS, telling me that I need to come in personally and present my Original HK Birth Certificate. (It helps here if you speak Cantonese, and I do.) If I understood correctly I had 6 months from the end of March to bring it in (counting from when I first went to the CTS office to apply for the background check).

At this point I am thinking that I would give up the process, since I had no other trips scheduled to HK. However, lo and behold, a couple of weeks later I was offered an incredibly cheap fare to go to Hong Kong in mid-September, so I said why the heck not, and booked a 2-week trip to HK thinking I could get rush service for the HRP and have enough time to get it before leaving HK.

When I arrived in HK, I immediately went to CTS to present my birth certificate. They took a photocopy of it and told me to wait for their call. I asked, "well, how long will it be this time?" And the reply "3-6 months".

I pretty much gave up at this point and considered my whole trip to have been wasted; at least I got to buy some HK stuff to bring home.

Lo and behold, when I was least expecting it, they called me again in only 1 week, telling me my background check has cleared and I can now apply for the HRP. I rushed to CTS and applied, and asked to get rush service on it -- But they would not allow me to get Rush service (and very hostile about denying me rush service). It was going to take 15 days to process, not a day quicker.

As this would be after my return flight, I asked a friend to pick up my HRP for me. To do this, you have to photocopy the claim slip along with your HKPID and your friend's HKPID, on the same sheet of A4 paper (I cannot remember how many copies were required anymore, probably at least 2) -- So make sure this is done properly before you leave the country with your HKPID.
Answered by Ms.URIENGILL | May. 16, 2013 12:10
My friend recently picked up my HRP with no problems, and so my story ends with a somewhat happy ending at least. Sure wasn't easy though.

Hope this helps others.

In summary -- When you go to apply, to be safe you should bring your HKSAR Passport, HKPID, and your original HK Birth Certificate!

2. Home Return Permit Experience from 23-May-2012 (updated 14-June-2012 approved)
June 14, 2012
23-May-2012 Home Return Permit Experience
My home return permit experience.
HKID Permanent Resident with ***
Moved from USA to HK in 2011
Hong Kong born Chinese with USA passport.
Received HKSAR passport 2 weeks ago.
HK Birth Certificate.
Brought above to CTS yesterday.

To obtain my Home Return Permit,
I went to CTS website at
China Travel Service (H.K.) Limited
and clicked Branch Info: Entry Permit Service Centre and got the location for Tsuen Wan Brach which I was informed by a friend that this was the least busiest location.
I got off Tsuen Wan MTR exit B1 and walked across the bridge, and it was 2 doors from Circle K.

I arrived at 9:10am got a ticket number on the 2nd Floor with Agent1.
Agent1 asked me why my HKID was issues so recenty.
I said I was living abroad.
She asked me how I entered the country and I said with my USA passport.
She gave me the below 3 forms (Return Home Permit Form1, Form2, Form3).
Return Home Permit Form1 was a regular form that a person who did not settled aboard or hold foreign passport uses, she said I can fill this out next time I come back and take photos next time, as I didn’t need photos today as today is just to submit for consideration. My ticket number was only 20 numbers away from the last number called at that time.

Return Home Permit Form2 and Return Home Permit Form3 attached are the forms Agent1 noted I need to fill in Chinese and explain my reason for absence and return date to Hong Kong. A normal Home Return Permit takes 2-3 weeks and only need to fill out Return Home Permit1 form, but not my situation.
Answered by Ms.URIENGILL | May. 16, 2013 12:11
I needed help with the Chinese and the CTS Agent2 at the door was helping the elderly fill forms. So waited for him and I asked for help (he only understood Chinese). He filled out my paperwork for me and read the questions to me, while I answered with the exact entry dates to HK. Note, you must bring your address in Chinese as the entire application must be filled in Chinese….luckily I had a bank statement with a Chinese home address.
By 9:40am: my number was called. The CTS Agent3 asked that I pay $150HKD fee and she will submit my paperwork for consideration. She took my completed Home Return Permit Form2, Home Return Permit Form3, and made copies of my HK Birth certificate, HKID, HKSAR Passport, and USA Passport and gave me a receipt saying they have my contact number and to wait 4-6 months. She noted that once approved, I must come back to this office with the receipt she gave me to process my Home Return Permit. She asked one more question about whether I have ever entered China on a Home Return Permit or ever been issued a Home Return Permit and I said no. She asked again saying it’s very important to confirm, if even as a child I was issued one and I reconfirmed “no”.
(Note, this was the second time I went to CTS, the first time I went to the Mong Kok location and was told they can’t help me without a HKSAR passport. Also, at the Mong Kok location, I arrived at 10am then and my number was about 150 away from the currently called number).
Hope this posts helps others in the same boat
Then today, (14-June-2012) I got a call from the Tsuen Wan Center that my application is approved and to go there with my photo, HK SAR passport, and HK ID to submit an application.
Answered by Ms.VISHTHEMAN | Jul. 28, 2014 12:06
Alright guys, let me make this as simple and succinct as possible in order for you to obtain a Home return permit. (HRP) which is for Hong Kong and Macau citizens.

Your eligibility to receive a HRP is as follows:

1. You should be born in HK.
2. You should possess an HK birth certificate
3. You should have any certificates showing that you are a NATURALIZED HK CHINESE CITIZEN.
4. You should have an HK PERMANENT IDENTITY CARD
5. You should have an HK PASSPORT

if you have dual citizenship with any other country, for example hk passport with a US passport, that is fine, as long as you can still meet the requirements stated above.

Answered by Ms.VISHTHEMAN | Jul. 28, 2014 12:10
Also, once obtaining the HRP your free to fly out from the mainland. for example:

Say your in Shanghai INT airport, going to the UK, All you need to show is your HRP with a valid travel document, so most likely your hk passport with your HRP.
Answered by Ms.JADEYSAN | Sep. 13, 2014 12:13
Hi, following on from this link please may I ask whether children under the age of 17 with 1 parent who was born in hongkong have any eligibility to apply for a Home Return Permit?
The circumstances are:
1) Father was born in Hong Kong and have HKID and HKSAR passport.
2) Children were born in the UK, have British passports but have child HKID and are under 17 years of age.
3) Mother is non chinese and don't have HKID.

If they need to apply for a HKSAR passport first in order to get the Home Return Permit will they have to give up their British passport? Neither children nor their Father reside in HK so can they still apply for the passport from abroad via the internet although I believe they have to be in HK to have an interview etc? Any help would be much appreciated as rules and regulations constantly change.

Many thanks in advance
Answered by Diane Ford from Australia | Oct. 16, 2014 00:21
Hi jadeysan,

If the children have the correct relevant HK ID card, bearing ‘*’, ‘***’ or ‘R’ symbol, they do not need to have the HK SAR passport before attempt to apply for the HRP and they do not need to give up their British password. However any HRP issued will only be valid for 3 years ( instead of life ) as they are under 18. So if you are only interested in the HRP then the HK SAR passport is irrelevant. However the issue is you really need to be in HK for a substantial amount of time to in order for them to process the application for the HRP. I am also in the process of trying to get my HRP without being in HK for a lengthy stay but so far I have not found a way around it yet.
Answered by grade15 from United Kingdom | Jan. 19, 2016 08:20
this is a question for Ms.VISHTHEMAN: Can you fly into China with a HK ID card and HRP only?
Answered by Peter from China | Feb. 02, 2016 09:08
Yes. My mum does that all the time and enters Shanghai using her HRP. BUT you need your UK passport to get back in to the UK!
Answered by Anna from USA | Feb. 09, 2016 11:16
Peter or anyone, I just wanted to make sure I understand it correctly. I carry a US passport, and last year, got a HK ID card, a HKSAR passport, and a HRP. I want to travel from the US to China as a tourist. When I purchase my airline ticket, I will provide them with my US passport number, and use my US passport to leave the US, but use my HKSAR passport and RHP to enter and leave China. Is this correct?
Answered by Charles from Hong Kong | Jul. 29, 2016 10:37
Well, it depends on how you enter China.
If you were to apply for a Chinese VISA and enter China with your US passport, you will receive protection if you run into conflicts within China.

If you were to enter China with your HK passport and HRP, you will not receive foreign protection if you run into conflicts within China.
Answered by Sandy from USA | Aug. 07, 2017 12:52
The policy change again in 2016. For HK/Macau/Taiwan born, instead of a visa they issue you a travel permit, which is $25 for 2 years (Thats what the Consulate clerk told us). I think the bottom line is, as long as you are born in HK/Macau/Taiwan, you don't qualify for entry permit, and to enter/exit China you have to use either a Travel Permit, or the HRP. Now the question is... if you also qualify for the "free transit" (less than 72 hours for BJ), which doc should you use to go in and out?
Answered by Steven Chan from Netherlands | Sep. 25, 2017 02:05
Hi i was not born in Hong Kong but was born in the Netherlands. My parents were both born in Hong Kong. I have a HKID card with 3 * which i acquired back in 2006 I also hold a HK passport.
As I was not born in Hong Kong am i elligable to apply for a home return permit?

Answered by Kaaskop from Zimbabwe | Dec. 04, 2017 21:11
Hi you can, I was born in Holland Did not went back in 1997 and got my 3 star HKID in 2012. Immediately applied for HK passport than home return permit without any problems. I believe there was a rule, you may be born outside of HK but your parents should not have a foreign passport at the time of your birth. For me this was the case. But my younger brother was also able to apply for the HRP without any problems at the time he was born my parents already obtained the Dutch nationality.
Answered by S Loo from USA | Dec. 25, 2017 13:00
If you need a transit visa, you use your passport...whatever passport you may have. My Home Return Permit had expired and was catching a flight to HK to visit and then renew my permit to visit China in 2017. Air China sold ticket to HK with a stopover at Peking...My goodness, they didn't tell me that I had to clear immigration, pick up luggage and board another connecting flight to HK. No Chinese visa, no valid Chinese Home Return Permit...By the time I got my transit Visa using my US passport, the connecting flight was long gone. Waited for 7 hours to board another fight at 3:00 a.m. in the morning.
Answered by S Loo from USA | Dec. 25, 2017 13:07
If you enter China with a foreign passport (Visa or transmit Visa), leave with the same passport by showing it to the Chinese immigration. If you enter with a Home Return Permit, show the HRP to the Chinese immigration when leaving. The airline will likely ask for both such that you can leave China and enter into another country or your home country.
Answered by R. Minhinnett from Hong Kong | Apr. 22, 2018 09:57
You must be born in HK and able to prove one of your parents are born in China to be eligible
for a Home Return Permit. This permit will enable you to visit your ancestry in China.
Answered by Sujit Munda from West Bengal | May. 07, 2020 08:57
I go to home
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