Visas for China and Elsewhere

U.S. Citizens visiting Hong Kong for not more than three months/90 days are not required to obtain visas. While other territories in the region require a passport with six months of validity remaining, Hong Kong generally requires that visitors hold a U.S. passport valid for at least one month and evidence of adequate funds for their stay and onward transportation. Those wishing to stay in Hong Kong more than three months must obtain visas from a Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Visitors are not permitted to study or work (whether paid or not).

U.S. Citizens visiting Macau for up to 30 days are not required to obtain visas. While other territories in the region require a passport with six months of validity remaining, Macau requires that your U.S. passport be valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended period of stay in Macau. Those wishing to stay in Macau more than 30 days must obtain visas from a Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Visitors are not permitted to study or work (whether paid or not).

Americans need visas to visit China. These visas are available only from the Chinese authorities and are not issued by the American Consulate. See “Applying for China visas in Hong Kong” for more information.

In the U.S., Americans should consult the Visa Section of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC (202/328-2500). Internet: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States.

If you are travelling through China en route to a different country, you do not need a visa as long as you plan to stay in China less than 24 hours and do not leave the airport. If, however, you are a transit passenger and have more than one stopover in China, you must exit the transit lounge at the first stop to apply for an endorsement in your passport that permits multiple stops in China. As long as you have a ticket that continues on to an international destination, the endorsement should be routine. In Shanghai, you can transit through Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport and stay in Shanghai for 48 hours as long as you have a valid passport, a visa for your onward destination, and a valid ticket for an international destination.

Related Information

The Consular Department of the China Commission in Hong Kong generally requests that visa applicants have working or residency status in Hong Kong. For visa application forms and details on the process please refer to the China Commission’s website: Visa to China

The China Visa Office is located on Hong Kong Island at the following address:

3rd Floor,China Resources Building,
No.26, Harbor Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong SAR

See also: Address/Office hours/Enquiry service and Contact

Extensions of stay for tourists past 90 days are judged on a case by case basis by the Hong Kong Immigration authorities. Reasons for the request must be convincing and the visitor must have adequate funds. Subsequent applications for the extension are scrutinized more closely. Each application for extension costs HK$135 (about US$18).

Persons wishing to study or work in Hong Kong must apply for the appropriate visa in advance. These visas are available only from the Chinese authorities and are not issued by the American Consulate. For more information, please contact the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or Hong Kong Immigration directly at:

Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2824-6111 Fax: 2824-1133
Website: Immigration Department

Some Americans have reported to us requests by local officials for additional documents or information, or other problems relating to visas. The decision to issue a visa, or on what type and duration of visa to issue, rests exclusively with the local visa officials. The American Consulate cannot intervene in individual visa cases.

Active duty US Military Personnel and their family members are required to have valid (at least four months validity) Passports when they transit Hong Kong. Passports are required whether on Permanent Change of Station (PCS), TAD/TDY (Temporary Assigned Duty) or Leave Status. Aircrew members may enter and depart Hong Kong on military ID card with crew orders or passenger manifest. Ship’s Crew are not required Passports if they arrive and depart with the vessel. Only Personnel with Command Funded Emergency Leave Orders may depart Hong Kong on the strength of their Military ID. Passport Holders do not require Visas if the duration of the stay/visit is less than 90 days.

According to the agreement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China regarding the maintenance of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong signed between the United States and China in March 1997, all U.S. citizens entering Hong Kong after July 1, 1997 on their U.S. passports including dual nationals (U.S. citizens who are Hong Kong residents or former residents who are of Chinese descent and born in the mainland of China or Hong Kong) will be considered U.S. citizens by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region authorities for purposes of ensuring consular access and protection.

Dual nationals (as described above) who wish to ensure consular access and protection after the initial 3-month period of admission must declare their U.S. nationality by presenting their U.S. passports and completing an application for declaration of change of nationality with the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This declaration to ensure U.S. consular protection will result in loss of one’s Chinese nationality but not necessarily one’s right of abode. (note: failure to declare U.S. nationality after the initial 3-month period of admission may jeopardize the guarantee of consular protection. Dual national residents of Hong Kong who desire to guarantee consular protection after July 1, 1997 should, similarly, declare their U.S. nationality to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.)

U.S. citizens having renounced their Chinese nationality will retain their permanent residence (right of abode) in Hong Kong if they had right of abode in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, and if they are settled or returned to settle in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, or if they return to Hong Kong after July 1, 1997 within a period of 18 months (i.e. until December 31, 1998), or if, on the date they return to settle in Hong Kong, they have not immediately before that date lived outside Hong Kong for a continuous period of more than 36 months.

Further information on the right of abode in Hong Kong may be obtained from the Hong Kong Immigration Department via fax: (852) 2824-1133, Internet: Immigration Department, or E-mail: General Enquiry.

 

Last modified: October 29, 2015