How to Renew Your Hong Kong Passport

How to Renew Your Hong Kong Passport

If you are a Chinese citizen who is permanently residing in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)—and if you have the official Hong Kong government-issued Hong Kong Identity Card (HKIC) to prove it—then you are eligible for a Hong Kong passport. The Hong Kong passport is valid for a maximum period of 10 (ten) years for adults aged 17 (seventeen) and up; passports for Chinese citizens aged 16 (sixteen) years and younger are valid for only 5 (five) years.

Please note that if you’re planning on doing some international travel, you need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 (six) months after arrival—because if it’s not, then it is time for you to renew it. Residents of Hong Kong have several different ways to renew their Hong Kong passports. For comprehensive instructions, read on to learn more.

Passport photo in 3s!

Take a photo with your smartphone, upload it to the website, we will convert it to an official passport photo and send you a digital or printed version. Simple? You can’t get more convenient than that!

passport photo editor

You can apply by post

In Hong Kong, like in the United States and many other countries, using the postal service is probably the fastest, easiest and most popular way to renew a passport. Mail in the completed application Form ID 841 along with high-quality photocopies of your HKIC and your about-to-expire passport. You must enclose 3 (three) identical recent color biometric photographs—do not staple or paperclip them to the application. Pay the passport fees with a check or money order made out to “The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

Please note that when using the postal service, you must make sure that you put enough postage on your envelope. Applications delivered to the immigration office “postage due” will be returned to the sender, resulting in a major delay.

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You can apply online

Unlike in the United States, it is actually possible for Chinese nationals and Hong Kong citizens to renew their passports online, which is terrific. Provided you are an adult over the age of 17, you can renew your Hong Kong SAR passport online from pretty much anywhere in the world. All you have to do is complete the online passport application form and upload your  supporting documents (such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and previous passport) in either JPEG, GIF or TIF format. Upload your recent biometric color passport photograph as a JPG not larger than 5MB. They even accept payment online via MasterCard and Visa! Personally, I think this is great, and I can’t wait until online passport renewal is possible in every country around the world.

Please note that just because they automatically accept your payment does NOT mean that they will automatically approve your passport renewal application! If you make a mistake on your application that causes you to have to re-apply again, you may need to pay that fee again, too. By the way, the #1 reason a passport renewal application gets rejected is that the photograph is unacceptable. More information on how to make a successful passport picture further down.

You can use the kiosks

The Hong Kong immigration offices have really neat computerized self-service kiosks applicants can use to submit their passport renewals. I think this is the coolest passport scheme going on in the world today! At the passport collection kiosk, Chinese nationals and Hong Kong residents can scan their Hong Kong SAR permanent identity card and provide their biometric fingerprints, and then follow the instructions on the screen. Submit your supporting documents (e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate, old passport, etc.), including your passport photos, as either hard copies or as digital uploads. You can even pay the government application fee electronically.

Please note that if you do not yet have passport photos, you can have a live photo taken at the passport kiosk. There is no additional fee required for this photo—it’s included free as part of the process.

Passport Photo Online for successful passport photography

If you want some time to make sure you’re looking your best for your passport photo, the automatic photo you can get for free at the immigration office kiosk might not be right for you. Instead, you can create your own passport photo in the privacy of your own home at your convenience by using an online photo app like Passport Photo Online. Passport Photo Online will make sure that your photograph meets all the Chinese government regulations—you just need to make sure you’re looking good. It’s super-fast, affordable, and fun.

Try out different hairstyles and outfits until you find the right look for you. Play your favorite music to add to the creative process. Enjoy a glass (or a bottle) of wine (or two) while you take your pictures! You can take as many snapshots as you like: you only pay for the one perfect picture that you actually use.

Here’s how you do it: have a friend snap your passport-style, full-face photograph with a smartphone. Download the Passport Photo Online app, and select “Hong Kong passport photo” from our list of templates. Three seconds after uploading your photo to our app, you will receive a set of four properly sized, cropped and edited HK passport photos emailed to you as a JPEG file! Print the pictures for paper submissions, or use the digital file for online applications. It’s that easy!

How to renew your Hong Kong passport in the U.S.

If you are traveling or living in the USA and need to renew your HK passport, you can take advantage of most of the ways listed above. Present yourself in person at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, or one of the four other consulate general (Hong Kong) locations in the U.S.: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. You must make an online appointment in advance; be sure to bring all necessary original supporting documents, including a completed passport application and photographs.

Please note that you can also apply by post from the USA, but because the speed of international mail service varies from country to country, it really will be much faster to apply online. The only option which you will not be able to use from the U.S. is the kiosk, which of course, is only accessible in China.

Hong Kong passport renewal: FAQ

This section will feature the most frequently asked questions. Keep reading to get even deeper insight on the issue of renewing your Hong Kong passport.

How much does a Hong Kong passport cost?

The 32-page passport book is only HK$370 (about $48 USD), while the 48-page book, for those of you who travel more often, costs HK$460 (or about $59 USD).

Can I apply online for a replacement passport if my passport was lost, stolen or damaged?

I’m afraid not: the online service is for normal and routine renewals only. For a replacement passport or for a first-time new passport, you must present yourself personally at the Hong Kong immigration department branch office nearest you.

How long until I receive my new passport?

The processing time for a new passport is 4 (four) to 6 (six) weeks, which is quite fast. Expedited service can be had for business travel and for legitimate life-or-death family emergencies only; expedited service is not available for routine leisure travel. The Mainland Office will let you know when your new passport is ready for pick-up, and where exactly to pick it up.

Can I pick up my passport at the immigration office kiosk?

As a matter of fact, you can! You will get a letter in the mail from the Hong Kong immigration department, giving you the details of which kiosk holds your passport and when you should pick it up. You will authenticate yourself using your HKIC and fingerprint, just like you did when you dropped off your application.

Can I renew my HKSAR passport before the expiry date?

Yes, you can. Since certain countries require a minimum remaining validity of 6 (six) months after travel, it is possible to start the Hong Kong passport renewal process 9 (nine) months before the current passport’s expiration date.  

How to renew a Hong Kong passport in Boston?

Online, by mail, or by making an appointment to submit the Hong Kong SAR passport renewal application in person at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York.

How to renew Hong Kong SAR passport in Los Angeles?

Hong Kong SAR citizens can renew their HK passports by mail, online, or in person. To submit in person, make an appointment at the consulate general of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles.

How soon do I need to renew my Hong Kong passport?

Hong Kong passports should be renewed a maximum of 9 (nine) months before the expiry date of the current passport.

How to renew Hong Kong SAR passport online?

Visit the Hong Kong government’s online passport renewal page and follow the step-by-step instructions. Online HK passport renewals are the fastest and most convenient option for overseas applicants.

How long does it take to renew a Hong Kong passport?

4 (four) to 6 (six) weeks for applicants with Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards. Once the passport renewal application and all of the supporting documents have been received, the processing time is four to six weeks.

How to renew your Hong Kong passport – conclusions

It is essential for every world traveler to have a valid travel document. Hong Kong offers some of the fastest and easiest ways to renew your passport: online service is the wave of the future, and the kiosks are cool and convenient. Please take advantage of this modern technology. I hope that someday the remainder of the planet will catch up! Be sure to keep your Hong Kong SAR passport up to date and travel well.

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