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Hong Kong: Visa Guides - Must read

Applying for a student visa in Hong Kong

Our guide to getting a student visa for international students studying in Hong Kong

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Between a booming economy and remarkable skyline, students in Hong Kong enjoy an internationalised education and exposure to flourishing professional networks. In order to be able to enter and study in Hong Kong you will need a student visa that is sponsored by your host institution. Applying for a student visa in Hong Kong is remarkably straightforward, but as processing times can be quite lengthy it’s important you pay close attention to the documents required and lodge your application as early as possible. Let our breakdown of the procedure help make it easy for you.


Do I need a visa?

All non- citizens WILL need a student visa to study in Hong Kong for study programmes longer than 90 days.

There are specific restrictions on students of some nationalities who are enrolled in study programmes less than 90 days.  For example, students from Afghanistan will always require a visa to enter Hong Kong regardless of how long they intend to study for, whilst those from Australia will not need a visa for short courses of study.

If your study programme is less than 90 days and you do need a visa, it is important you apply for a student visa rather than a visitor visa: if you enter on a visitor visa then you will be allowed to enter the country, but will be unable to enrol at your host institution. 

Students whose study programmes are longer than 90 days will need to apply for a student visa through their host university.

Check if you need a visa to study in Hong Kong for study programmes less than 90 days


Applying for a visa

Your university will need to sponsor you in order for you to get a student visa. Once you have been accepted into a Hong Kong institution, the application process is as follows: collect all the required documents, including an Immigration Form ID995A and Visa Sponsorship and Student’s Agreement form, and post your complete application to your host’s Mainland and External Affairs Office. You will need to download, print and manually complete both these forms, and can find the address of the office you will need via your host’s website or within your acceptance letter.

After you have posted your application, if you have been successful then you host will issue a Sponsor’s Certificate that they will attach to your application before forwarding it onto the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Then, once the Immigration Department has approved your visa, they will send it back to your host who will then forward it to your address in your home country via courier.

Your visa may take up to six weeks to process, and so it’s best you start preparing your application as soon as you receive your acceptance letter.

The City University of Hong Kong has created a short, animated slide-show that breaks down the visa application process.

Click here to watch CUHK’s Visa Procedure Animation


Immigration Form ID995A

You will need to download, print and complete this form as part of your application. When doing so, it is important that you use only blue or black pens, write only in block letters and tick boxes where appropriate. You will also need to attach a passport photo of yourself to the form.

The form requires you to fill in all your personal information, information about your study programme in Hong Kong, your tuition fees and financial information, and educational qualifications to date. If you are being financially sponsored by a parent or third party, they will need to sign the final section of the form to confirm you’ll have enough money to support yourself whilst you study.

You MUST sign in the required field at the bottom of every page to verify that all the information is correct.

You can download the form from the Hong Kong Immigration Department website.

Visa Sponsorship and Student’s Agreement

You will need to download this form specifically from your institution’s website. You will need to fill in your personal information, including passport details, and sign a declaration that you’d like your host to sponsor you to complete your study programme.


What documents will I need?

When filling out the ID995A form, you will need the following documents and information:

  • One recent passport-sized photograph, not larger than 55mm x 45 mm and not smaller than 50mm x 40mm. You will need to paste this onto the form before you post it.
  • Details of your academic history, and all relevant transcripts to date
  • All personal information including passport details, nationality and home address
  • Financial details confirming the amount of funds you’ll be able to access to support yourself whilst you study
  • Estimation of what you’re likely to spend in living costs whilst in Hong Kong, including your accommodation details and any rental costs


Once you have completed both forms, you will need to include the following documents in your visa application. All documents MUST be photocopies of the originals.


  • One recent passport-sized photograph, not larger than 55mm x 45 mm and not smaller than 50mm x 40mm.
  • Completed Immigration Form ID995A
  • Completed Request for Visa Sponsorship form to your host
  • Photocopy of your passport photo page, or home country ID card i.e. driver’s licence
  • Your letter of acceptance into your host institution
  • Your reply of acceptance to you host institution (if applicable)
  • All relevant academic transcripts and qualifications to date, as referenced on your Form ID995A
  • Any financial statements or other proof you will be able to financially support yourself for the duration of your study programme



You will need to pay a non-refundable visa fee of HK$160 (US$20.60), as well as a HK$290 (US$37) courier fee for your host to send you your approved visa. You can pay this fee directly to your host by cheque or online via credit card.



Now that you know what’s required to get a student visa, why not start browsing courses in Hong Kong now and start planning your study abroad adventure?



Read more:

'Applying to Study in Hong Kong'

'3 Fields to Study in Hong Kong'

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About Author

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Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.