The Immigration Ordinance remains in place with no subsequent changes.
Having received a number of queries on the Hong Kong permanent resident (PR) status for non-Chinese Hong Kong PRs, and if it has been updated, Hong Kong's Immigration Department (ImmD) has clarified that there have been no updates to this process.
This implies that the Immigration Ordinance, which has been effective since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on 1 July 1997, remains in place with no subsequent changes.
According to paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Ordinance, an HKSAR permanent resident (HKPR) who is not of Chinese nationality will lose his/her HKPR status if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 36 months - meaning, that they have ceased to have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong.
In determining whether a person has ceased to be a resident in Hong Kong or is only temporarily absent from Hong Kong, the ImmD will take into consideration all circumstances of each case in accordance with section 2(6) of the Immigration Ordinance.
These circumstances to be considered include:
- The reason, duration, and frequency of any absence from Hong Kong;
- Whether he/she has a habitual residence in Hong Kong;
- Employment by a Hong Kong-based company; and
- Whereabouts of the principal members of his/her family (spouse and minor children).
The above are the conditions to be taken into account for HKPR of non-Chinese nationality.
As for an HKPR of Chinese nationality, he/she will still be regarded as a Chinese citizen unless he/she has applied for and is being approved for the renunciation of Chinese nationality/declaration of change of nationality by the ImmD. He/she will not lose his/her HKPR status even if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for long periods.
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