The expats or immigrants living in any countries need to check if they require a visa to visit a particular country as visa-free facilities are not available to every resident if the country of origin does not have a visa-free arrangement. For example, Hong Kong residents holding a passport from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Philippines, etc., may have to apply for a visa to visit most of the countries in the world.
Below are the visa application processes for tourist or visitor visas to some of the frequently visited countries:
Please note that this visa section is focused only on tourist or visitor visas to support the community members for their travel requirements as a tourist from their current country to another country as a tourist. For example, Indian citizen working in USA on H1B wish to visit Canada or UK, he or she will have to apply for visa in nearest consulate in USA.
Note: There are other types of visas such as student visa, work visa etc, are offered by different countries, are not in the scope of the International Desi in this section.
U.S.Travel Visa in Hong Kong
There are two types of U.S. visas for which individuals can apply in Hong Kong. The B-1 visa is meant for individuals travelling to America temporarily for business, while B-2 is for persons travelling for medical treatment or pleasure.
The B-1 visa is appropriate for people attending business, professional, educational, or scientific conferences and conventions. The B-2 visa is desired for travels incorporating activities of a service nature, social, and fraternal. It is also appropriate for medical treatment, visits with relatives and friends, and recreational activities such as tourism. In most cases, the two visas are integrated into one as B-1/B-2.
The process of applying for a USA visa in Hong Kong
There are four significant steps that an applicant must follow:
a. Complete the DS-160 Form for Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application. DS-160 application should be submitted online before making an appointment for an interview at the Consulate General.
Below is the link for DS-160 form:
b. A recent passport-size photograph.
c. Payment of the visa application, HK$160
d. Schedule an appointment for the visa interview at U.S. Consulate
- Three pieces of information are required to schedule an appointment:
i. Passport number
ii. The number in the visa fee receipt
iii. Ten-digit barcode from the confirmation page of DS-160
e. The applicants need to go to the Consulate General office, as indicated on the time and date of the visa interview. The applicants should carry a printed copy of appointment letter, DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months, and current and all old passports. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.
Additional requirements may be needed, depending on the purpose of travel in the USA. For previous visitors to America, relative visits, company directors and businesspersons, working adults, and students, more documents are required. The information is available on the official website.
- Please note that travel to the United States is open for foreign nationals holding valid US visas. However, the entry of the immigrants or non-immigrants into the United States, who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States remains suspended.
- The traveller needs to complete and submit the health declaration before boarding the plane.
- Currently, enhanced entry health screening is conducted for those arriving from, or with recent presence in, China (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the Schengen region of Europe, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), Ireland, and Brazil.
- Guidelines to follow after travelling to the U.S.A.:
- One needs to get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay at home for 7 days.
- Even if the test is negative, staying home for the full 7 days is recommended.
U.S. Department of State –Bureau of Consular Affairs
Tel: +1 (603) 334-0888
Online DS-160 application link;
To schedule an appointment at CGI Federal
U.S. Visa processing Address:
26 Garden Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Monday – Friday 8:30– 12:30 and 13:30 – 17:30
Tel: (852) 2523 9011
Fax: (852) 2845-1598
United Kingdom Travel Visa in Hong Kong
This U.K. travel visa is meant for all Hong Kong legal residents (such as Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, etc.) who need a visa to visit the U.K..
Please note U.K. visa applications are processed through VFS Global in Hong Kong.
U.K. visitor’s visa application process
- Check if the applicant needs a U.K. visa
- Research visa type
- Apply for visa through https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk
- Pay the visa fees
- Choose the services
- Upload applicant’s supporting documents
- Visit the visa application centre to attend the visa interview
- Track application
- Pick up the applicant’s documents
The successful applications are processed within ten (10) working days. However, the processing times differ depending on various factors; among them are the eligibility of applicants and the submission of all relevant valid documents.
Additionally, a U.K. visa can be applied through on-demand mobile visa services where someone from the local team will visit the applicant’s home, office, or place of education for processing the visa application.
From March 18, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers can visit England without Covid-19 tests, quarantining, or a UK passenger locator form. Earlier, quarantine exemption applied only to fully vaccinated travellers.
Please Note: Applicants visiting the visa application centres may be asked to observe physical distancing, undergo temperature checks, or be required to wear face masks.
Applicants with COVID 19 symptoms would be helped to reschedule their application submission.
Applicants are advised to purchase courier return of their documents, to avoid a visit to the Visa Application Centre again, after a decision is made. If a decision has been made on the application, and if the passport needs to be collected from the Visa Application Centre, the authorities will contact applicants to arrange this.
U.K. quarantine rules:
- The U.K. has drawn back its travel ban to allow non-essential trips from December 2. Many countries have been exempted from current U.K. quarantine rules. The travellers do not need to self-isolate if they are travelling from selected countries (link for list of exempted countries: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#countries-territories-and-regions-on-the-travel-corridor-list).
- It is to be noted that the traveller must have spent the last 14 days in one of these places, or in the U.K..
- However, entry requirements into the selected U.K. countries vary as many require a negative COVID19 test upon arrival.
Check if the applicant needs U.K. visa:
VFS Global for processing U.K. visa: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/hk/en
Demand mobile visa services
Create or access U.K. Visa Application
U.K. Visa Application Centre Address (VFS)
Units B&E, 6th Floor, Lee & Man Commercial Center, 169 Electric Road, North Point. Hong Kong
Hours of Operation:
Business hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 15:00
Passport collection: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 15:00
Canada Visa in Hong Kong
Visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) processing services have been outsourced to VFS Global.
- Check if the applicant needs a Canadian visa
- Prepare the visa application. The applicant needs to download the visa application form, fill it in, print the completed form, and carry it to the Visa Application Centre for submission. The online application can also be submitted directly to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Apply online
- Upload the supporting documents as per the IRCC document checklist relevant to the visa category.
- Payment and subsequent revision to prevent visa invalidation
- The applicant needs to give his/her fingerprints and photo (biometrics) as requested
- Schedule visa interview
- Attend visa interview
- Receive notification
- Collect the visa and travel document (passport)
- Please Note that effective from 28th September 2020, the Canada Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong will be open only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 09:00 to 15:30 until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcement: The travel restrictions announced by the government limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). These restrictions stop most non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.
VFS Global for processing Canadian Visa
Instructions to visa applications
Canadian Visa Application Centre Address (VFS)
Units 6A2, 6/F, Lee and Man Commercial Center,
169 Electric Road, North Point, North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 800966983 (helpline)
India Visa in Hong Kong
The Indian government has established an e-Visa facility for foreigners whose main goal is to visit India for short-term programs relative to medicine, cooking, arts and crafts, dance, music, and local languages. Also, the foreigners could wish to visit India to take part in a yoga program, visit relatives and friends, sightseeing, and recreation.
The e-Visa contains five subcategories, as below:
- e-Conference visa
- e-Medical Attendant visa
- e-Medical visa
- e-Business visa
- e-Tourist visa
A foreigner from Hong Kong requires an electronic authorization, called e-Visa, to visit India.
Note of caution: the Indian government has specified few restrictions for an e-Visa application. Please check them before applying for an e-Visa online.
The Indian visa application processing services in Hong Kong have been outsourced to M/s BLS International Services Limited. BLS and the Indian authority handle the issue of e-Visa directly. Therefore, the Indian consulate in Hong Kong is not responsible for the visa application process.
An applicant should create a login and apply for e-Visa at www.indianvisaonline.gov.in for more details about the e-Visa application process.
- Apply online (Complete Visa Application Form and submit it securely)
- Submit documents (Submit the application with required documents at BLS)
- HK$ 335 for 3-6 months. (Visa fee may vary for different nationalities/duration of visas.)
- Receive passport, visa (Collect your passport/visa from BLS or by post)
- Please note that the fee payment for e-Visa may take up to two hours or more. Applicants are advised to verify the payment status on the fee tab labelled “Verify Payment/Pay Visa.”
Announcement: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, all the existing visas granted to foreigners except to those belonging to Diplomatic, Official, UN/International organizations, Employment, and Project categories shall remain suspended until prohibition on international travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India. Also, the visa-free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders has been kept in abeyance for now.
Information about e-Visa:
Visa fee schedule:
The status of e-Visa application can be checked at:
Contact Indian authority
Tel: (91) 22 24300666 (24×7) (India)
India Visa Application Centre Address (BLS)
Morrison Commercial Building, 2nd Floor
31 Morrison Hill Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
(Wan Chai MTR Exit A4 and a short walk to Morrison Hill Road. Bus stop name CNT Tower)
Submission of Visas Applications: 9:00 – 1:00 (QMS ticket will be issued till 13.00) Monday – Friday except designated holidays.
Collection for Visas, Passports and Consular Documents: 1600-1730 Hrs. (Monday – Friday, except designated holidays).
Tel: (852) 58195329
Call center timing: 09.00 – 17.30 Mon – Fri. (except Lunch Time: 14.00 – 15.00)
Fax: (852) 2620 0341
Japan Visa in Hong Kong
Japan government issues short-term temporary visitor’s visas (up to 90 days) for purposes of sightseeing, visiting relatives, friends, or acquaintances, and short-term business affairs.
Hong Kong nationals do not require a visa to visit Japan, as holders of a valid HKSAR passport enjoy visa-free access to Japan for the purpose of short-term visits of up to 90 days. However, a valid visa will be required for other purposes than mentioned in the short-term visa (such as employment, studies, etc.)
Legal residents of Macau or Hong Kong SAR are eligible to apply for a Japan visa at the application centre. However, individuals living in Hong Kong on temporary visas are not eligible for applying for a Japan visa in Hong Kong.
An applicant needs to understand tourist requirements. The application fee, as well as the processing fee, is paid in Hong Kong dollars during the submission in Hong Kong.
Japan Visa application process:
- Download the application form.
- Complete the form, attach a recent photograph, and keep supporting documents ready
- Book an appointment for visa interview
- Submit the application in Hong Kong at Japan Visa Application Center (JVAC)
- The walk-in option is convenient for persons visiting the visa application centre without an appointment. The operation hours for this option 8:30 to 13:30.
- The application is submitted at the visa centre and the service charge is paid to the VFS centre.
- Please collect the payment receipt and application reference document.
- The visa processing takes about 3-5 business days.
- Collect your passport and visa once the notification is received from the VFS centre.
- Please note that from 1st November 2020, PCR tests before departure and upon arrival in Japan are not required for Hong Kong or Macau residents who are currently residing in Hong Kong or Macau.
- However, after entry into Japan, the travellers are required to wait 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief. They have also been asked to refrain from using public transportation.
- The suspension of visa exemption measures also remains in place until further notice.
VFS Global Website
(To download application, book appointment, track application):https://www.vfsglobal.com/japan/hongkong/English/index.html
List of accredited visa agencies
Japan Visa Application Centre Address (VFS)
Unit 03, 16/F, 148 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong
Monday to Friday:
Submit by Appointment: 08:30 – 15:00
Walk-In Applications: 08:30 – 13:30
Tel: (852) 3167 7033 (Helpline) (Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays)