Hong Kong Identity Card

One of the requirements for person living in Hong Kong for more than 90 days is that you must have a National Identity card.  When you get the visa documents through there is information about this and you can find the information and forms online.  I downloaded the forms and filled them in as best I could (dual language).  You have to book an appointment for this (this can be done online), so one morning I went to the “Registration of Persons” offices (a couple of locations in Hong Kong) at my time slot.  You need to take your passport and its worth taking a copy of any contract you have etc.

It was a busy waiting room (a bit like a hospital) where you got given a number (like the delicatessen counter in a busy supermarket) and you had to wait your turn.  It didn’t take too long, they check the form, take your photo and scan your thumb prints.  I had to put an address on the form, they said just to use the hotel address where I was staying – this does not need to be updated when you move apparently.  Initially I was issued with a “temporary identity card” in the form of an A5 certificate with my information on.  It takes two weeks for the card to be processed.  You are given an appointment time when you can go and collect it.

The proper identity card is like the UK drivers licence but it has the metal chip like your credit card.  I must admit I was quite surprised that they use certain data but you’re not required to have a current address on the system.  Although I had to use my passport too, when you sort out accommodation, open a bank account, set up utilities (gas, water, electric, internet etc.) you will need you identity card.  It is also a legal obligation to carry it on you at all times.  If you lose it, you have to pay for a new one!

For anyone who is curious, you can find more information here:



About Alana Collis

Hi, my name is Alana Collis. I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working in Hong Kong. I hope this blog will give readers an insight into working in an academic research environment and general life in Hong Kong as well as things that will help you get started here! After completing a PhD at the University of Nottingham in synthetic organic chemistry, I moved to a position at the University of Warwick as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry. During my time at Warwick I was working with Researchers from Warwick Manufacturing Group (materials and engineering) and Warwick-HRI (plant sciences) as well as Industry and other University research departments. This gave me chance to see how different disciplines and departments subtly vary in set up and practices. In the Summer of 2010, I went to a Gordon Research conference in the US. This in itself was a great experience but it was followed up two months later by an e-mail from an academic I met at the conference..... would I be interested in a postdoctoral position in Hong Kong?!

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