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You have decided to go to Hong Kong for a while? But you do not know what are the steps to take before your departure and the little things to know once there? Do not worry we are here to answer your questions!

Before leaving

Make sure you have all your travel documents (airline tickets, insurance …) in good standing and that you have your valid passport and your visa on the right dates before leaving your origin country. Above all, make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months after your return date as for most destinations. Take the address of your origin consulate in Hong Kong before leaving, just in case you need their help at the customs.

If you are an expatriate, your employer should handle most paperwork.


Le visa

European citizens do not need a visa for a tourist stay of less than 3 months provided that they can justify leaving the territory within this period with a ticket. For any other situation, consult directly with the emigration services of Hong Kong. http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/contactus/index.html

Other foreign visitors do not need a visa for a length of stay between 7 and 90 depending on their nationality. We invite you to consult the page dedicated to know the formalities corresponding to your case. http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html


The work visa is mandatory, and must be requested before arrival in Hong Kong. They can be done by correspondence.

  •      With the immigration authorities:

Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel : 852.2824.6111 ; Fax : 852.2877.7711

Immigration Department website :


  •      From the Chinese consulate of your country


Driver’s license

Also ask for your international license, it can be useful if you want to rent a car during your travels in Asia (and it’s free). By cons in Hong Kong, note that you need a Hong Kong license, which is obtained quite easily once you have your HK ID card.



Get vaccinated. In Hong Kong, Hepatitis B and DT Polio are recommended, as well as Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever vaccines. If you are thinking of traveling, maybe also do the vaccinations for Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies. Attention, this is done in international vaccination centers, it is necessary to make an appointment and provide the time for vaccines that require several injections. During your appointment, take advantage of this to have you prescribed an anti-malarial treatment and the essentials of a pharmacy kit.


Once there

Once arrived at Hong Kong Airport, we advise you to withdraw money, minimum 1000 HK $. (Put the equivalent in euro and dollar) to have some cash for the first expenses. Then go to the central counter of the airport to buy a ticket to get to the city, about 120 HK $.

If you are in Hong Kong, either temporary or permanent, you definitely need the Octopus card!


Octopus Card

There are different types and it can be nominative or anonymous. Mainly, then you have the Sold Octopus or the On-Loan Octopus:

  • The Sold Octopus is a card that is sold to you and does not require any compulsory deposit. The best choice for visitors is the Sold Tourist Octopus, which costs 39 HKD. You load it as you want and you can have the remaining balance paid off (but not the purchase price of course).
  • And then you have the On-Loan Octopus, like me, which is “loaned” to you. You pay in this case a mandatory deposit (and refundable) of 50 HKD which covers the purchase price of the card and a possible negative balance (practice that too) + a first load of 100 HKD. This one comes in an anonymous “Standard” version and a “Personalized” version that allows you to have your name and photo on your card and thus benefit from a value carryover in case of loss. The “Standard” can therefore very well be used by tourists too, it is delivered immediately. The other requires, however, to complete and file this form it is for residents. http://www.octopus.com.hk/web09_include/_document/en/apply_pcard.pdf


To obtain this card you will find customer counters in all metro stations (MTR), except Racecourse; and also at some ferry stations (Cheung Chau Pier, Mui Wo Pier, Central Pier 5 & Central Pier 6).

For Sold Octopus, you will also buy them in 7-Eleven and Circle K supermarkets.



Your card can be linked to your bank account and can be recharged automatically from 250 HKD (or 150 or 500 depending on your bank) each time it reaches zero. Just fill out a form and once the application is validated, submit the activation letter in an Octopus center.


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