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What to know about the Mainland Travel Permit for non-Chinese permanent residents of Macao and Hong Kong

Eligible individuals will be able to apply for the new Mainland Travel Permit starting from 10 July via China Travel Service’s offices in Macao or Hong Kong
  • The new permit allows holders to make multiple 90-day trips to mainland China for a range of activities without having to apply for a visa

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UPDATED: 10 Jul 2024, 7:27 am

Starting from 10 July, non-Chinese permanent residents of Macao and Hong Kong will finally be able to sidestep the cumbersome task of applying for visas and instead get a Mainland Travel Permit, which enables free travel between the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) and mainland China.  

The announcement, which coincided with the 27th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to mainland China yesterday, has been met with great enthusiasm from all sectors of the community.

[See more: Six apps you need to survive in mainland China]

Here’s what you need to know about this groundbreaking initiative.

Am I eligible for a Mainland Travel Permit? 

To hold a Mainland China Travel permit, you need to be a permanent resident of Macao or Hong Kong of a nationality other than Chinese.

There are no age restrictions for application, although individuals who are younger than 18 need to be with their guardian during the application process. 

How and where do I apply for a Mainland Travel Permit? 

Applying for the permit requires four key documents: 

  • A completed Application Form for Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents (Non-Chinese Citizens) that features your recent photo. 
  • A valid Macao or Hong Kong permanent ID card
  • A valid ordinary passport that is still valid for 6 months or more
  • Nationality certificates such as the Certificate of Personal Data from the Identification Service Bureau of Macao, or the Notice of Application for Access to Information from the Hong Kong Immigration Department, which include details about your nationality. The nationality certificate document needs to have been issued within 6 months before the submission of the travel permit application 

Supplementary application documents may also be required depending on the applicant. 

To apply for the permit, submit the above documents to the China Travel Service (CTS) Hong Kong or Macao service centres. CTS Hong Kong already has an online application platform running for non-Chinese permanent residents of Hong Kong (CTS Macao has yet to launch the platform). 

Are there any restrictions on my Mainland Travel Permit? 

According to China’s Immigration Administration, holders of the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents (non-Chinese citizens) are allowed to travel to mainland China multiple times for “short-term purpose such as investment, visiting relatives, tourism, business, seminars and exchanges” for a period of up to 90 days per stay.

Holders of the permit are prohibited from taking up employment, studying or conducting journalism while they are in mainland China. The department notes that those who intend to engage in such activities are required to apply for the appropriate visas or permits. 

How long is the Mainland Travel Permit valid for? 

The Mainland Travel Permit is valid for a total of five years. 

How much does it cost? 

CTS Hong Kong and Macao charge HK$260 for an initial application. Having the card reissued or replaced will cost 230 yuan. 

Where do I go for more information about the Mainland Travel Permit? 

Non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents can find more information about the permit here, as well as lodge an application via the CTS (Hong Kong) webpage. Hong Kong residents can also call the following CTS (Hong Kong) hotlines for more detail: +852 3460 3297, +852 3460 3176 or +852 3460 3267.

Non-Chinese Macao permanent residents will have to wait a bit longer for more Macao specific information online, as the CTS (Macao) website has not yet been updated to reflect the new measure. In the meantime, it is possible to call CTS (Macao) on +853 2870 0888 for queries. 

Additional information about the permit can also be found by calling the Exit and Entry Administration’s consultation hotline +86 12367.

You can also check out this detailed FAQ from China’s Immigration Administration. 

UPDATED: 10 Jul 2024, 7:27 am

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