Guide to Filming in Hong Kong

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IMMIGRATION

As a general rule, on arrival, all visitors to Hong Kong must satisfy the immigration authorities that they meet general immigration requirements and are qualified for entry as bona fide visitors, including holding a valid travel document, possession of adequate money for their stay and, unless in transit to Mainland China or Macao, onward or return tickets.

Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong visa-free for business, pleasure or social reasons, for a stay ranging from seven to 180 days. Visitors are not allowed to take up paid or unpaid employment in Hong Kong.

Entering Hong Kong — Immigration Control and Visas

In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in Hong Kong, he/she requires a visa/entry permit to take up employment, establish or join in business, study, take up residence or stay in Hong Kong as a visitor longer than the allowed visa-free period. Persons who need a visa/entry permit should obtain it before travelling to Hong Kong.

Overseas film crew members, who enjoy the visa waiver concession to visit Hong Kong for a stay within the entitled visa-free period, may generally engage in business-related activities, such as location scouting and attending business meetings. Whether an employment visa/entry permit is required depends mainly on the nature of activities in Hong Kong. It is advisable to check with the Immigration Department (ImmD) before coming to Hong Kong. If an employment visa/entry permit is required, members of a film crew should apply for individual visa/entry permits, though they may submit a joint application.

To get a visa/entry permit, submit the completed application form and supporting documents (e.g. employment contract/letter of appointment) to the ImmD directly by post or through a local sponsor. A local sponsor, usually the employing company, will be required to vouch for the applicant. The normal processing time is four weeks upon receipt of all the required documents. Alternatively, you can contact the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in your place of residence or the Immigration Division of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing.

Members of film crews who are Mainland residents may apply for employment in Hong Kong under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. Applications must be submitted by the employing organisation, which should be a company registered in Hong Kong. Completed application forms and all supporting documents should be submitted by the employer either in person or by post to ImmD. Successful applicants will be issued with an entry permit label and they should apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao and a relevant exit endorsement from the office of the Public Security Bureau where their household registration is kept.

Mainland residents planning to take up employment in Hong Kong in an official capacity should apply to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council or designated Foreign Affairs Offices in provinces and cities.

For details, please contact the ImmD or visit its website at www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/index.html.

Entering Mainland China

If you wish to visit Mainland China, it is best to check with the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in your place of residence before departure. For visa requirements for entry to Mainland China and addresses of Chinese diplomatic and consular missions, please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China at www.fmprc.gov.cn.

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