Immigration plans to increase visa fees in March

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Immigration Tower in Wan Chai (Photo: Google Maps)

The Immigration Department (ImmD) plans to revise its fees for visas and other immigration documents and processes starting March 25 this year, a government spokesman said on Wednesday (January 16).

He said the ImmD will revise fees for some services, including the issuing of visas/entry permits and travel documents, genetic tests, and the delivery of travel documents outside Hong Kong.

“It is the government’s established policy that fees charged by the Government should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full cost of providing the service,” the spokesman said.

According to the ImmD plan, the fee for ordinary visas will be increased from $190 to $230; transit visa (from $100 to $120), entry permit valid for one entry ($190 to $230), re-entry permit valid for one visit ($46 to $55), entry permit for multiple entries valid for one year ($390 to $470), and change of condition of stay or extension of limit of stay ($190 to $230).

The government said a recent costing review showed that the fees payable for some Immigration services “are not adequate to recover the full cost of providing those services.”

“Based on the government-wide general guidelines for fee increases, the fees of the services concerned will be increased by 9 per cent to 21 per cent. The proposals will have little impact on the daily life of most people and very limited impact on general business activities,” the spokesman added.

The Immigration Department regularly reviews the arrangements for handling various types of applications and services with a view to improving the cost-effectiveness as well as the quality of services. Measures are in place to control the cost of providing the services.

The relevant amendment regulation will be tabled at the Legislative Council on January 23 and the fee revision will take effect after completion of the necessary legislative procedures.