Information for Non-local Students


Definition of Non-local Students

Persons holding a student visa/entry permit to study at the University will be considered as "non-local students" within the validity period of their visa/permit for student enrolment at the University. Students have the responsibility to comply with the immigration rules, regulations and conditions governing their eligibility for studies and stay in Hong Kong. 

Attribute Identification Documents Eligibility for Studies in Hong Kong Restriction on Study Load
Local Students Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card No restrictions No restrictions
Hong Kong Identity Card with right to land in Hong Kong
One-way Permit for entry to Hong Kong
Dependant visa Within the validity period of their visas/permits
Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG) visa
Employment visa Part-time study load only
Any other valid entry visa/permit issued by IMMD permitting persons for entry to Hong Kong and pursue full-time and/or part-time studies without the need to apply for a student visa Subject to the conditions of stay relevant to their visas/permits
Non-local Students Student Visa (for Foreign Students)
Student Entry Permit (for Mainland Students)
  • Non-local students holding a student visa for full-time studies must observe the credit-unit load permitted for full-time students in accordance with Section 7 of the Academic Regulations for Taught Postgraduate Degrees.
  • Exceptions for reduced study load are not permitted except for the final semester upon approval by the Head of Department/School Dean/College Dean or as determined by the Examination Board/Department/School/College in any semester for students in academic difficulty.



Valid student visa/entry permit required upon enrolment

All students must produce appropriate identity document(s) for verification at the time of enrolment. Non-local students should produce a validated student visa/entry permit AND an appropriate landing slip issued at the immigration checkpoint upon entry to Hong Kong.

Since it is by law that people entering Hong Kong as visitors are NOT allowed to study at any school or university, those holding visitor visas or entering Hong Kong under the Individual Visit Scheme will not be accepted for enrolment as a student at the University.

For information and assistance on student visa application, please contact the Global Services Office (GSO).

  • Students with multiple admission offers should apply for a visa under their latest accepted programme offer. If a visa application has already been submitted for a previous programme offer before the acceptance of a new programme offer, please inform GSO or the Immigration Department regarding the change of programme as soon as possible.

Deadline for enrolment

The deadline for student enrolment at the University is the end date of Week 2 in Semester A, Semester B or the Summer Term as specified in the University's Academic Calendar.  Those who fail to complete enrolment by the specified date will have their studies terminated and IMMD will be informed accordingly.


Visa Extension and Reporting

  1. Apply for visa/entry permit extension before expiry of limit of stay

    Student visas/entry permits are normally valid through the normal duration of programmes. If the visa expires before graduation, students should apply for an extension of stay to IMMD prior to the expiry of their limit of stay to continue their studies and maintain an active student status.

  2. Apply for a letter of certification from SGS

    Student visa holders can apply for a letter of certification for extension of student visa from the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Service Counter to support their application to IMMD.  Students should apply at least two weeks before the date the certification letter is required to allow adequate time for processing.

    Students holding other types of visa should apply to IMMD directly for extension with appropriate documents.

  3. Report new visa information via AIMS

    Once a student visa/entry permit is extended, students must report the new visa information to SGS.

    All students with valid visas, except those holding part-time student visas or IANG visas, can update their visa information via AIMS > Personal Information > Visa Information. To enable this AIMS function, students should submit a copy of their Hong Kong Identity Card to the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Service Counter.

    Those who are ineligible or unable to use this AIMS function should visit the Service Counter in person and bring along the original copy of their renewed visa/entry permit for verification and records updating.

  • Students who fail to report new visa information to SGS will be assumed ineligible for studies in Hong Kong and will be barred from accessing the Library, Computer Service Centre, CityU Portal and AIMS immediately.
  • To resume access rights, concerned students are required to visit the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Service Counter in person and bring along the original copy of their renewed visa/entry permit.
  • If a student's new visa information is not received 2 weeks after expiry of the limit of stay on record, the student's studies will be terminated and IMMD will be informed accordingly.


Reporting Student Status Changes to the Immigration Department (IMMD)

The University is required to report to IMMD any non-local student status changes, including approved periods of leave of absence, suspension of studies, withdrawal of studies and termination of studies.

Change of Student Status Reason Effective Date
Leave of absence Student application Date of online submission
Suspension of studies Academic suspension Date of suspension notification
Due to disciplinary action
Withdrawal of studies Self withdrawal from studies Date of online submission
Termination of studies Academic termination Date of termination notification
Due to fees outstanding
Due to disciplinary action
Due to visa expiry Date of visa expiry
  • Upon withdrawal or termination of studies, students are required to leave Hong Kong within 4 weeks from the effective date of the termination/withdrawal.


Change of Visa Type or Residence Status

Students who have changed their visa type (such as from holding a student visa to a dependent visa, or vice versa) or residence status during their period of study at the University should report the change to SGS by completing the "Change of Personal Particulars" form and returning it to the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Service Counter in person, along with the original supporting document for verification.

  • Students should be aware that changes to their residence status may also affect the restriction on their study load and mode of study.
  • For some programmes, the tuition fee rate may differ for local and non-local students. In case the residence status change entails a change in the tuition fee rate, the new rate will take effect from the following semester/term. (For example: If the change in residence status is reported to SGS before the start of Semester A 2018/19, the new tuition fee rate, if applicable, will take effect from Semester A 2018/19. If the change is reported at any time in Semester A 2018/19, the new rate will only take effect from Semester B 2018/19.)