Travel and experiencing different cultures and cuisines is one of the greatest joys of life. Before our baby was even born we already had a trip to Europe booked. Slightly ambitious for new parents, we know, but we wanted to get our son travelling ASAP. There are also tons of great kid friendly destinations within a 4-5 hour plane ride from Hong Kong including Japan, Thailand, and Singapore to name a few.
You can’t travel without a passport though. For our son, we had the option of getting a Canadian passport, Hong Kong passport, or both. We went with the latter option and below is a quick reference guide for the application processes.
Hong Kong Passport
The Hong Kong passport and ID card application process are relatively straightforward if your son/daughter was born in Hong Kong to a parent that is a permanent resident (PR). It all starts with getting your child a birth certificate. Depending on where you gave birth, you will need to register the birth at a one of a few offices around Hong Kong all of which are listed here. For a legitimate child, only one parent needs to attend and you’ll need to bring your marriage certificate, HKIDs, and passports if you aren’t PRs. You must bring originals of all documents. Registering a birth is free if you do it within 42 days of birth but there is a fee of HKD140 for obtaining a copy of the birth certificate.
Once you have the birth certificate you can apply for both a HKID and HKSAR passport for your child. You’ll need to fill out the following forms and have 3 passport photos ready. You need an HKID before you can get a passport but you can apply for both at the same time.
You’ll probably need to go to a Fotomax or other photography studio to get the pictures taken. You’ll then need to glue one of the 3 passport photos to Form ID 641 and have a witness attest that the picture is actually of your child. The witness will need to provide a copy of their HKID and sign on this copy also.
It takes about 3-4 weeks before you can pick up your travel documents. You must bring your child with you when you pick up the travel documents.
When you have the Hong Kong travel documents, you can start your application for a Canadian passport. This is because you need a form of government issued ID and a birth certificate doesn’t count.
The first step is to apply for a citizenship certificate. The process is outlined here. There are many rules as to who can and cannot pass down Canadian citizenship to their children. If you were born in Canada and obtained your citizenship that way, there will be no problem passing it on to your child. Otherwise, carefully read through the rules and decide if you qualify.
If you’re living in Hong Kong you can submit the application to the Canadian Embassy in Quarry Bay. Make sure you carefully follow the photo guidelines as they are notoriously picky about their photo specifications. It’s best to use a professional studio to take these pictures as they’ll have a refund policy if your pictures are rejected.
After your citizenship certificate has been granted, you can submit an application for your child’s Canadian passport. Again, the process is quite long and is outlined here in detail. You can also submit all the forms to the Canadian Embassy along with 2 passport photos.
And that’s all. With this quick guide to newborn HK and Canadian passport application, your child is ready to jet set around the world, learn about different cultures, eat a variety of foods, and hopefully have a great childhood to remember.