The application process for Hong Kong universities can begin a year or more before you arrive on campus. This guide will take you through the whole process step by step - from choosing a programme to booking your flights.
1. Research universities and programmes
Start your research by making a shortlist on our Asian Universities tool. From there you will be able to see the application deadlines, tuition fees and entry requirements of individual programmes. Remember that all the programmes on the tool are entirely English-taught.
Once you have your shortlist, you’ll need to make sure that you are eligible for a place. The entry requirements differ greatly between universities. You will need to pass your highschool (or equivalent) qualifications, but exact requirements are often subject-specific. You can find out more details about these requirements in our Study in Hong Kong: Preparing to apply guide.
2. Prepare your documents
It’s a good idea to have all your supporting documents ready before you sit down to make the application as there are some documents, such as grade certificates, that might take time to be processed.
One of the documents that you’ll be asked for is proof of your results / predicted grades for the main secondary education exams in your country. If you’re from a country where English isn’t the native language, you will also have to provide evidence of your language ability. Usually, this is a TOEFL or IELTS qualification.
For more information on the documents necessary for an application, take a look at our Study in Hong Kong: Preparing to apply guide.
3. Submit your application
The exact dates will differ from university to university, but generally the application window opens in November the year before your programme starts. You will have to apply directly to the university via their website; local students apply through a centralised system called JUPAS.
You can apply for as many universities in Hong Kong as you like, but be aware that you will have to pay an application fee for each one. The fees differ between universities: as an example, the City University of Hong Kong charges 450 HKD, which is around 50 USD or 43 GBP.
4. Receive an offer letter
Applications are usually processed on a first-come-first-served basis. However, times vary between institutions. During the processing time, you can often make amendments to your personal details but nothing more.
If you are successful with your application, the university will send you an offer letter. This letter will outline the conditions of your acceptance, as well as other relevant information you need to know.
5. Accept the offer
Once you’re happy with the terms and you choose to accept your place, you can then respond to the university to confirm it. If you’ve applied for multiple programmes, you may receive offers for each one.
Most universities charge an acceptance fee for you to confirm your place. This amount is usually quite high - around 10,000 HKD. That’s roughly 1,275 USD or 970 GBP. The fee is non-refundable if you choose not to attend the university, but otherwise it does count towards your first semester’s tuition.
6. Apply for your student visa
To study in Hong Kong, you will need to apply for a student visa. You have to fill out various forms, as well as provide photocopies of your ID, letter of admission, and evidence of your financial standing. Furthermore, you will need a sponsor in Hong Kong to sign your forms. Usually, the university will do this for you.
Your visa application can be made by post through the university or through your nearest Chinese consulate. Residents of the Chinese Mainland can submit their application through the Immigration Department.
7. Sort out accommodation and flights
Once you have confirmed your place and applied for your visa, it’s time to start planning for your travels. You will need to sort out accommodation for your initial period of study. Many universities offer on-campus housing and give priority to overseas students. You should be provided with information about this upon confirming your place.
You will also need to book a flight to Hong Kong. Make sure that you have enough time to move in and attend any orientation programmes before the start of your first term.