GovHK is the one-stop portal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, making information and services of the public sector easier to find and use. Non-residents can learn the different aspects of living in Hong Kong as well as information and support services for new arrivals to integrate into the community at GovHK. The following sections highlight the key information which we hope can assist you in settling in Hong Kong in a smoother way.

Hong Kong Identity Card

Under the Registration of Persons Ordinance, all Hong Kong residents aged 11 or over (including those who have been permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days) are required to register for a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID), except those who are exempted or excluded. Overseas appointees must apply for a HKID within 30 days of arrival. The Immigration Ordinance requires Hong Kong residents to carry proof of identity, at least when in public places, in the form of a HKID, or a valid travel document such as a passport. Failure to comply with the requirement may lead to a fine.

To apply for a HKID, you are advised to make prior appointment on-line or by phone at 2598 0888. Application must be submitted in person at a Registration of Persons Office. Detailed information is available at the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department.


There are several options which you may consider for accommodation in Hong Kong. It is important for you to observe your rights and legal responsibilities as a tenant or a homeowner. It is common to search for properties through the assistance of licensed estate agents. The website of the Estate Agents Authority offers useful information and points to note when engaging estate agents and buying or renting properties in Hong Kong.

Renting an Apartment

Details about renting an apartment are set out in the GovHK. You are advised to consider carefully the lease period, amount of rent and deposit, and whether furniture and electrical appliances are provided when you sign the tenancy agreement with the landlord. If you decide to engage a licensed estate agent, you should clarify with him or her details of the engagement such as the amount of commission and the time of payment before signing the estate agency agreement. More information about creating and signing a tenancy agreement is available at the website of the Estates Agents Authority.

Serviced Apartment

Serviced apartment has a rising popularity as its rental period is relatively flexible and it is usually furnished with comprehensive facilities and all-round services. There is an increasing number of choices of serviced apartments near the University and in the Central and Western Districts. Information can be found at the website of HKU CEDARS.

University Housing Accommodation

Temporary Accommodation

The University receives many guests throughout the year, including visiting scholars, delegations for research and academic collaboration and other visitors. Accommodation for guests is available at Robert Black College, St. John's College and Graduate House of the University.
Senior Staff Quarters

Eligible appointees will be offered a housing voucher, at a value equivalent to the non-accountable allowance (NCA) for their rank, to rent University accommodation at discounted rate. Appointees should refer to their Letters of Appointment on matters of eligibility for housing benefits.​

Staff members who are not eligible for university-arranged accommodation may also apply at market rates subject to availability. Information of University accommodation can be obtained at the Finance and Enterprises Office and Estates Office website.

Occupants of University housing accommodation are required to pay their own utility charges (e.g. water, gas, telephone and internet services). Enquiries on accommodation allocation and related matters can be directed to the Finance and Enterprises Office (Tel: 2859 2423 / 2859 1981; E-mail: feo-hkuhousing@hku.hk) or to the Estates Office (Tel: 2816 2603 / 2816 2270; E-mail: HMU@estates.hku.hk).

Buying a Flat

Buying a flat is not an easy decision and there are various areas of concerns which you may pay attention to. The GovHK provides you with detailed information on buying a flat in Hong Kong.


To arrange for connection of utilities such as water, electricity, gas and telephone line, you may visit the websites below:

Water Supplies Department
Hong Kong Electric Co. Ltd. (for premises on Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island)
CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. (for premises in Kowloon, the New Territories and most outlying islands)
Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd.

Children Education

A website on “Education for Non-Chinese Speaking Children”, maintained by the Hong Kong Education Bureau, provides useful information on international education in Hong Kong. General information on kindergarten, primary and secondary education is also available here.

Domestic Helpers

In Hong Kong it is common to acquire the services of an in-house or part-time domestic helper. You must observe the strict rules and regulations for the employment of a domestic helper.

To hire a foreign in-house domestic helper, please visit the GovHK for up-to-date information. More information is available at the Immigration Department website.

Alternatively, you may consider hiring part-time local domestic helper, which is usually paid on an hourly basis. Details can be checked out at GovHK.

Last review date: November 2019