182,000 residents yet to replace identity cards, old cards for individuals born after 1970 to expire on 12th May 2025

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18th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) Immigration Department has announced today, on the 18th of June, that individuals born in 1970 or later will have their old-style smart identity cards invalidated starting from the 12th of May next year, while those born in 1969 or earlier will have their old cards invalidated from the 12th of October next year. Tai Chi-Yuen, the Deputy Director of Immigration, revealed that there are still approximately 182,000 individuals who have not yet replaced their old cards, and the Immigration Department urges those who still possess the old-style smart identity cards to expedite the process of obtaining the new ones.

On the 18th of June, the Immigration Department announced that individuals born in 1970 or later will have their old-style smart identity cards invalidated, with the expiration date set for the 12th of May next year. As for individuals born in 1969 or earlier, their old cards will be invalidated on the 12th of October next year. Tai Chi-Yuen, the Deputy Director of the Immigration Department, stated that the invalidation of the identity cards will be implemented in two phases, with the key differentiating factor being the birth year 1970. All identity cards issued before the 26th of November 2018 will be invalidated in two stages, as follows:

The Security Bureau Director has issued the “Registration of Persons (Invalidation of Identity Cards) Order 2006” under section 7C of the Registration of Persons Ordinance. The order will be gazetted on the 21st of June and will undergo the “legislative effect before scrutiny” process in the Legislative Council on the 26th of June.

Invalidated identity cards cannot be used for immigration procedures. The Immigration Department emphasises that unless holders of the old-style smart identity cards have lost their permanent resident status under the Immigration Ordinance (Cap115), their right of abode in Hong Kong will not be affected by the government’s announcement of the invalidation of the old-style smart identity cards.

The invalidated identity cards cannot be used for immigration procedures or for applying for a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or other travel documents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Citizens holding invalidated identity cards must use valid travel documents when going through immigration procedures, and their freedom of entry and exit will not be affected by the government’s announcement of the invalidation of the old-style smart identity cards.

Applications for replacement cards can be made at five Registration of Persons Offices, namely the temporary office in Kwun Tong, the Hong Kong Island office, the Kowloon office, the Tseung Kwan O office, and the Tuen Mun office. All Registration of Persons Offices are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

It is believed that the majority of the approximately 182,000 individuals who have not replaced their cards are currently residing overseas, possibly due to work, education, or travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. The Immigration Department does not have information on whether these individuals have emigrated or not.