On this beautiful summer’s day, I’ve decided to write about boring admin stuff, namely: how to renew HK passport in Paris. My passport was about to expire (well anything less than 6 months is not accepted by most countries), so here’s my experience with the Chinese Consulate in Paris. My main struggle was finding a way to pay the Hong Kong administration; no HK bank account and don’t want to bother friends in HK. Please note that this post is an experience sharing, it is not meant for legal advise.
What to expect?
- The Chinese Consulate does not accept any payment for processing the Hong Kong passport. You have to prepay for your application before reaching the consulate, else you’ll be turned away. Hong Kong is part of China, but the card payment option at the consulate is only available for Mainland Chinese.
- Hong Kong passport application is NOT accepted by all the counters within the consulate. Make it clear to the guards that you’re applying for the HONG KONG passport before making your way into the second queue. Else you’ll end up being moved around a lot before someone can help you. The queue number slip that you take from the beginning is only to get into the 2nd queue (there are 6-8 counters).
- There is a 10EUR fee for fetching your passport at the consulate. You can pay for this fee with your debit / credit card. No cash payment.
- There is NO toilet paper in the toilets.
- There is 1 photo booth (cash) and 4 photo copy machines (accept coins only) inside the consulate. Pens are available at the desks, but it is tough to get to one. Bring your own.
- Stay calm if any screaming match breaks out. I came across this type of incidents multiple times in all 3 of my visits. Sometimes they’re just having a conversation really loudly, other times, it’s a full blown fight. One particularly memorable one was this lady with a visa dispute and she was screaming at the consulate staff (VERY bad idea). The just of it was, her visa expired and she over stayed in France, the consulate told her that there is no ways to correct her letter or something. She refused to leave the consulate… drama, drama, drama. Surprisingly, none of the securities tried to remove her.
- The outside of the consulate has virtually no sign. It’s just several panels of full length grey glass. It was pretty easy to miss >_<
- The consulate will CUT your old passport. Make sure you don’t need any visa before you go through with it aka make sure you have a valid Carte de sejour / Titre de sejour. The consulate has to cut your passport before giving you your new one.
- You literately can get sunburn inside this consulate. It’s glass roof; think greenhouse. If it’s a sunny day, bring a hat / sunscreen.
What to bring to the consulate?
- Completed form ID843 (adult)
- Completed form ID853
- Proof of payment
- Hong Kong passport original
- Hong Kong passport photocopy
- Hong Kong ID card original
- Hong Kong ID card photo copy
- 3 photos, white background (40mm x 50mm / take it at the consulate while you’re waiting) ==> will be converted to black and white in the passport
**At the counter, I was given an additional form to fill out. This form does not have the HK immigration emblem, I think it must be obtained from the consulate? I filled it out at the counter.
How long does it take to renew HK passport in Paris?
In short: took around 10 weeks from the day of application. If you’re really curious, below is the timeline that I experienced.
- 11/04/2018 – Bank of China to pay for the application **NB step, usually cannot be completed on the same morning (?!?!?!?) will explain a bit more in the next section.
- 12/04/2018 (no appointment) – went to consulate & waited inline for about 4 hours.
- 01/06/2018 – received a physical mail from Immigration Department of Hong Kong. It was a payment receipt and acknowledgement dated 24/05/2018
- 20/06/2018 – received a phone call from the Chinese consulate that my passport is ready
- 22/06/2018 – I went to pick up my passport and paid 10 eur at the consulate via debit card.
How much did I pay?
The whole process costs me 103 EUR.
- For the administration (mandatory) – HKD 503 (48 pages + double registered air mail) / around 55 EUR)
- Bank of China bank charge: around 38 EUR ***You an avoid this fee if you have a HK bank account to do the transaction / ask someone living in HK to pay for your passport.
- For collecting the passport via the consulate – I paid 10 EUR
How did I pay without asking anyone from HK or a HK bank account?
Bank of China, Paris. Relatively close to the Chinese consulate.
23 Avenue de la Grande-Armée, Paris 75116. It’s about 15min walk from the consulate or 10 via metro 1 Argentine
From my understanding, there is no other bank in Paris that can do this transaction. One just have to accept their ridiculous process fee.
Bank of China experience – 95116 branch
Originally, I planned to buy that cheque and then go to the consulate in the same day.
The process took a long time. I had to fill out 3 banking forms and wait around for 90min after submission. The lady told me that I’m lucky, usually they do the transaction only in the morning and be ready in the late afternoon or the next day. Their advise was, either go to them in the morning and fetch the “cheque” in the afternoon; or pick it up the next day. **Honestly, I can’t understand the rationale behind this at all. Personally, I think you need to insist that you need that cheque right away (which was what I did).
I don’t have an account with Bank of China, so I had to pay them in cash. They don’t accept debit card for this transaction.
Chinese consulate address (France)
Ambassade de Chine / Service consulaire
18/20 rue de Washington 75008 Paris
So that’s it from me 😉
Please always visit the official Hong Kong immigration website for the most updated form and procedure.