HK International School Application Checklist

Applying to an international school in Hong Kong requires more than just filling out a form. What you should submit with your application differs from school to school but here are the most common documents you will need.
HK International School Application Checklist
By Carli Allan
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You’ve made your shortlist of schools to apply to, so what’s next? While every international school in Hong Kong will have its own admissions procedure, there is a standard list of documents and prerequisites required. Whether you’re planning to move to Hong Kong or transfer to a different school here, here’s your checklist for primary and secondary school applications.

Looking for an international school in Hong Kong. Click here to see our roundup of the Top 20 schools.

Who can study at an international school in Hong Kong?

Students of all nationalities can apply to an international school, including Hong Kong citizens. All expat students must have a valid Hong Kong visa to be eligible for a place at an international school; a visitor visa does not entitle students to attend any school in Hong Kong.

For more information about immigration in Hong Kong, click here.

What documents will I need when I apply to an international school?

• Completed and signed application form (this may be completed online or as a hard copy, depending on the school)

• Application fee (the average fee in Hong Kong is HKD 2,400 but check the school website for the exact cost)

• Passport size photographs of your child

• Photocopy of child’s birth certificate

• Photocopy of child’s passport

• Photocopy of parents’ passports

• Photocopy of the child’s Hong Kong visa (not a visit visa)

• Photocopy of the child’s Hong Kong Identity Card (if available)

• Photocopy of parents' Hong Kong visa

• Photocopy of parents' Hong Kong Identity Card (if available)

• Official transcripts or report cards for the current year and two years prior (officially translated and notarized if not in English)

• Any speech/language, educational psych testing, or learning needs evaluations/records (if applicable)

• Photocopy of the parent’s work permit (if available)

• Legal custody papers (if parents are divorced)

All documents must be supplied to the school in English or a certified translation. If visas and work permit are not available prior to your child starting school, the School may request a letter from your employer indicating a date by which they will supply the required documents.

What additional documents will I require to apply to an ESF school?

To apply to an English Schools Foundation (ESF) kindergarten, primary or secondary school you must live within the catchment area of that school. Therefore, as part of the application process, you will need to provide two forms of proof of your Hong Kong address:

• Latest stamped tenancy agreement or a current government demand for rates under parent’s name

• Latest original utility bill or bank statement under parent’s name

If you are applying to an ESF school before moving to Hong Kong, you will be required to provide proof of address before your child starts school.

What other documents will I need to provide once I have accepted a place at an international school?

• Some schools may request a physical examination form, to be completed by a family doctor

• Photocopy of your child’s current vaccination/immunisation record

What visa will my child need to study at an international school in Hong Kong?

To live, work and study in Hong Kong you need a visa. Most people living and working in Hong Kong are on one of the following visas:

Employment Visa
This is for employees who have secured a confirmed employment offer or are working with a registered company in Hong Kong.

Dependant Visa
This visa is for children and spouses of foreign nationals who hold a valid Hong Kong employment visa, or who are permanent residents in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Identity Card
All Hong Kong residents above the age of 11 years, both local and expat, must apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card. This card is valid for the duration of residency in Hong Kong.

What vaccinations will my child need to live and study in Hong Kong?

Vaccinations are not compulsory in Hong Kong but many schools do not enrol children who have not been fully vaccinated.

Vaccination requirements depend on each individual school, but young children are encouraged by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) to have the influenza vaccination. Every January, Hong Kong is affected by a seasonal outbreak of influenza; last year more than 1,000 pre-schools and childcare centres started the Chinese New Year break one week early in an attempt to curb the spread of the flu outbreak.

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