People applying for a Hong Kong identity card (HKID) from November 26 will receive a new type of smart card, the immigration authority announced last Thursday.
This covers HKID applications from people applying for a juvenile identity card upon reaching the age of 11, or an adult card upon reaching the age of 18; new arrivals to the city; people who wish to change the particulars on their existing cards; and those whose cards have been lost, destroyed, or damaged.
About 8.8 million Hong Kong residents will also have their identity cards replaced with new ones, starting from December 27. This is because the existing cards, issued between 2003 and 2007, have already exceeded their optimum 10-year lifespan, meaning they will gradually become more likely to be damaged.
The replacement will be carried out in phases, with law enforcement and government officials being dealt with first.
The next round of replacement applies to residents born in 1985 or 1986, which will take place between January 21 and March 30 next year. They were the first group to receive the existing cards in the last replacement exercise in 2003, meaning their cards are the most vulnerable.
The replacement programme is expected to be completed in four years. Card holders will be called according to their year of birth. Residents can make an appointment online and fill out the form in advance from October 29.
The next-generation card features enhanced security, built-in radio frequency identification technology and higher-resolution photographs to support facial recognition.
The new smart card is pink, light blue and light green in colour, with a photo of the card holder on the left and a small image of the portrait on the right.
It will feature a new see-through window bearing the card number in the top right-hand corner. An image of the Hong Kong skyline will appear when the back of the card is examined under ultraviolet light.