For those who have recently become Chinese Nationals and now wish to apply for their first Home Return Permit (港澳居民来往内地通行证). Here is a rough guide.
First off CTS require the following documents :
- Original Chinese Nationality Certificate as issued by IMD
- New HKID card with three ***'s and your name in Chinese Characters ( 汉字) issued by IMD
- New Hong Kong SAR Passport issued by IMD
- Original Certificate of Registration issued by IMD
- Original Passport/Travel document used to first enter HK
- Last passport you had before becoming a Chinese National (If not available then can write a letter to explain why)
- If available all Passports/Travel docs from first entry to present
I recommend the following steps, immediately on picking up your Chinese Nationality Certificate from IMD you apply for your replacement HKID card, HK Passport and Certificate of Registration. This can all be done on the same day if you have all relevant forms and documents with you, so plan ahead.
Both the HKID card and HKSAR Passport take 14 days, however the Certificate of Registration takes one month, so if you are in a rush I recommend that when you apply to IMD write a polite letter explaining you need the registration certificate in 14 days so you can apply for your HRP. They were smashing and I picked up all three documents after 14 days.
Generally CTS is not setup to deal with English, all documents are in Chinese and the majority of the staff speak very limited English. This is not a criticism. They do have a few staff who do speak good enouph English to give you help in filling in forms (in Central at least, don’t know about Mong Kok or further afield).
After I applied at CTS I was told it could take up to 6 months to issue my HRP. From the grape vine I got feedback that it takes about 2 to 3 months. So lets see how long it takes.
If you need to travel to China in the meantime you will need to get a Entry Permit (中华人民共和国出入境通行证) For this you need all the documents you submitted above plus a letter from a sponsor detailing why they are inviting you and how long you will stay, I was told it is best to have a company sponsor you than a family member. The maximum period of stay in China is 3 months, only single entry no multi entry available. Regular service is 12 days, express is shorter. I selected regular service as not in a rush. Later I found out the start date for the entry permit is about one week in after you apply so make sure you apply when you actually need the permit not in advance. If you want to stay for the maximum period of 3 months then I recommend you apply using the express service.
Check out CTS webpage on the subject (in Chinese) 香港居民申領《港澳居民來往內地通 證》(回鄉證) 須知 | 香港中國旅行社 I found using Chromium’s translation feature extremely helpful here. Look for the section on applications which contains the part related to ex. foreign nationals.