Macao Special Administrative Region passport

Macao Special Administrative Region passport
The front cover of the Macau SAR ePassport issued since September 2009
Issued by  Macau
Type of document Passport
Eligibility requirements Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Macau
Expiration 10 years after acquisition for adults aged 16 or over, 5 for children
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The Macao Special Administrative Region passport (Portuguese: Passaporte da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau; Chinese: 澳門特別行政區護照) is a passport issued to Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Macau.

In accordance with Macau Basic Law, since the transfer of sovereignty over Macau on 20 December 1999, this passport has been issued by the Identification Services Bureau (under the Secretariat for Administration and Justice) of the government of Macau under the prerogative of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.

The official languages of Macau are Portuguese and Chinese; consequently, all the passport's text is in traditional Chinese characters, Portuguese, and English.

Historical background

According to the nationality law of the People's Republic of China and the explanations of some questions by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress concerning the implementation of nationality law in Macau, any Macau permanent resident holding Chinese nationality can apply for the Macau SAR passport. Many residents of Macau also possess Portuguese citizenship by virtue of birth in Macau before 1981, naturalization or born to parents with Portuguese citizenship in Macau, therefore they are also eligible for, or currently holding, a Portuguese passport, which grants more visa-free countries than MSAR passport.

Physical features

The latest version of the passport — which is a biometric passport — was first issued by the Direcção dos Serviços de Identificação at the start of September 2009, instead of the previous machine-readable type.

The colour of the Macau SAR passport cover is bottle green with the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. It is inscribed with the titles of the PRC and the SAR in Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區護照; Portuguese: Região Administrativa Especial de Macau, República Popular da China, Passaporte and English: Macao Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China, Passport. Each passport consists of 48 numbered pages with a dimension of 125 mm × 88 mm (4.9 in × 3.5 in).

Pages in the passport are special-purpose papers printed with a watermark of the Great Wall of China, a rainbow pattern at the bottom of the pages and an embossed lotus flower.

Besides personal data, the supplemental page of passport is printed with the picture and fingerprint of that holder.

Application procedures

Macau SAR passports are only issued by the Direcção dos Serviços de Identificação (the Macau SAR Identification Department) in Macau.[1]

Macau SAR Permanent Resident Identity Card, two recent 1½-inch colour photos, the original of Macau SAR Passport (second time) are generally required to submit with an application form.

Qualified applicants can apply in Macau or overseas, if necessary.


Mainland China

Although MSAR passport is endorsed by Chinese government, the Ministry of Public Security does not accept MSAR passports for traveling between the mainland and Macau, since both mainland and Macau authorities agreed that using a passport for 'domestic' travel is 'unnecessary' and 'inappropriate'. However, those who are eligible for a Macau SAR passport are also eligible to apply for a Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents (colloquially known as a Home Return Permit through the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) which serves as a travel document to travel to the mainland, which is represented in Macau by the China Travel Service. The issuance is entirely at the discretion of the MPS, and so the possession of a Macau SAR passport does not necessarily guarantee the issuing of a Home Return Permit.

Macao residents who travel to the mainland from a third country without Home Return Permit may obtain Chinese Travel Document from the overseas Chinese embassies or consulates prior to travel.

Hong Kong

Regardless of their citizenship status, Macau permanent residents do not need passports to enter Hong Kong. Instead, residents must bring their permanent ID card, which grants 180-day visa free access to Hong Kong. Non-permanent residents can use Visit Permit for Residents of Macao to HKSAR to enter Hong Kong for 30 days.



According to Macau's Identity Services Bureau, as of January 2018 holders of the Macau SAR passports enjoy visa-free entry to 136 countries and territories worldwide, including all Member States of the European Union, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea.[2] With regards to Schengen Agreement signatory states, Macau SAR passport holders are also permitted to undertake a paid activity (i.e. work) visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden — though not in Portugal.[3] In Switzerland, another Schengen signatory state, Macao SAR passport holders are able to apply for a permit for a "gainful occupation" for a maximum of 8 days (in a calendar year) during their visa-exempt stay without the need to apply for a special work visa.[4] However, this 8 day (in a calendar year) visa exemption excludes gainful occupation in the primary or secondary construction industry, civil engineering, catering and hotel services, industrial and private cleaning industry, surveillance and security services and sex industry. Alternatively, if in possession of a long term residence permit issued by any other Schengen member state, the Macau SAR passport holder can exercise a gainful occupation for up to 3 months visa-free in Switzerland (without the industry-specific restrictions listed in the 8 day (in a calendar year) visa exemption). In Croatia (a European Union member state but not a Schengen signatory state), Macao SAR passport holders are permitted to undertake a paid activity (i.e. work) visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.[3]

Macau SAR passport holders aged between 18 and 30 are eligible to apply under the Working Holiday Scheme by the New Zealand Government.[5] If successful, a visa is issued which permits the holder to spend up to 12 months in New Zealand with the primary purpose of travelling, but also allowing for supplementary short-term employment or study. The scheme is highly competitive as there is a quota of 1000 visas issued annually to all Chinese nationals from both China and Macau (there is a separate quota system for Hong Kong applicants).

As Chinese citizens, holders of a Macau Special Administrative Region passport are entitled to full consular protection by Chinese foreign missions abroad.

On 10 April 2013, the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, announced that, starting from 2015, holders of Macao SAR e-passports would be able to use SmartGates in Australia on a trial basis.[6] The three passports were permanently included in the list of eligible nationalities in June 2016.

Biometric passports

The Identification Services Bureau (DSI) of the Macau SAR Government has been issuing e-passports and e-travel-permits since September 1, 2009. The design of Macau's world culture heritage sites are incorporated and watermarked onto the visa pages of MSAR e-passports.[7]

See also


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