Online Application Instructions

General Instructions (for General and Central Applications)

Welcome to the online version of the ESF application for primary and secondary schools.

To get you started with the online application process, please read the instructions below. It has been our experience that applicants most successfully complete the application if they read the entire set of instructions before beginning.

The online application contains 10 sections, each designated by the following tabs:













Site Navigation

You can move from section to section within the online application by simply clicking one of the ten tabs. In addition, there are a number of quick links, which can help you navigate through the OAS form.‘Modify’ button – This function is available on the preview application page. If you wish to edit your application, you may go back to the application and make changes before submitting the application.

‘Submit’ button – This function is available after you have previewed the application and are ready to submit the application form.

‘Print’ button – This function is available after you submit your application. You should print a copy of the application for your records.

Privacy Policy – View our Privacy Policy on data collection and security.

Managing your application

Before you start completing your application, you will be asked the required Admissions Date. Please note this date is for our reference and is not a guarantee of placement.

Our schools will determine the Year Group for admission according to your child’s date of birth and the current education background. The Year Group may be adjusted to ensure your child’s date of birth matches the ESF system age requirements. See the ESF website under policy and procedures for Age to Year group table.

Once you have completed the application, you may preview the form before it is submitted. There is an ‘edit’ button to make any changes before submission. Once you hit the ‘submit’ button, the application is saved to the database and you will not be able to electronically edit any part of the application.

After submission if there are changes required to your application, you will need to email ESF at quoting your ‘application reference number’, your child’s name and details of changes required.

After successful submission, you will be asked to ‘print’ your application form. You should print one to retain for your records. Supporting documents (listed on the application checklist) should be submitted online.

One Online Form for ESF primary & secondary, Discovery College and Renaissance College

Effective from the 2018/19 academic year, all admissions will be a ‘one form’ application system for ESF primary / secondary schools, Discovery College and Renaissance College.

Parents may only submit one online application per child with their selected preference of schools. Parents may choose up to three selected schools: the ESF school of zone, Discovery College and/or Renaissance College. If a parent chooses the ESF school of zone as a selected school, there will be a fourth option available for parents to select an alternative ESF out of zone school. If there is an opportunity to interview, this fourth option may be considered if the three preferences of schools are not available; however, parents will be responsible for arranging transport to the out of zone school as there will not be a school bus service.

School zoning applies to ESF primary and secondary schools based on residential address at the time of application. Discovery College and Renaissance College remain zone free.

Important to note when selecting your preference of school(s):

  1. Parents must indicate minimum of one school, maximum of three. The choices are the ESF school of zone, Discovery College and Renaissance College. Once the form is completed, options cannot be altered and processing will be according to availability for one school only.
  2. If a parent chooses an ESF zoned school, the school zone in which the parent’s address lies is applied. Please refer to the ESF website under school zones for information.
  3. If there is no availability for any of your preferred schools, the application will be placed on a waitlist according to the first preferred school only.
  4. The application fee is charged based on your first preference except during Year 1 Central Application (see below section on Application Fee).

Parents will also be given the opportunity to indicate if you are willing to be considered for an alternative ESF out of zone school if there is no availability at the ESF school of zone. Only complete this option, if you are prepared to make your own travel arrangements as there may not be any PTA bus servicing your area.

Completing the Application Form

The online application form will take approximately 40-60 minutes to complete and upload your documents; suggested maximum time for online form is 90 minutes. Please allow yourself enough time before you start.

Be sure to check your email address and make sure it is accurate; otherwise, you will not receive any confirmation or updates from us.

In addition, please make sure your email account will not block correspondence from ESF, DC or RCHK. Some internet service providers have very sensitive security settings.

Please note: all correspondence will bear the exact name and will be sent to the contact address (email or mailing) you enter in your application. Please make sure this information is correct.

Before you begin the online application, please have ready the following:

  1. Your child’s Hong Kong ID, passport and birth certificate number and date of birth details.
  2. If your child has siblings, their Hong Kong ID or passport number and date of birth details.
  3. Details of your child’s previous school history.
  4. A digital photo of your child saved on your computer.
  5. Credit Card details for application fee online payment
  6. Supporting documents (listed on the application checklist) in PDF format

Data Fields

Mandatory fields are identified with a red asterisk *. If no information is available for input to a mandatory field, you should ‘click’ the ‘N/A’ (not applicable) button next to the field or type ‘NA’.

Digital Photo and Supporting Documents:

You should upload your child’s digital photo in JPEG and supporting documents in PDF format to the application form. Please save a copy on your computer before you start the online application.

After completing your application, click the submit button. The Online Admission System will verify all necessary data is entered correctly. There will be a delay of approximately 30-60 seconds before you view the next screen.

Once the online application form is submitted, the following will occur:

  1. You will see on the screen an ‘application slip’ with your 13-digit unique application reference number. This reference number along with your child’s name is used for enquiry and in correspondence with the school.
  2. You will receive an acknowledgement email from the Online Admissions System. (Please note you may not receive if your email address is incorrect or the security on your provider has blocked our school email.)

Application Fee -- Online Payment

The final step for a completed application is payment of the application fee.

The application fee is HK$2,000 for ESF primary and secondary schools, Discovery College (DC) and Renaissance College (RCHK). This is a non-refundable, non-transferable fee which covers the cost of admissions administration, including personnel, system costs, commissions paid to our online service provider, etc. Due to the high number of applications, the collection of this fee does not constitute any assurance that an interview or a school place will be offered. Method of payment is by VISA/MasterCard through PayDollar, our online payment service provider.

Please ensure that you have applied for the appropriate academic year. The application fee will NOT be refunded for incorrect application or early application.

You will be redirected to for online payment. PayDollar is a leading, secure and reliable international payment service provider to banks and online merchants since 2000. Your payment details are securely transmitted to the acquiring bank. ESF will not have access or keep any of your credit card information.

PayDollar supports CVV/CVC check. You will be requested to enter the three- or four-digit code found on the back of your credit card. If you decide to use a VISA card issued by a bank which has launched the “Verified BY VISA” or MasterCard Secure Code, you will be required by the bank to provide details for verification.

Please note: If you are experiencing difficulties using the ‘online’ application form, please update your browser setting or review your security settings.

After payment is complete, you are prompted to print the payment result for your own reference.

If your online payment fails, please try again by clicking the link provided on the auto email acknowledgement.

An applicant can only be considered when the necessary application fee payment has been received.

Supporting Documents

In addition to the application form, you are required to submit supporting documents according to the application checklist on the ESF website electronically. An applicant can only be considered when the necessary documents are received. You may upload the supporting documents later if you do not have them on hand at the point of application.

If you are applying for Central Applications in September 2022 for Year 1 or Year 7 for the next academic year 2023/24, supporting documents must be uploaded on the online application form by 8 October 2022 for Year 1 and by 5 October 2022 for Year 7.

We suggest parents do not wait until the Central Admissions deadline of 30 September 2022 to submit the online application.

If you are applying under General Applications for ESF primary or secondary school, supporting documents must be uploaded to the online application form within 7 days to complete the application.

Final Thoughts

Before you begin work on your online application form, please be aware of the following:

Check the information and items to have ready to ensure you know exactly what needs to be submitted in order for you to be considered for admission.

If you are using a computer which is not your own, when you have completed application, please be sure to close your browser for security reasons to protect your personal data.

For general applications, your child’s application will be placed on the first preference school waiting list. The Admissions Office at the school will contact you for admissions assessment when there is a place available for your child.

If you are not sure that your application was submitted, for example you did not receive an Application Reference Number, it is your responsibility to contact the English Schools Foundation to ensure your application was received on our database.



ESF Admissions hotline: +852 3762 2411

Updated on: 13 July 2021