The Immigration Department of Hong Kong has recently announced that Indian passport holders will now require a pre-arrival registration before travelling to Hong Kong. However, travellers to Hong Kong need not worry, as the visa for Indian passport holders is still free. The only additional requirement is an online application for the pre-arrival registration, which is also free of charge. The rule will come into effect on 23 January 2017, and the online service for “Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals” is now opened.
Under the current arrangement, Indian nationals do not require a visa to visit Hong Kong for a stay up to 14 days. However, with effect from the 23rd January 2017, Indian nationals must successfully complete the pre-arrival registration online before they can enjoy a visa-free visit to Hong Kong.
Indian nationals can make use of the online service to apply for the pre-arrival registration if they meet two conditions. Firstly, they should hold an Indian passport, which is valid for at least six months. Secondly, the intend to visit or transit Hong Kong for a stay not exceeding 14 days.
The applicants will be required to answer a few questions while online registration. After filling in the required information, the registration result will be made to known instantly.
The following categories of Indian Nationals are exempted from pre-arrival registration requirement:
- Holders of Indian diplomatic or official passport
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer coming to Hong Kong or transiting Hong Kong for official United Nations business
- Those who have successfully enrolled for e-channel services for frequent visitors
- Holders of HKSAR Travel Pass
- Those who have obtained an entry visa for Hong Kong
- Member of operating aircrew or operating seacrew on board vessels
- Contract seaman
Also, India Nationals, who have the right of abode or the right to land in the HKSAR, are on unconditional stay in the HKSAR or have a valid permission to remain in the HKSAR for employment, are exempted from pre-registration requirement.
Even though the Hong Kong administration has not mentioned any a specific reason for a huge change in the Immigration rule, Indian officials believe that Hong Kong wants to curb the number of asylum seekers from India.
If you are planning a holiday in Hong Kong anytime soon, click here for your pre-arrival registration.
You can watch the complete process of online registration here.