India is one of the biggest emerging tourist source markets for Hong Kong. Since 2014 over a half a million Indian travelers visited Hong Kong, this is expected to continue the double-digit growth in the number of families and young travelers from India.
The visa-free entry for Indians undoubtedly played a catalyst behind this phenomenal growth. But the scenario now has taken a drastic change as Hong Kong tightened Visa-Free Facility for India.
According to the Hong Kong Immigration department with the view to ensure a proper balance between facilitation of genuine visitors from India and the need to safeguard the integrity of immigration control.
This unanticipated alteration with the visa –free policy might have an adverse effect on genuine visitors from India visiting Hong Kong. With effect from January 23, 2017, Indian nationals apply online. Primarily the pre-arrival registration before they can continue to enjoy the 14-day visa-free visit.
How to Apply
• Indian nationals shall access the designated government official website for Hong Kong.
• Fill the pre-arrival form
• Registration is free of charge
• If any charges applied would be informed through the website
• Giving fake information on the registration form is liable to prosecution.
* Each pre-arrival registration is valid for 6 month
* The expiry date of the passport also is equally important in the successful issuance of the gateway to Hong Kong
* Normal immigration eligibilities have to be met
* A valid notification slip ought to be attested along with the pre-arrival registration
* And a valid passport plays a prominent role which has to be linked.
* The linked passport to the successful pre-arrival registration to make multiple visits to Hong Kong visa-free
* Valid notification slip need to match the registration record for clearance arrival in Hong Kong
* The benefit of staying up to 14days.
* In case of rejection the applicant can apply directly to the immigration department for an entry visa if intended to visit Hong Kong.
* An appropriate visitor visa application is required if an Indian national intends to visit Hong Kong in a trip for more than 14 days.
* More over the computer system will display the result instantly once the registration is made
* Holders of a valid Indian diplomatic or official passport.
* Holders of United Nations authorized document of coming to the HKSAR or in transit to/from a third place for official United Nations business.
* Those who have successfully enrolled for e-Channel service for frequent visitors.
* Holders of a valid Hong Kong Travel Pass.
* Those who have obtained a valid entry visa for Hong Kong or the right for unconditional stay in Hong Kong.
* Indian nationals who are a member of an operating aircrew.
* A contract sea man may come without pre-arrival registration, subject to normal immigration requirements being met.
Though the Hong Kong authority has not specified why it is bringing about this change, which affects half a million Indians who travel to Hong Kong every year, Indian officials believe Hong Kong wants to curb the number of asylum seekers from India.
Hong Kong has become an attractive destination for asylum seekers since the yesteryears from the sub-continent as it offered facilities for food and stay free of cost until the asylum requests are processed.
Travelers, furthermore, are advised to submit authentic details, as doing otherwise would subject them to legal consequences. The rule would also be extended to other countries not just India in the days to come.
Like a blessing in disguise, the altered policy presents itself with a conditioned applied benefit. Enabling travelers who clear pre-arrival registration will receive a six-month pass during which they can enter Hong Kong multiple times for a maximum duration of 14 days per stay.
The newly measured policy is considered as a pilot scheme which will be reviewed. Nevertheless, this is the first time Hong Kong has implemented such a restriction. The revised rule aimed to promote medical and wellness tourism in line with the government’s policy.
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