Hong Kong is truly a delight to visit. The urban metropolis has all the things a tourist can dream of – an unmatched skyline, a vibrant cultural calendar, superb food and drinks and an amazing nightlife scene, beaches and parks to get away to and take the edge off. Thousands of tourists throng the city every year in search of premium enjoyment and relaxation. With the highest density of skyscrapers in the world that house some of the most sought-after restaurants, lounges and nightclubs, Hong Kong prides itself in its top notch hospitality. There is also a plethora of amusement parks that are great fun for the whole gang!
Hong Kong is a top travel destinations on an Indian tourist’s bucket list. Until recently, Hong Kong offered visa on arrival for Indian tourists. It was only in January 2017 that the government of Hong Kong revised its rules to make pre-arrival registration compulsory for Indian tourists that wish to spend time in Hong Kong. Indians will now be required to successfully complete online pre-arrival registration before visiting Hong Kong visa-free. Although the process is quite easy and done completely online, this change of rules might catch you off guard. In this post, we have put together a detailed summary of the steps you need to take to complete all the necessary paperwork so that you can enjoy your time in Hong Kong to the fullest.
Hong Kong’s Visa Policy
In January 2017, Hong Kong government made it compulsory for Indian tourists to complete an online pre-arrival registration that is valid up to six months before your travel date. It allows you multiple entries into Hong Kong for a period of 14 days. The process is completely online and the registration results are notified to the applicant immediately. Seven categories of applicants are exempt from the pre-arrival registration process:
- Holders of diplomatic or official passport
- Holders of United Nations Laissez Passer coming to Hong Kong on United Nations business
- Those who have successfully enrolled for the e-channel service for frequent visitors
- Holders of HKSAR travel pass
- Those who have obtained an entry visa for Hong Kong
- Members of an operating aircrew or seacrew onboard vessels
- Contract seamen
Applicants who do not fall under any of the above categories must duly complete the online pre-arrival registration process.
Pre-arrival Registration Requirements
Applicants have to fulfill the following eligibility criteria for successful results on their pre-arrival registration application.
- They should have an Indian passport that has been valid for at least six months.
- Their stay in Hong Kong should not exceed 14 days.
It is possible to apply for pre-registration on behalf of someone else, on the condition that the correct documents of the traveller are furnished during the time of pre-registration.
Pre-arrival Registration Procedure
The registration procedure consists of an online application form that has to be filled completely and correctly in order for the application to be successful. The application form itself consists nine sections, from part a to part i. Each section requires you to provide detailed information such as your personal data, your travel history, details of your itinerary, etc. Please note that all the information that you provide in the form must exactly match the details in your passport, otherwise the pre-arrival registration procedure will be unsuccessful.
The online form can be accessed on the Hong Kong immigration website here. Please make sure that you read all the guidelines carefully before applying. Once the form has been filled and submitted, you will be informed immediately about the results of your application. If the application is successful, the notification slip for the pre-arrival visa for Indian nationals must be printed on an A4 size sheet of paper, signed by the applicant and furnished on demand at the time of immigration along with your passport. For applicants below the age of 16, the notification slip must also be signed by their parents or guardians.
What happens if your application is unsuccessful?
An unsuccessful application is generally a result of incorrect information or among other reasons. If that does happen, the applicant must visit the Hong Kong Immigration Department and apply for an entry visa that would be valid for 14 days.
As you can see, the pre-arrival registration procedure is uncomplicated and user-friendly. With just a little bit of patience, the right documents in hand and correctly entering them in the online portal, you can get your pre-arrival visa notification slip for your visit to Hong Kong in no time. The registration is valid for six months and allows the applicant to make multiple visits to Hong Kong visa-free. On each visit, the applicant’s stay may not exceed 14 days.
For further details and help with planning a customized Hong Kong itinerary, do not hesitate to get in touch with TripFactory!