In 2016, More than 5 Lakh 60 thousand Indian tourists visited Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most popular destinations for Indian citizens going abroad, as it provides “visa-free” entry to Indians for a stay up to 14 days. Till the end of 2016, Indians who had a valid passport could simply catch a flight to Hong Kong, land at the airport there and directly head into the city (visa-free entry, yay!). It was that simple.
However, starting from January 23, 2017, there was a slight modification to the visa-free facility for Indians. Indian residents must complete 1 additional step. They must apply for and successfully complete “Online Pre-Arrival Registration” before they can continue to enjoy the current 14-day visa-free visit to Hong Kong. Visa on arrival at Hong Kong is not provided either.
So what is “Online Pre-Arrival Registration” and how to apply for it? Let us take a look.
Online Pre-Arrival Registration
The “Online Pre-Arrival Registration” (PAR) is a notification slip that serves as an immigration document for Indian passport holders who wish to enter Hong Kong. It allows Visa-free entry for a stay of up to 14 days. It has a validity of 3 months and multiple entry is allowed during the period. There is no fee involved.
Who can apply for the Hong Kong Pre-Arrival Registration?
An Indian citizen having a valid passport can apply for the Hong Pre-Arrival Registration if he/she;
- Intends to visit Hong Kong for not more than 14 days
- Intends to visit Hong Kong for the purpose of travel or business conferences
If one wants to go to Hong Kong for the purpose of employment, study in a school or university there, join a business or take up residence, they would need to apply for the appropriate visa. The Hong Kong Pre-Arrival Registration will not be applicable for these purposes.
How to Apply for Hong Kong Pre-Arrival Registration?
You can apply for the Pre-Arrival Registration online in 3 easy steps.
1. Visit Hong Kong Immigration Website and input registration details
Indian citizens can do the “Online Pre-Arrival Registration” (PAR is free of charge) through this Hong Kong government website. Input the required details in the online forms shown to you. Keep your current valid passport handy (with a minimum validity of 6 months).
2. Confirm registration details
Once you have input the required information, confirm that the information in the Registration is exactly the same as in your Indian passport. The Hong Kong immigration system will process the registration automatically and display the result, that is, whether “Pre-Arrival Registration” has been successful or not. For registrants who are less than 16 years of age, their parent or legal guardian must check if the information is correct and sign the slip.
3. Print and sign the Pre-Arrival Registration notification slip
If the Pre-Arrival Registration has been successful for you, then print your notification slip on a blank A4 white paper. This slip will serve as one of the important documents required for boarding a flight to Hong Kong and also for clearing immigration after reaching Hong Kong. Make sure to sign your notification slip.
Here is a video by the Hong Kong Immigration Department that explains Pre-Arrival Registration for Indians ;
Please Note :
The Pre-Arrival Registration Notification Slip does not guarantee entry to Hong Kong
Successfully applying for and getting a Pre-Arrival Registration slip does not guarantee your entry to Hong Kong. Apart from fulfilling normal immigration requirements, a person entering Hong Kong should not raise any security concerns (criminal activity concerns), have a convincing purpose of visit and have the funds required to cover the duration of his/her stay before entry to Hong Kong may be granted.
Lost or damaged Pre-Arrival Registration Notification Slip
If your notification slip is lost or damaged, you can simply print another one, sign it and it would be good for use. Make sure to save a copy of your notification slip (soft copy or photocopy).
Documents to be produced at the Hong Kong Immigration Desk
Indian nationals travelling to Hong Kong are expected to carry the following documents ;
1. Valid Pre-Arrival Registration (PAR) notification slip
A Pre-Arrival Registration notification slip will be valid for a maximum of 6 months. The holder of the PAR would be able to make multiple trips to Hong Kong visa-free within those 6 months. On each visit, the PAR holder would be able to stay for 14 days in Hong Kong.
Please Note: One can check the validity of the Pre-Arrival Registration through the Hong Kong Immigration Department Mobile App.
2. Valid Indian Passport which is linked with PAR
Take along with you your Valid Indian Passport, the details of which you have linked with your Pre-Arrival Registration. The Passport must have a minimum validity of at least 6 months.
3. Return/onward flight ticket and Hotel Bookings
It’d be better for you to do your flight and hotel bookings once you have applied for your Pre-Arrival Registration successfully. You would lose a lot of money If you booked non-refundable flights or hotel rooms for travel to Hong Kong and then your online PAR application was rejected.
4. Business – Visiting card (if going for business meetings or conference)
If you are going for a business meeting or conference, you need to bring along a document verifying the same which could be an invitation letter or visiting card.
5. Sufficient funds (to cover your stay in Hong Kong)
You must have sufficient funds in hand at your time of entry in Hong Kong. You may be asked to show proof of funds during immigration. Typically, $100 HKD/day per person would be ideal. Based on this rate, calculate how much money you’d need for your trip. Also, make sure to have credit/debit cards as a backup in your wallet.
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Extension of stay in Hong Kong beyond the 14 day period granted by Pre-Arrival Registration
While Hong Kong welcomes tourists, the country is strict about requests for extension of stay. After arriving in Hong Kong, if you feel you require more time than the 14 day period granted under Pre-Arrival Registration, you would need to apply for an extension of stay. Do this by filling an Extension of Stay form and paying HKD $190 charge.
Also, you’d need to provide a very convincing reason for applying for the Extension of Stay. Maybe you have friends or family in Hong Kong with whom you’d like to spend more time and thus wish to extend your stay. Otherwise, it could be business reasons that need your time and attention in Hong Kong.
You can extend your stay for the following business-related activities;
- Concluding contracts
- Submitting tenders
- Examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment
- Participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except for selling goods or services directly to public)
- Settling compensation or other civil proceedings
- Participating in product orientation
- Attending short-term seminars or other business meetings
Fill the form and submit to the address below ;Submit the Extension of Stay applications at least 7 days before your stay period under Pre-Arrival Registration expires.
|Address : Extension Section, Immigration Department
5/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Please Note : If you know beforehand that you would be staying in Hong Kong for more than 14 days, then it is recommended to apply for a Visit Visa beforehand itself. Usually, Extension of stay applications is scrutinised strictly and prone to be rejected. It is prudent to avoid such a scenario by applying for a Visit Visa if you are sure that your stay in Hong Kong would require more than 14 days.
What To Do If Your Hong Kong Pre-Arrival Registration Is Rejected?
If your Pre-Arrival Registration application is rejected then you have to apply for a visiting visa to Hong Kong.
How to Apply for Hong Kong Visit Visa?
Hong Kong Visit Visa (tourist visa) applications have to be sent directly to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong by way of a post from India. It could also be done in person if you have a valid sponsor in Hong Kong who can submit the application on your behalf by going directly to the Immigration Department there.
Hong Kong Visa Fee
For applying Hong Kong visit visa, a fee of HK$190 has to be paid per passport. The payment has to be made to the Hong Kong Immigration Department via a Bank Draft.
Also in picture : Extension of Stay fee – HK$190
Applying via Post
If you are submitting the visa application via post, then the process might take anywhere between 6-10 weeks before you’ll receive the Visa tags. You’ll receive the visa tags to your mailing address (that is if your application has been approved). Usually, there is no way to track the status of your application as they won’t be sending us the acknowledgement number. However, if for some reason (clarifying details, asking for more information etc), the Immigration department gets in touch with you via e-mail, then your acknowledgement number will be present in the e-mail and you’d be able to track the status of your visa application.
Send the originals of the required documents by post/courier to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Also, include the Bank Draft of HK$ 190 fees
Applying directly through a local sponsor
If you are submitting your Hong Kong visa application through a local sponsor, then the sponsor can pay the visa fees too on your behalf and collect the visa tags in person. This would cut the total visa processing time down to 4-6 weeks. The local sponsor would get an acknowledgement number after submitting your application. Thus you’ll find it easy to track the status of your application.
Suppose you need to apply for a Hong Kong Visa urgently, then it is recommended to fax the required documents to the Immigration Department there [Fax : +(852) 2824 1133]. Include a cover letter in the fax message explaining why your application should be considered urgent.
Immigration Department Hong Kong Contact;
5/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Tel: +(852) 2824 1212
Fax: +(852) 2824 1133 Enquiry: +(852) 2824 6111
Please Note : The Chinese Consular and Diplomatic Missions will not accept Visit Visa applications to Hong Kong from Indian citizens. Address the visa applications directly to the Immigration Department present in Hong Kong.
For further enquiries regarding Pre-Arrival Registration or Hong Kong Visa, you can contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department by e-mail to [email protected] or by telephone +852 2824 6111.
Hong Kong Transit Visa for Indians
Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian citizens in direct transit by air through Hong Kong and not leaving the airport transit area. If you have long layovers and if you want to get out of the airport, you need to get your PAR approved beforehand. A transit visa is not required.
Pre-Arrival Registration For Indian Citizens- www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/pre-arrival_registration_for_indian_nationals.html