Visa move aims to stem bogus refugees

Local | Stella Wong 13 Dec 2016

Indian nationals need to register online before enjoying the current 14-day visa- free visit to Hong Kong from January 23 next year.

The move aims to stop the flood of bogus refugees and asylum-seekers from the sub-continent, the Immigration Department said.

Indian travelers need to access the "Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals platform" section at the GovHK website and provide the necessary information and the result will be released immediately. They have to print the notification slip generated by the system for immigration check.

The pre-arrival registration is valid for six months, during which the registrant can make multiple visits to Hong Kong with the valid notification slip and the Indian passport linked to the registration.

In case registration is unsuccessful, an entry visa can be obtained from the Immigration Department directly.

"Pre-arrival registration for Indian nationals is implemented with a view to ensuring a proper balance between facilitation of genuine visitors from India and the need to safeguard the integrity of immigration control," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

The new arrangement will not impede genuine applicants from visiting Hong Kong, he added.

Holders of an Indian diplomatic or official passport or a Hong Kong Travel Pass, and Indian nationals who have successfully enrolled for the e-Channel service for frequent visitors are exempted from the new requirement. The online registration scheme is available from Monday and is free of charge.

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