Hong Kong Withdraws No-Visa Policy For Indian Nationals
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HSAR) withdrew its NO-Visa policy for Indian citizens. HSAR announced Indian nationals must apply for and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free (if seeking to enter the HKSAR during transit).
Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area.
Before this change, Indians were allowed to enter Hong Kong with a valid passport for up to 14 days without a visa. A Pre-Arrival Registration is normally valid for a six month period or until the expiry date of the Indian passport linked to it, whichever is earlier, it said. The Indian Consulate said Indian passport holders without the Pre-Arrival Registration Slip, except those belonging to any of the exempted categories, would not be allowed to board a conveyance bound for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong said the move is to curb the number of asylum seekers from India. But Indian officials said asylum seekers is a small percentage of over half a million Indian visitors to Hong Kong who travel for business, trade and tourism. India said this was just a pretext to deny the visa free entry to Indians who are one of the major spenders, contributing the local economy. Hong Kong’s immigration department said the new visa requirement is a pilot scheme and will be reviewed after its launch.