The Hong Kong Security Bureau is imposing stricter entry requirements for Indian nationals entering Hong Kong for business and tourism on or after January 23, 2017.
Indian passport holders – who are currently allowed to enter Hong Kong without a visa for up to 14 days – will be required to complete an online pre-registration called a Pre-Arrival Registration (PAR) prior to travel. The new measures are meant to address the increasing number of Indian economic migrants who enter Hong Kong illegally.
The PAR will be valid for six months or until the expiry date of the applicant’s Indian passport, whichever is earlier. During the validity of the PAR, a registrant can use a valid notification slip with the Indian passport linked to the PAR to make multiple visits to Hong Kong without a visa for up to 14 days each visit.
The PAR is an online system that will require the traveller to answer questions regarding travel history, contact information in India and Hong Kong, amount of funds available and purpose of visit, among other questions. The system will conduct a risk assessment and will instantly issue a printable approval slip.
The information entered into the system must match the information in the traveller's passport and the traveler must use the same passport that is linked to the PAR when entering Hong Kong.
Additionally, the following Indian nationals are exempt from PAR as long as they meet normal immigration requirements:
Those in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area;
Those with residence rights or valid permission to work or study in Hong Kong;
Holders of a valid Indian diplomatic or official passport;
Holders of United Nations Laissez Passer visiting or transiting Hong Kong to/from a third country for official United Nations business;
Successful enrollees in an e-Channel service for Frequent Visitors;
Holders of a valid HKSAR Travel Pass;
Those who have obtained a valid entry visa for Hong Kong; and
Indian nationals who are members of operating aircrew or operating sea-crew on board vessels.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers planning to send Indian passport holders to Hong Kong on business visits should consider the additional time required for their employees to obtain approval slips prior to entry.
Indian nationals should keep their approval slips in their passports and be ready to present them to immigration authorities. Failure to do so may prevent entry into Hong Kong.