New delhi: : India has conveyed to Hong Kong that it is important that visa and immigration system help people-to-people exchanges and not create additional hurdles after it scrapped visa-free 14-day stay for Indians.
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh in a written reply to Lok Sabha said Hong Kong has also been reminded of India’s liberalisation of visa system for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders through online visa facility.
He noted that earlier Indian passport holders who visited Hong Kong for less than 14 days for tourism and such purposes could enter without first obtaining visa but since January 23 Hong Kong authorities have introduced mandatory pre-arrival registration.
“Government of India has conveyed to HKSAR authorities that in view of expanding people-to-people and business ties, it is important that visa and immigration system help such exchanges and not create additional hurdles.
“They have also been reminded of Government of India’s liberalisation of visa system for HKSAR passport holders through online visa facility,” Mr Singh said.
According to the Hong Kong information services department website, “From January 23, Indian nationals must apply for and complete online pre-arrival registration before enjoying their 14-day visa-free visit, or entering Hong Kong during transit.
“The pre-arrival registration for Indian nationals’ platform will launch on December 19. Registration is free. The computer system will display the result instantly once the registration is made.”
Only those Indian nationals who successfully complete online pre-arrival registration could enter Hong Kong and obtain visa on arrival. For others they are required to obtain prior visa before arriving in Hong Kong.