Although Hong Kong is a ‘Special Administrative Region’ (SAR) of China, it has its own system of government and separate immigration laws. This means that a visa for China does not grant travellers access to Hong Kong and vice versa.
Whether you need a visa for Hong Kong from China does not depend on which country or territory you are coming from (including China). It depends on your nationality and other factors.
In general, Hong Kong is very open to foreigners. It is a global capital of finance and tourists and business people are welcome. Hong Kong was under British control until 1997 and the rules have basically stayed the same since it was returned to Chinese control.
Visitors can apply for a Hong Kong Tourist Visa and the authorities have recently introduced the pre-arrival registration (PAR) for Indian citizens. Many nationalities can enter Hong Kong visa-free for the moment.
Who needs a visa for Hong Kong?
Citizens from 170 countries can enter Hong Kong for limited periods without obtaining a visa. The amount of time visitors can enter for depends on their nationality.
British citizens can stay for up to 180 days and this is the maximum. Citizens from other countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, EU countries, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina, can enter for periods of up to 90 days.
Many other nationalities across Asia, Africa, and the Americas can enter for either 7, 14, 30 or 90 days depending on the country of origin. Indian nationals can stay for up 14 days with a Hong Kong PAR.
If you wish to stay for longer than the visa-free period you’re entitled to it is necessary to apply for a visa for Hong Kong. Nationalities who are not entitled to visa-free entry also need to obtain a visa.
Click here to see a full visa map for Hong Kong.
How to apply for a Hong Kong tourist visa
Travellers can apply for a Hong Kong visa by completing the application form (either an ID 1003 A form or an ID 1003 B form). It is necessary to include the supporting documentation and submit the application to the Receipt and Despatch Unit at the Immigration Department.
Applicants can apply by post, through a local sponsor, or at their nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.
Hong Kong tourist visa requirements
To successfully apply, travellers who apply for a Hong Kong tourist visa must be able to show that:
- They have sufficient funds to cover the cost of their trip
- If the applicant has applied for a transit visa it’s necessary to present the onward ticket (unless they are travelling to China or Macao)
- They have a valid passport from an eligible country
How to apply for a Hong Kong visa from India?
Citizens of India can apply for a PAR (Pre-Arrival Registration) by completing the PAR application form. At the moment it is only available for Indians, though the scheme may be expanded in the future.
The online form is straightforward and contains questions regarding the traveller and their travel plans. Applicants have to enter information such as their name, address, date of birth, passport details, and travel dates. It is necessary to have a valid Indian passport with at least six months remaining to apply.
The information provided on the form must match exactly with the passport details of the applicant. Failure to do so, or travelling with a different document to the one registered with the system can lead to entry being denied to the SAR.
The PAR Hong Kong Visa for Indians is valid for a period of six months and allows multiple entries into Hong Kong. Each trip must not exceed the 14-day limit. Once the authorization has been approved, applicants will be unable to apply again until it expires or if their travel documents expire or need to be replaced.