Although Hong Kong is a part of China, it is also a Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), which means it has separate visa requirements. Indian passport holders coming for a short stay in Hong Kong were previously able to get a Hong Kong visa upon arrival at the border without pre-registering. In 2016 however, the HKSAR decided to withdraw the privilege, citing an ‘abuse’ of the the visa on arrival scheme by some Indian citizens. Now the majority of Indians coming to Hong Kong for short periods need to pre-register for visa, although there are several exceptions.
The India visa on arrival for Hong Kong
As of January 23rd 2017, Indian nationals need to complete a Hong Kong pre-arrival registration (PAR) before coming to the HKSAR for 14 days or less. Indian citizens are required to complete the Hong Kong visa online pre-registration if they have an Indian passport valid for at least six months, and intend to visit or transit through Hong Kong for a maximum period of 14 days. This excludes cases of direct transit where the traveler does not leave the international airport.
In order to obtain the visa on arrival for Hong Kong, Indian passport holders must complete a simple Hong Kong Par online pre-registration form for Indian citizens that will take under 20 minutes. Indian nationals must complete the registration with their passport information, taking care to make sure all the data is correct to ensure authorization. Applicants must also select and answer one of the pre-defined identification questions suggested during the registration.
Once the completed form is submitted, the result of the application will be displayed immediately on the screen. It’s necessary to print the pre-arrival registration certificate on a piece of blank A4 paper, to be shown at the Hong Kong border upon arrival.
Once registered, Indian passport holders can also check the status of the Hong Kong online visa. In case the Hong Kong PAR is lost, applicants also have the option to reprint the registration notification slip before arrival.
Hong Kong visa on arrival exemptions
The Hong Kong pre-registration is required for Indian nationals intending to visit Hong Kong for less than 14 days. Through the Hong Kong PAR application form, Indian nationals will be able to obtain the required authorization to visit Hong Kong. However, some exceptions exist. The Hong Kong PAR will not be required in the following situations:
- Indian diplomatic passport or official passport holders
- Hong Kong travel pass holders
- Indian nationals enrolled in the e-Channel service as frequent visitors
- Cases of direct transit where the traveler does not leave the airport transit zone.
- Indian nationals with the right of abode or the right to land in Hong Kong, those that have been granted an unconditional stay.
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer coming to the HKSAR on official United Nations business
- Operating aircrew or operating sea crew Indian nationals, subject to normal immigration requirements being met
- Those who have obtained a valid entry visa for Hong Kong and have valid permission for employment, study or residence.
Most Indian passport holders intending to stay longer in the HKSAR (for example, for employment, studies or to become a resident) must obtain a valid corresponding visa in order to stay an extended period.
However, if the citizen is coming from India to Hong Kong for 14 days maximum, pre-registering for the online Hong Kong visa is the best option. Note that the visa on arrival option is no longer available for citizens of India.