What is the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)?

hong kong sar

If you are traveling to Hong Kong soon, it is important to understand its geography and economy in addition to preparing for travel such as obtaining a visa for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is an urban jungle, just a cable car ride away from lush mountainous forests. Visiting HK is on many a traveler’s bucket list but when it comes down to the research, many ask what the difference is between HKSAR and Hong Kong or what HKSAR means? Read on to learn about Hong Kong and the HKSAR, as well as more information such as the official languages in Hong Kong and whether you require a Hong Kong PAR to transit in the HKSAR.

What Does HKSAR Stand for?

HKSAR stands for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In China, Hong Kong is recognized as the business center and regional financial leader. Finance is the largest industry in Hong Kong and ranks highly on a global scale, as well. It is part of the People’s Republic of China in what is also known as the “One Country, Two Systems” concept.

Since 1997, Hong Kong has maintained its own economic system from China and this also goes for its politics. In addition, Hong Kong has its own currency, known as the Hong Kong dollar. In terms of power, Hong Kong has its own legislative, judiciary and executive powers, although foreign affairs and military defense are not included.

At present, Hong Kong is set to maintain this quasi-independence until 2047, when the 50-year period that was initially agreed is due to come to an end.

What Language is Mostly Spoken in Hong Kong?

There are two official languages in Hong Kong; English and Chinese. Given Hong Kong’s history and financial industry, both languages are used on a day-to-day basis.

Hong Kong does not have its own “Hong Kong language” and instead, Chinese is one of the two official languages. However, Hong Kongers speak Cantonese which is the dialect of Southern China. While Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong, Mandarin is spoken in other parts of China and is also used for Government communication.

Cantonese and Mandarin use the same alphabet and characters, although that is the only similarity in terms of ease of communication.

Do I Need to Apply for a PAR If I Am Transiting in the HKSAR?

The Hong Kong PAR (Pre-Arrival Registration) is an authorization which can be issued to Indian nationals traveling to Hong Kong. It is not necessary to apply for a PAR if you do not plan on leaving the HK international airport while you are in transit. However, if during your transit you plan to leave the airport, it will be necessary to apply for a PAR.

Applying for a PAR is a simple process that involves completing an online application form prior to your trip to Hong Kong. In order to complete the application form, Indian nationals are required to fill out their personal information and passport details. The Hong Kong PAR for Indians permits a visit of up to 14 days.

If you are unsure as to whether you plan to leave the airport in Hong Kong while transiting to another destination, it is recommendable to apply for a PAR in the event that you wish to leave the airport. For those who have a short connecting flight in Hong Kong, it is not recommended that Indian citizens apply for a PAR.