What is the change? Hong Kong’s embassy in India has stopped issuing visas, a change that will significantly delay travel procedures for Indian nationals planning stays of more than 14 days in Hong Kong.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, Indian nationals applying for visas to Hong Kong must submit applications directly to the Hong Kong immigration department. This process is expected to take about four weeks compared with the four business days it took to obtain visas when applying at an embassy or consulate in India.    

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Hong Kong visas issued in India.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals traveling to Hong Kong for stays of more than 14 days.
  • Impact on processing times: The new procedures will take significantly longer than obtaining a visa at the embassy in India. Travelers should allow for at least four weeks to apply for a visa.

Background: In January, Hong Kong began requiring Indian nationals to pre-register online before traveling to Hong Kong for stays of 14 days or less. Authorities have now also announced that Hong Kong visas will not be issued in India. This means that for stays of more than 14 days Indian nationals must apply for the appropriate visa directly through the Hong Kong immigration department. Indian nationals whose visas have been approved can travel to Hong Kong after completing the pre-registration requirements and pick up their visas after arriving in Hong Kong. Additional details are available on the “Visit/Transit” page of the Hong Kong immigration department’s website.

BAL Analysis: Hong Kong visas will no longer be issued in India. Indian nationals planning travel to Hong Kong should be sure to leave enough time in their schedules to apply for a visa directly through the Hong Kong immigration department.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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