What is the change? Indian nationals traveling to Hong Kong on a visa waiver are reminded that new rules requiring preregistration take effect Jan. 23.

What does the change mean? Indian nationals planning upcoming travel to Hong Kong without a visa and relying on visa-exempt status must preregister online before travel. Indian nationals who are enrolled as frequent visitors using the e-Channel service are exempt as long as their e-Channel permission is valid.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. Preregistration is available now and becomes mandatory for travel on and after Jan.23.
  • Visas/permits affected: Fourteen-day visa exemption.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals visiting Hong Kong without a visa.
  • Impact on processing times: The online preregistration process takes minutes to complete and a notification slip is issued instantly.
  • Business impact: Travelers risk being turned away if they do not have their preregistration notification slip.

Next steps: Travelers must go online to the Hong Kong Immigration Department website’s Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals page, fill out personal information and print out a notification slip that they must show upon boarding their flight and upon arrival to a Hong Kong immigration officer. The registration is valid for six months and may be used for multiple entries.

Background: The preregistration applies to each visitor who is traveling as visa-exempt. If family members are traveling together, each member must fill out a separate preregistration form online and print out a notification slip. Travelers who are transiting by air and not leaving the airport transit area are exempt.

BAL Analysis: Indian nationals planning travel to Hong Kong as visa-free visitors should register online. Travelers are reminded that if they are planning to stay longer than 14 days or conduct non-visitor activities, they are required to obtain a visa at a consulate.

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

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