The increasing numbers of Asylum seekers has forced the Hong Kong Immigration authorities to implement a Pre-arrival visa for visitors entering Hong Kong. With effect from January 23, 2017 Indian nationals who want to visit will initially have to complete an online application, a pre-arrival registration to avail a 14-day visa to Hong Kong. “The Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23rd, 2017. The online service for ‘Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals’ is now opened,” announced the immigration department of Hong Kong, in a statement via their official website.
The government believes that out of 10,450 asylum seekers, over 20% crowd come from the Indian population. These people move to Hong Kong with an intention of seeking asylum and by the assistance of several agents, they manage to get employed in Hong Kong companies. “Indian nationals must apply for and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free (if seeking to enter the HKSAR during transit). Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area,” said the announcement.
As India has half a million people from trade and business who are frequent visitors to Hong Kong, this pre-registration rule comes as setback and many businessmen and certain political parties are opposing this pre-registration plan.