Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians

Posted on:23 Jan 2017 09:44:56
Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians
23 January 2017 Current Affairs: In a setback to Indian travellers, Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians who will have to complete a pre-arrival registration from 23 Jan 2017. 

The Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23. The online service for Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals is now open.

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 .

A notice on the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong said Indian passport holders without the Pre-Arrival Registration Slip, except those belonging to any of the exempted categories, would not be allowed to board a conveyance bound for Hong Kong. 

Till now Hong Kong has permitted Indians to enter with valid passport for a period up to 14 days without a visa. But the facility has been withdrawn despite representations from India ostensibly on the ground that the number of Indian asylum seekers was on the rise .

There is also concern whether the move is being brought about by Hong Kong due to pressure from China. 

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