Is planning a trip to Hong Kong makes you wonder if you need a Hong Kong tourist visa? The truth is, it is not the same for everyone. It depends on what country you are from. Not all nationalities need to have a visa upon entry because some of them are visa-exempt. That is why you should read carefully and get all the information you need to know.
When is a Hong Kong tourist visa not required?
There are about 170 countries that are visa-exempt. As a result, their citizens are not required to apply for Hong Kong tourist visa. However, the maximum stay is not the same for all nationalities. Depending on your nationality, you can stay in Hong Kong for 180 days, 90, days, 60, days, 14, days, or 7 days. You should make proper inquiries to see how much time you can stay in Hong Kong. For example, UK and Macau citizens are allowed to remain in the region for up to 6 months, while the citizens of East Timor can only stay for 7 days.
Even if you are not required to have a Hong Kong tourist visa, you still need to have a passport. The remaining validity of the passport also differs. It needs to remain valid for 1 or 6 months, depending again on your nationality. Other requirements include a return flight ticket and proof of means of subsistence. Other than that, you are free to visit Hong Kong as long as you do not exceed the allowed maximum stay.
A special category of travelers is represented by the citizens of India. India is a visa-exempt country, and Indians can stay in the region for up to 14 days without a permit. However, as of January 23, 2017, all Indian travelers who want to enter Hong Kong need to apply for a pre-arrival registration. Even so, the process is online and easy to go through. iVisa can help with that.
When is a Hong Kong tourist visa required?
First of all, the citizens of visa-exempt countries also require a Hong Kong tourist visa if they plan to stay there more than the Hong Kong visa policy allows. For example, the citizens of India can stay in Hong Kong for 14 days without a visa, but if they plan to stay for longer, they need to apply for a Hong Kong tourist visa at the nearest Chinese embassy.
Secondly, there are 19 countries whose citizens do require a visa to enter Hong Kong. They need to go through an application process at the nearest Chinese embassy or submit their application to the HKSAR Immigration Department. While most of the documents can be sent via fax, you still need to send the original application form and the photographs via air mail. Even so, the second option is far more convenient than a trip to the consulate.
So, to answer your question, you may need a Hong Kong tourist visa, but only if you are not from a visa-exempt country or you are, but you want to spend more time in the region than you are allowed according to Hong Kong’s visa policy. Even so, if you wish to apply, the process is not that difficult, and you can get your visa in about 4 weeks.