The first thing you should know about Hong Kong is that the region allows most nationalities to enter without a visa. About 170 countries are visa-exempt and depending on your nationality, you can spend up 180 days, 90 days, 30 days, 14 days or 7 days in Hong Kong without a visa. Before leaving, you should do some research and see in which category you belong to avoid confusion. For example, the citizens of Great Britain can stay in Hong Kong for up to 180 days, while East Timor nationals can only spend 7 days there. As for the rest of the travelers who are not from visa-exempt countries, they are all required to get a visa at the nearest Chinese embassy.
If by chance you are a citizen of a country which is not visa-exempt, you need to seek out the nearest Chinese embassy and apply for a Hong Kong travel visa there. The application process is not complicated, but you do need to take a trip. While the internet can help you with almost all the information you need, our advice is to call the embassy to ask all the questions that needs to be answered. After all, the info you get online is for reference only.
What are the requirements for a Hong Kong travel visa?
Hong Kong’s visa policy is somewhat lenient. You do not need much to apply. Apart from the actual trip there, you should have an easy time getting through the process. The first thing you need is a passport. Not only that, but the passport needs to remain valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in Hong Kong. So, if your passport is about to expire, we recommend that you have it renewed. Also, it needs to have at least one blank page.
The next step is to fill in an application form. That should not take long, even if embassy forms are not the easiest to deal with. After you fill that in, you can submit it together with a couple of photographs. After that, all that is left for you to do is to wait for your visa to arrive. Depending on the case, that could take up to 4 weeks. Keep that in mind before you purchase your flight ticket.
Is there another way?
There is actually an alternative to getting a Hong Kong travel visa through an embassy. You can submit your application to the HKSAR Immigration Department directly or through a local sponsor. That may prove to be more convenient for you because you can fax all the required documents. However, the original copy of the application form and the photographs need to be sent in via air mail. The processing time is still 4 weeks, but at least this procedure can save you a long trip.
As you can see, getting a Hong Kong travel visa is not that complicated. It may entail a trip if you are not from a visa-exempt country but that is your best course of action.