© Sean Pavone / 123RF

Hong Kong launched its electronic visa


It’s the December 28, 2021 that the first Hong Kong e-Visas have been issued. A week earlier, the Hong Kong government announced that this launch would allow eligible applicants to create their file online and receive their e-Visa directly in their mailbox. This means that these applicants no longer need to go to the immigration office today. According to the government, for those eligible, all visas are expected to be scanned during 2022. Applicants have the option of submitting forms on the Immigration Department’s website or mobile app, named “ImmD”, as well as on the GovHK website, and then simultaneously receive their e-Visa. This e-Visa is also intended to replace the paper format and existing self-adhesive labels for passports in order to limit document falsification. The new document will look like its physical predecessor, but will include an encrypted QR code that can only be read by the Ministry app. However, the labels including visas / entry permits / extensions of stay issued before December 28, 2021 will remain valid in accordance with the information indicated therein. The types of electronic visas issued online are as follows: – Foreign domestic helpers; – The “Quality Migrant Admission Scheme”, that is, highly qualified people born abroad. This admission program aims to improve Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness on a global scale; – Work and tourist visas; – Visa extensions In addition, the department clarified that the e-Visa agreement would not be applicable to visas / entry permits issued by Chinese diplomatic and consular missions or immigration divisions of continental government offices of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Current restrictions at Hong Kon

Since Saturday January 8, 2022, travelers coming from France and 7 other countries (Australia, Canada, United States, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom and Philippines) or having stayed there for more than 2 hours in the last 21 days, including residents, are prohibited from entering the territory of Hong Kong. This measure, put into effect for a minimum period of 14 days (until January 21), is subject to renewal. The Hong Kong government also announced a ban on large-scale public events and the closure of 15 types of businesses, such as bars, nightclubs, and sports halls. The restaurants remain open, but it will be forbidden to dine after 6 p.m. To prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading, the Hong Kong government wants to apply a “Zero Covid” strategy. The latter consists first of all in isolating any person entering its territory for a long period of time: for example, any person of French origin who arrived in Hong Kong before January 8, 2022 was obliged to isolate himself for a period of 21 days. Note that all carriers of the virus gene, as well as contact cases, also had to isolate themselves for a long time. Wearing a mask remains compulsory, and restrictions on gatherings of more than four people in public as well as quotas in restaurants have been maintained.
This strategy has borne fruit, since Hong Kong, a city of 7.5 million inhabitants, has recorded just over 12,000 cases and “only” 213 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

As for the Omicron variant, it had infected “only” a hundred people in Hong Kong. Most were travelers tested on arrival or during their quarantine. A few days ago, a cluster was discovered in a restaurant. A massive test campaign was therefore launched and measures were taken to curb contamination.

Travel advice (security)

Following the major protests of 2019, it is necessary to consider the issue of security in the context of a stay in Hong Kong. In addition, a law on national security, which also applies to foreign nationals, entered into force on July 1, 2020. This law provides for 4 charges: – secession; – subversion; – terrorism; – collusion with a foreign state or external elements Political positions, including on social networks, are likely to come within the scope of this law. As in other destinations, some protests may take place against bills. It is recommended to stay away, especially as foreign travelers.

How is Hong Kong an attractive and attractive destination?

The former British colony is a warm and surprising metropolis where nature, temples, and buildings are one. To see it, take the height and enjoy the exceptional view offered by the Victoria peak. You can contemplate the skyscrapers, hills and lush greenery of Hong Kong. To immerse yourself in Chinese culture, it is essential to discover the Temple Street night market, where you can find your future “made in Hong Kong” souvenir. If you are drawn to Asian historical monuments, you should definitely visit the Man Mo Temple. This temple of sublime architecture was erected in 1847.
The Buddha of Tian Tan, or “Big Buddha”, is one of the biggest attractions in the Hong Kong metropolis. It is 34 meters high. Far from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, the Sai Kung Peninsula will offer nature lovers sumptuous beaches and postcard-style hikes. Finally, we advise you to visit the Tai O village, which has managed to keep all the authenticity of its houses on stilts. Note that the climate in Hong Kong is subtropical. The best time to visit is from October to December, when the temperature can reach 25 degrees and the humidity is lowest.