Practices of Trusted Traveler Program Adopted in Hong Kong

Practices of Trusted Traveler Program Adopted in Hong Kong



Session 3

Trusted Traveler Program Adopted in Hong Kong, China

Purpose: Information

Submitted by: Hong Kong, China

/ High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation Bali, Indonesia 1-2 October 2013

Trusted Traveler Program Adopted in Hong Kong, China

Following the endorsement of the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) as one of the six elements under the Travel Facilitation Initiatives by APEC in 2011, HKC would like to take this opportunity to report to members what have been done so far to support the TTP in facilitating the entry of bona fide travelers coming to Hong Kong.

Localized Initiatives

  1. Issue of Travel Pass to Visa-free visitors

Travel Pass Scheme was introduced in January 1998. Under the existing arrangement, visa-free visitors with 3 trouble-free travel records in the preceding year may apply for the Travel Pass. The Travel Pass is valid for 3 years with multiple entries with a stay of 60 days on each landing. The Scheme covers eligible visitors from most of the APEC countries. The Scheme is not only applicable to eligible APEC nationals but also facilitate frequent visitors and businessmen alike from other countries. The relatively longer period of stay of 60 days by using the Travel Pass than the visa-wavier periods accorded to some individual APEC nationals will allow great flexibility and convenience for business travelers to engage international business negotiations and activities in Hong Kong. Holders of Travel Pass can enjoy speedy immigration clearance at designated counters at all control points and may also use the automated clearance service via e-Channels upon enrolment. On average, around 1,000 Travel Passes were issued annually in the past few years.

  1. Frequent Visitors’ e-Channel Services

The Frequent Visitors' e-Channel service was first introduced since May 2008 for all visa-free nationals with 3 trouble-free travel records in the preceding years. The scheme has also been extended to holders of the Hong Kong International Airport Frequent Visitor Cards issued by the Hong Kong Airport Authority and other international business travelers of certain flying membership programmes of some airlines. Upon simple enrolment, frequent visitors can enjoy the convenience of using automated clearance service via e-Channels in Hong Kong. Equally, holders of APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) with HKC pre-clearance, apart from using dedicated immigration counters for speedy clearance, can also enjoy the service of e-Channels after enrolment.

Bilateral Initiatives

Mutual Use of e-Channels with Other Countries

To further promote the TTP, HKC has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Immigration Serviceconcerning the mutual use of automated clearance service, tentatively in end 2013, at control points of the other side after enrolment to facilitate travelers from both jurisdictions. The agreement with the Korean Immigration Service is just the beginning and HKC will continue to explore opportunities to reach similar agreements with other interested countries/economies.

Immigration Department

Hong Kong, China

October 2013