HK, Thailand auto clearance set

September 14, 2018

Hong Kong and Thailand will launch mutual automated immigration clearance services from September 15, the Immigration Department announced today.


Eligible holders of a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region electronic passport can use the automatic channels at both airports in Bangkok for arrival and departure clearance, without prior enrolment and free of charge.


The procedures include placing the bio-data page of the traveller’s HKSAR electronic passport on the document reader and scanning the barcode on their boarding pass.


When they enter the automatic channel, the visitor may have a photo taken as per instructions and place his or her left or right index finger on the fingerprint scanner for identity verification.


The processing time per person takes around 20 seconds.


Once processed, the traveller can leave the automatic channel and present their passport to a Thai immigration officer to be stamped.


Immigration Assistant Director Raymond Lok said the new arrangement would provide greater travel convenience for Hong Kong residents and Thai visitors, and would enhance trade, business and tourism links between the two places.


“With the mutual use agreement, both residents of the two places can easily pass through our immigration control, resulting in shortening the waiting time and the clearance time as well.”


Meanwhile, Thai passport holders can enrol for the e-Channel service in Hong Kong free of charge.


Thailand is the fifth country to implement such arrangements with Hong Kong following Australia, Korea, Germany and Singapore.

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