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Hong Kong to Withdraw Unrestricted Entry for Indians

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the photo bankCities of the world. Hong Kong
Cities of the world. Hong Kong - Sputnik International
The reason behind Hong Kong ending visa-free entry for Indians is unclear. Is it because of strategic differences with China? Or is it because too many Indians seek asylum in Hong Kong?

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — From January 23, Indian travellers will not be eligible for visa-free entry to Hong Kong. Indian tourists will now have go to a pre-arrival registration process to get entry into Hong Kong, a special administrative zone of China.

According to the current rule, Indian nationals can enter Hong Kong without a visa for a maximum period of 14 days.

According to the Hong Kong immigration office, the pre-arrival registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23, 2017. Indian nationals must apply for and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region visa-free. The pre-arrival registration is valid for six months during with the applicant can travel multiple times.

The new visa rule is likely to affect 500,000 Indian nationals who visit Hong Kong every year and Indian tourists are among the largest spenders there.

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The restrictions for Indian nationals have apparently been taken to discourage asylum seekers as India is considered a major source of asylum seekers followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Further, the increasing rift between India and China may also be another reason to single out Indian nationals for strict visa norms.

But whatever be the reason, the stricter visa norms for Indian nationals for entry in Hong Kong will also affect the local economy as Indians mostly visit for shopping and trade.

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