As of March 19, 2013 the Hong Kong Immigration Department have changed the way they process and record Visitors entering into Hong Kong.
According to the blurb put out on the ImmD website…
“..all arriving visitors at immigration control points will be issued with landing slips in lieu of stamping on their travel documents. The landing slip is the same as that currently issued to Macao Smart Permanent Identity Card holders and Taiwan residents travelling under the Pre-arrival Registration arrangement. It bears the visitor’s English name, travel document number, arrival date, conditions and limit of stay in Hong Kong.”
In a practical sense, this should have no impact on Visitors arriving in Hong Kong, although if you lose your landing slip you should, ostensibly, report to Immigration Tower for a new one yet ImmD say that lost landing slips will not necessarily inhibit your ability to be cleared for departure at the time you try to leave.
The interesting upshot to all of this (to me at least) is how ImmD will now carry forward the SCL mechanism to control Visitors who’s bona fides are suspected.
The Department state in their news release that “stamping on travel document may still be applied in exceptional circumstances”. It remains to be seen if SCL will still be stamped in passports (indicating to the Visitor that time is now working against him) or whether it stays bound up in the record associated with the reduced limit of stay to such Visitors.
Time will tell. Watch this space!
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