The European Commission has revealed its plan to digitalize the Schengen visa. This will replace the mostly paper-based application system to obtain a visa for EU and Schengen countries currently in place. This means the Schengen visa will soon be available through a simplified online application process, similar to the European Travel Information and Authorization
Visa Requirements for Hong Kong Citizens
Visa requirements for Chinese citizens of Hong Kong are the laws established in other countries that decide if visitors from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China must obtain a permit to enter and, if so, which visa or travel authorization they must apply for.
The Henley Passport Index ranks the HKSAR passport as the 19th strongest in the world in terms of travel freedom (tied with 3 other countries’ passports). It permits Chinese citizens of Hong Kong to visit around 170 countries and territories without obtaining a visa in advance.
Visa requirements for Hong Kongers vary depending on several factors: the destination, the length of time the traveler intends to stay, and the purpose of traveling to the country or territory.
It is important for Hong Kong passport holders to check the visa requirements of their destination before traveling.
A number of countries have online systems that allow citizens of the HKSAR to apply for either an electronic visa (eVisa) or an electronic travel authorization (ETA). These are typically valid for short-term tourist visits and, in some cases, also permit business visits and transit.
Travelers from Hong Kong must complete a simple application form via the internet, eliminating the need to go to an embassy to apply for a visa for these sovereign states.
In order to obtain a work permit or a residence visa for most countries, it is necessary to go to an embassy or consulate to apply.
There are also various countries that require Hong Kong citizens to apply for a visa at an embassy for any visit, regardless of length and purpose, including for short-term tourist visas.
Some countries and territories allow visitors from Hong Kong to obtain a visa on arrival at the international border. However, there are frequently long queues to apply and it is not unusual to spend some time waiting at immigration.
If it is possible to apply online beforehand, this is highly recommended.
Hong Kongers also enjoy visa exemption for over 100 destinations, meaning that they can visit these countries and territories using only their passports.