Travel Pass Relaxed to Attract Visitors to Hong Kong

The eligibility criteria for a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Travel Pass will be relaxed to enhance the mobility of business travelers to Hong Kong, according to the Immigration Department Monday.

To enable more business visitors to use the Travel Pass and to facilitate their travel convenience to Hong Kong, the department will relax the eligibility criterion of five trouble-free trips tothree trips with effect from July 2, 2002, a spokesperson of the Immigration Department said.

The HKSAR Travel Pass Scheme commenced in January 1998. It aimsat enhancing the mobility of business travelers who have genuine needs to travel to Hong Kong frequently. Applications for Travel Pass is open to frequent visitors who hold a valid passport and are eligible to come to Hong Kong without a visa or entry permit for visit purpose.

At present, applicants who have made five or more trouble-free trips to Hong Kong (other than return from side trips to the mainland or Macao) in the 12-month period immediately preceding the application, or can satisfy the Director of Immigration that their visits may bring substantial benefits to Hong Kong, will be eligible to apply for a Travel Pass.

The Travel Pass is a machine-readable document with 32 pages. It is valid for three years and good for multiple entries to Hong Kong for a stay of 2 months on visitor condition each trip.

The prescribed fee for a Travel Pass is 500 Hong Kong dollars (US$ 64). Holders of Travel Pass will enjoy streamlined immigration clearance procedures as they are allowed to use the "Hong Kong Resident" counters in passing through the immigration control points, the spokesman furthered.

( Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2002)