Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced on Friday to implement new arrangement beginning next week to ease restrictions on the entry of Taiwan residents who hold permits to travel the mainland.
The new arrangement for the entry of Taiwan residents visiting Hong Kong will take effect as of June 12, according to the HKSAR Immigration Department.
Under the new arrangement, other than transiting Hong Kong, holders of a valid "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents," which bears a valid entry or exit endorsement for the Chinese mainland, may also visit Hong Kong and stay for up to seven days if their normal immigration requirements are met.
According to the new arrangement, it would no longer be mandatory for those Taiwan residents to apply for an iPermit or Entry Permit through the authorized airlines in Taiwan as before.
Under the existing arrangement, holders of "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" may transit Hong Kong for no more than seven days while they are en route to or from the Mainland. If they intend to visit Hong Kong, they have to obtain an iPermit or Entry Permit issued by the Immigration Department. An Immigration Department spokesman said the change would further facilitate Taiwan residents living on the mainland to visit Hong Kong for business or pleasure.
"Taiwan residents residing in Taiwan and overseas would also benefit from the new arrangement since they will have greater flexibility in planning their journeys to and from Hong Kong," the spokesman said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2006)