Reduce arbitrariness of Pre-arrival registration (PAR) to Hong Kong for Indians
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Pre-arrival registration to Hong Kong
Indian nationals need to fill a pre-arrival registration (PAR) form to enter Hong Kong for travel or leisure. The successful form is to be carried, and the visa is then stamped at the Hong Kong airport. While the form is pretty basic and simple, the process of its success or rejection is very arbitrary.
My husband and I had planned a holiday to Hong Kong and had booked our flights and hotels. This was with the understanding that the PAR would not be an issue. To my utter shock and surprise, my PAR was rejected. My husband's, though, was accepted.
A thorough research of this process made me understand that Indian nationals whose passport has been issued from Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chandigarh see very low approval ratings. Astonishingly, when I kept all the other details same on the form, and filled in the 'place of issue' of passport as Bangalore rather than Hyderabad (from where my passport is actually issued), my PAR was approved. Isn't this very strange? How is it that the place of issue of the passport determines the success of the PAR?
The only other way to apply for a travel visa is a manual process, where relevant documents and a DD in HKD needs to be couriered to Hong Kong. This process takes roughly 4-6 weeks. Because my tickets, accommodation, and leave from work was approved, it was not possible to reschedule or postpone my travel plan to later. Moreover, to apply for a travel visa, the details of the bookings of flight and accommodation are mandatory. In my case, since the tickets and hotel booking were non-refundable, I have faced much financial loss.
Apart from money, I have lost much time and effort in this process. And it is not just me! The internet is replete with stories of Indian nationals whose PAR has been randomly rejected without any explanation. While there is an alternate way of applying for the visa, the success or rejection of the form is erratic and illogical. Those who have already booked tickets believing that the process is simple are left stranded.
My appeal is for the Indian consulate to review the PAR process for Indians, giving logical reasons for the rejection. If the rules and regulations are clear, people could apply for the PAR in advance and, if rejected, look for alternative options, saving them from the unnecessary trouble.
Link of the thread discussing people stranded because of PAR rejection:
Do help me reach others who have met a similar fate so that we ensure future travellers are not inconvenienced.
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