Hong Kong implements use of automated clearance services on mutual basis with Australia

20 June 2016

The Immigration Department (ImmD) today (June 20) announced that following similar arrangements it has with Korea, Germany and Singapore, Hong Kong has implemented the mutual use of automated clearance services with Australia. With effect from today, holders of a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) electronic passport can use the automated immigration clearance service (SmartGate) in Australia without prior enrolment and free of charge, while holders of an Australian passport can enrol for the e-Channel service in Hong Kong free of charge.
An ImmD spokesperson said the implementation of the new arrangement would allow greater travel convenience for Hong Kong residents and Australian visitors, and would enhance trade, business and tourism links between the two places.
The spokesperson added that consensus had been reached with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of Australia. Holders of a valid HKSAR electronic passport who are aged 16 or above, have no adverse record in Australia and and hold a valid visa for visiting Australia may use the SmartGate service at Australian international airports at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Perth upon arrival. 
Having completed an incoming passenger card, eligible travellers may proceed to a SmartGate self-service kiosk in the arrival hall of the airport and place their HKSAR electronic passport onto the passport reader. A SmartGate ticket will be issued upon completion of the procedures. They may then collect the SmartGate ticket and their HKSAR electronic passport, and proceed to the arrival gate for identity verification following instructions. On completion, they should proceed through the arrival gate and return the completed incoming passenger card and the SmartGate ticket to local staff to complete the arrival procedures. Stamping on the passport is not required.
In addition, holders of the HKSAR passport (including the HKSAR non-e-Passport) who are over 120 centimetres tall can also use the departure SmartGate service at the international airports at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Perth. Eligible travellers may place their HKSAR passport onto the passport reader of the SmartGate for identity verification following instructions, and proceed through the departure gate to complete the departure procedures. The Australian government is planning to extend the departure SmartGate service to all major Australian international airports; eligible HKSAR passport holders will also benefit from the extension. For detailed information, please visit the website of the relevant Australian authority at www.border.gov.au.
Meanwhile, holders of an Australian passport who are aged 16 or above and have no adverse record in Hong Kong can take their Australian passport with a validity period of at least six months to the e-Channel Enrolment Offices at the Immigration Headquarters, the Hong Kong International Airport or the Macau Ferry Terminal to enrol for the e-Channel service. The enrolment procedure includes submission of an enrolment form, collection of fingerprints and photo-taking. Enrolment is on a voluntary basis and free of charge. For detailed information, please visit the website of the ImmD at www.immd.gov.hk.