Hong Kong to implement use of automated clearance services on mutual basis with Thailand

14 September 2018

The Immigration Department (ImmD) today (September 14) announced that following similar arrangements it has with Australia, Korea, Germany and Singapore, Hong Kong will implement the mutual use of automated clearance services with Thailand. With effect from tomorrow (September 15), holders of a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) electronic passport can use the automated immigration clearance service in Thailand without prior enrolment and free of charge, while holders of a Thai 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 provide greater travel convenience for Hong Kong residents and Thai visitors, and would enhance trade, business and tourism links between the two places.

The spokesperson added that holders of an HKSAR electronic passport with at least six months' validity (from the date of arrival in Thailand) who are at least 120 centimetres in height, have no adverse records in Thailand and intend to stay in Thailand as visitors for not more than 30 days may use the automatic channels at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport for arrival and departure clearance.

An eligible HKSAR passport holder may proceed to an automatic channel in an arrival or departure hall of the above-mentioned airports, place the bio-data page of his or her HKSAR electronic passport on the document reader and scan the barcode of his or her boarding pass. Upon entering the automatic channel, he or she may have a photo taken as per instructions and place his or her left or right index finger on the fingerprint scanner for identity verification. Upon completion, he or she may leave the automatic channel and present his or her HKSAR electronic passport to an immigration officer of Thailand for stamping.

Meanwhile, holders of a Thai passport who are aged 11 or above, have made at least one visit to the HKSAR in the past 12 months prior to enrolment and have no adverse records in Hong Kong can take their Thai passports with a validity period of at least six months to an e-Channel Enrolment Office at the Immigration Headquarters, Hong Kong International Airport or the Macau Ferry Terminal for e-Channel service enrolment. The enrolment procedures include submission of an enrolment form, collection of fingerprints and photo-taking. Applicants aged under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian and the parent or guardian must produce his or her valid travel document. 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.