Develop by the European Union; the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS) is aimed to register visa-exempt visitors traveling to the Schengen Area. This visa process involves prescreening of Hong Kong citizens and other eligible foreign visitors for the security of the Schengen Area.
Currently, Hong Kong nationals are allowed to enter all the Schengen member nations visa-free. This entry for Hong Kong nationals without the need for a visa enabled them to stay for up to 90 days for business, tourism, or transit purposes.
This is the reason why visitors from Hong Kong are permitted to travel to any of the Schengen Zone nations until they don’t exceed the allotted time. By the end of 2022, Hong Kong nationals who want to travel to Europe will have to apply online for an ETIAS to visit the Schengen Area.
Hong Kong National Who Want To Visit Europe
Currently, Hong Kong nationals can enter Schengen member countries visa-free. They can enter Schengen Area nations for tourism, business, and transit purposes and are allowed to stay in the area for up to 90 days.
By the end of 2022, Hong Kong nationals who want to travel to European Union Schengen member nations will have to register online to get an ETIAS visa. It will be compulsory for nationals of third-world nations that presently can visit Europe visa-free.
After the implementation of ETIAS, it will enable Hong Kong citizens to travel to 22 European countries that are all the member of the Schengen Area.
Bilateral Contracts among Hong Kong and Europe
Hong Kong exchanged bilateral contracts with many European nations. It means that Hong Kong nationals can visit particular countries in Schengen Zone to exceed their stay over the 90 days limit created by an ETIAS visa waiver.
Remember, the bilateral contracts are specified for each country and are independent of one another. It means that Hong Kong citizens can only travel to one nation under each contract. If they want to travel to multiple European countries, they are required to get ETIAS online.
Further, Hong Kong nationals who want to live in any European state more than the time permitted through the bilateral contract will have to get an applicable visa.
All Hong Kong nationals with valid passports and fulfilling all the requirements can visit without a visa to:
- Switzerland (for 3 additional months)
- Liechtenstein (for 3 additional months)
Hong Kong Ordinary passports meeting the requirements can travel to:
- Lithuania (for 3 additional months)
- Hungary (for 3 additional months)
- Latvia (for 3 additional months)
Travel to Europe with ETIAS from Hong Kong
After the approval of ETIAS, the Europe travel authorization will be effective for 3 successive years with infinite short term visits. The confirmed ETIAS visa enables Hong Kong National to travel to any state within the Schengen Area and stay for 90 days in the region.
ETIAS is a digital visa that is electronically connected to the passport of the applicant. That is why applicants are advised to provide the same passport that they will use to apply as it can’t be changed.
Hong Kong individuals having dual nationalities also have to be careful of moving with the passport with linked ETIAS visa waiver and not on the other passport. It is due to the reason that ETIAS can’t is transferred between two passports.
If the passport of Hong Kong nationals is about to expire, it is recommended to register for a fresh passport before applying for an ETIAS visa. To obtain an ETIAS visa, the Hong Kong passport should be valid for 3 months over the arrival date.
ETIAS Application Requirements for Nationals of Hong Kong
While applying for the ETIAS online, the Hong Kong citizens will have to fill out the application form using their personal details including:
- Full name
- Present address
- Country of birth
- Date of birth
- Contact number
For immigration and security purposes, the travelers will have to answer s set of questions related to their job rank and details of criminal history. They have to answer questions related to the following things:
- Present employment status
- Educational background
- Criminal record
- Opinions about human trafficking
- Previous travel to clash regions
- History of prolonged visas in past or being expelled from a nation previously
This confirmation procedure will enable European immigration officers to pre-screen visitors even before they move towards any Schengen member nations. The data of visitors will be screened against various criminal and informational databases including:
- SLTD (INTERPOL)
- EUROPOL DATA
- TDAWN (INTERPOL)
Such procedures are intended to check if ETIAS applicants have any criminal record or are involved in any other illegal actions on the European records.
ETIAS Hong Kong Application Process
The Hong Kong nationals can use their computer, smartphone, or tablet to fill out the online application form. The requirements for an ETIAS visa include a valid passport, a credit or debit card to pay the visa fee, an email account where you will get the confirmed ETIAS visa.
While filling out the online ETIAS application, Hong Kong nationals will have to give:
- Full name
- Passport information
- Date of birth
- Travel plans
For Hong Kong nationals applying for an ETIAS visa, it is mandatory to answer a set of questions related to security.
Moreover, Hong Kong nationals who want to apply for ETIAS must recheck the application form before submitting it so that there are no errors. Any issue in the information provided can lead to a longer waiting time or in some cases rejection of the visa request.
The ETIAS visa waiver for Europe will be compulsory for Hong Kong nationals and other eligible visitors, towards late 2022. It is recommended that visitors should apply for ETIAS application at least 3 days or 72 hours before leaving.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Hong Kong citizens can live in Schengen Zone?
Today, the citizens of Hong Kong are permitted to travel to the Schengen member countries without the need for a visa and stay for 90 days within the Schengen Zone. After the implementation of the ETIAS visa waiver, the nationals of Hong Kong will be allowed to enter the EU countries without the visa but with the registration for the ETIAS visa waiver. An accepted ETIAS visa waiver will enable its holders to stay up to 90 days with 180 days period and during this time Hong Kong citizens will be enabled to move within the nations in the Schengen Zone.
What will happen if Hong Kong Citizens with ETIAS visa stays for over 90 Days in Europe?
Citizens from the eligible nations, involving Hong Kong, having an ETIAS visa waiver are allowed to stay up to 90 days in 180 days period in any Schengen member nations. It indicates that both 180 days periods and 90 days periods will start when the Hong Kong citizens first arrive in the Schengen Area. When the 90 days are over, Hong Kong travelers should leave the Schengen Zone towards the nation they are permitted to stay up to the 180 days period. If anyone fails, it will result in deportation or fines.
Can the citizens of Hong Kong having HKSAR Passport Stay for over 90 Days in Europe?
The answer is yes. The citizens of Hong Kong who want to enter and stay in Schengen member nations for over 90 days are permitted to stay in the Schengen area by applying for a relevant visa. Different kinds of visas for Europe are available that Hong Kong citizens can use to stay in the Schengen member countries for over 90 days in 180 days period. The visa type required by the Hong Kong nationals will be based on the projected length of stay and purpose of visit. To identify what type of European visa is required by Hong Kong nationals to prolong their stay from the permitted 90 days period, people are suggested to consult the embassy or nearby consulate analogous to the nation they want to stay in. Embassy or Consulate personnel will help Hong Kong nationals regarding the requirements they have to meet and the papers they have to show to register for their relevant visa.