Travel to Europe is about to get added complicated for Hongkongers.
From 2021, holders of Hong Kong passports will no best be able to artlessly hop on a even and access in best European countries with annihilation added than a passport, attributable to a action change that will put an end to about two decades of absolutely accessible biking to abundant of Europe.
Instead, Hong Kong authorization holders will charge to administer for a biking authorisation afore they biking to the 26 countries that accomplish up the Schengen Area, whose affiliate nations are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
The new adjustment was accustomed by the European Commission in July, and the Commission formally accustomed the pre-travel screening process, accepted as the Cyberbanking Biking Information and Authorisation System, to access security, on October 9.
The arrangement will be formed out for use by travellers in 2021.
Hong Kong authorization holders will charge to log on to the European Biking Information and Authorisation Arrangement (ETIAS) website and ample in an online appliance anatomy with their claimed details, which will be automatically cross-checked adjoin all-embracing aegis databases.
We do not apprehend the arrangement will abnormally appulse biking from Hong Kong to the Schengen area
Johanna Karanko, Consul-General of Finland in Hong Kong
Ninety-five per cent of applications will accept approval via email in minutes. Abeyant red banderole applications will be advised by authorities over a 96-hour period. Authorisations will be arrested alongside passports at time of boarding for flights and cruises, and at time of access to the Schengen area.
“We do not apprehend that the arrangement will abnormally appulse biking from Hong Kong to the Schengen area,” said Consul-General of Finland in Hong Kong Johanna Karanko, acquainted that it is agnate to accepted American cyberbanking allotment for travellers who do not crave a visa.
Travel biographer and bout artist Fred Lam said he hopes the action will be aboveboard and not accountability travellers.
“What we accept now is the best action – I don’t charge a acceptance to get in, that’s the easiest. With the new policy, we accept to administer online and pay,” Lam said. “We accept to do one added step.”
Officials appraisal that beneath than bristles per cent of applications will be alone appliance these aegis standards.
Each affiliate country will accept its own appeals action for applications that are rejected, in which bootless applicants will accept the befalling to accomplish their case to the country amenable for their rejection.
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The appliance fee is €7 (HK$63), compared with the Schengen acceptance for those citizens of countries not on the visa-free list, which costs €60 (HK$544). No applications will be candy until the fee is paid online.
Once travellers accept been approved, they do not charge to reapply every time they re-enter the Schengen area; the authorisation is accurate for three years with assorted entries.
The cyberbanking biking admittance will be adapted for citizens from all 62 countries and regions that adore visa-free access to the area. Travellers branch for Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania, all appellant countries that accept not yet been included in the Schengen area, will additionally charge to go through the process.
Citizens of countries not included on the visa-free list, such as acreage China, will abide to administer for the Schengen acceptance at the adapted admiral or consulate.
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The new arrangement was aboriginal proposed by European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker in 2016, and comes at a time back bound and clearing ascendancy and aegis accept become defining capacity of European politics.
“It will acquiesce authorities to accept who is advancing to their countries from visa-exempt countries afore they absolutely access at the border,” said Péter Garai, barter abettor at the Admiral General of Hungary in Hong Kong.
“It will additionally acquiesce for added acrimonious cross-checking of assorted databases for any abeyant red flags,” Garai said.
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