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Hong Kong set to offer new visa option to Taiwanese

2012/08/31 21:41:04

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) Taiwanese nationals can begin applying for e-visas to Hong Kong for free starting Saturday and will have access to special travel discounts offered by the Hong Kong tourism administration to mark the new measure.

A tour group of 100 tourists is expected to be the first in line to apply for the online visa, and for being the first 100 applicants they will each receive a gift package that includes a one-day subway pass and tickets for Hong Kong's Airport Express, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

At present, Taiwanese travelers can enter Hong Kong either on the visas they have for China or on separate Hong Kong visas applied for through travel agencies.

The new online visa service will save applicants the NT$500 a Hong Kong visa currently costs and the hassle of giving their documents to travel agents to process the application, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said.

People can enter Hong Kong on the e-visas twice and stay up to 30 days.

The visa form makes no mention of Taiwanese passports, requiring a Taiwan identity card number instead. The service is open to "Taiwan residents" who were "born in Taiwan" or "born outside Taiwan but have been admitted to Hong Kong as Taiwan resident before."

To promote the e-visas, the board is cooperating with airlines and travel agencies in offering discounts on package deals.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Kendra Lin)