AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong unveils mutual automated immigration clearance with Thailand

The move slashes processing time to 20 seconds per person.

Hong Kong and Thailand have reached an agreement to implement the mutual use of automated clearance services for their airports in an effort to boost the flow of goods and people between the two territories, according to a government statement.

Also read: Immigration upgrades streamline inbound tourism

Eligible holders of Hong Kong electronic passport can now use automatic channels at both airports in Bangkok for arrival and departure clearance, all without prior enrolment and free of any charge.

Upon entry to the automatic channel, visitors will only have their picture taken and place their index finger on the fingerprint scanner for identity verification. The move slashed the processing time per person to around 20 seconds.

“With the mutual use agreement, both residents of the two places can easily pass through our immigration control, resulting in shortening the waiting time and the clearance time as well,” Immigration Assistant Director Raymond Lok said in a statement.

On the other hand, Thai passport holders can enrol for the e-Channel service in Hong Kong free of charge.

Thailand is the fifth country to implement such arrangements with Hong Kong following previous agreements with Australia, Korea, Germany and Singapore.

Photo from Immigration Department 

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