Australian e-immigration clearance starts (20.6.2016)

Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region electronic passports can use the automated immigration clearance service (SmartGate) in Australia without prior enrolment and free of charge as from today.

Hong Kong has implemented a mutual use of automated clearance services with the country. Under this reciprocal arrangement, holders of an Australian passport can enrol for the e-Channel service in Hong Kong free of charge

The Immigration Department said the arrangement allows for greater travel convenience for Hong Kong residents and Australian visitors, and boosts trade, business and tourism links between the two places.

HKSAR electronic passport holders aged 16 or above, who have no adverse record in Australia and hold a valid visa for visiting the country, can use the SmartGate service at the international airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Perth.

Travellers can place their electronic passport onto the passport reader at the SmartGate self-service kiosk at the airport to get a ticket. They can then bring along the SmartGate ticket and the electronic passport to the arrival gate for identity verification. Upon verification, they should proceed through the arrival gate and return the completed incoming passenger card and the ticket to local staff to complete the arrival procedures.

In addition, holders of the HKSAR passport, including the non-e-passport, who are over 1.2 metres tall, can also use the departure SmartGate service at the international airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Perth.

The Australian government is planning to extend the departure SmartGate service to all its major international airports.

For details click here.

Similar arrangements have been made with Korea, Germany and Singapore. (