Anyone who has travelled to Hong Kong International Airport
knows that depending on the time of the planes' arrival, the snake
like queues at the immigration counters can be a frightening
sight. There is nothing worse for the hardened road warrior than
the thought of spending an hour or more queuing, just to get into
While the queues can be very long, it rarely takes an hour to
get through, but for those of us who frequent Hong Kong often
there is an alternative - The Hong Kong International Airport
Frequent Visitor Card.
This card available free of charge, allows holders to use
special channels at immigration, and while there may well be small
queues at some of these counters they are never as bad as the
To be eligible for this little treasure, you need to visit Hong
Kong a minimum of three times in a one year period, once you have
done that then you need to photocopy the stamps and other
important pages of your passport, fill in the application form,
send it in and wait for your card to arrive. If all is in order
you should have your card within 8 weeks.
One you have done this and have been approved, then on your
next visit to Hong Kong visit the Frequent Traveller Card
Information Centre which is close, but before, immigration on the
arrivals side and apply for e-channel access.
It will only take a few minutes and once complete will allow
you to enter and leave Hong Kong via the e-channels. This means no
queues on arrival or departure. Heaven for a frequent traveller.
Immigration will simply need you to fill in a form, take your
fingerprints add a small barcode to your passport and explain how
the system works. It is free, that simple and we only wish every
country in the world had a similar system for frequent travellers.
The card was first introduced in August 2004, and is
an absolute must if you travel to Hong Kong often. You
can download the application form
WARNING: It has recently (6
September 2010) come to our attention that if you are using the
e-gate option on the Frequent Traveller Card the system may not be
recording your entries and as such when you try to renew your card
they will tell you that you have 0 entries. Obviously this is a
serious lack of communication which we hope will be rectified
soon. In the meantime, to avoid this rather ridiculous problem,
keep the e-gate receipts.
other recent news regarding:
Hong Kong Airport