Hong Kong Starts Automated Immigration for Koreans

Korean travelers can enter or leave Hong Kong more quickly now thanks to automated fingerprint recognition and passport checks.

Under a mutual agreement, Korea and Hong Kong start implementing automated immigration clearance for travelers from the other side on Thursday, the Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

The government introduced the automated clearance system in 2008, and in June last year it agreed with the U.S. to use it for travelers from both sides. Hong Kong is the second destination to benefit from it.

To use the service, Korean citizens over 17 must register with the Korean Smart Entry Service website (www.ses.go.kr) and the Hong Kong Immigration Department website (www.immd.gov.hk).

Hong Kong authorities will give applicants conditional approval after screening them. They will be registered if they visit the registration center at Hong Kong airport within six months to provide their fingerprint and facial information.

Once registration is complete, they can clear immigration via automated fingerprint recognition and passport checks at Hong Kong airport.

The number of travelers between Korea and Hong Kong stands at about 1 million a year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 12, 2013 09:35 KST