New Initiative Aims to Enhance Cross-Border Travel and Strengthen Economic Ties with the Mainland

July 03 14:46 2024
New Mainland Travel Permit for Non-Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents Announced.

In a move aimed at facilitating smoother cross-border travel, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has announced the introduction of a new Mainland Travel Permit for non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents. This card-type document, effective from 10 July, 2024, will significantly enhance the convenience of clearance at Mainland control points.

Chief Executive John Lee expressed his appreciation to the central government for this supportive measure, coinciding with Hong Kong’s celebrations of its return to the motherland. In particular, Lee emphasised that the new travel permit will facilitate opportunities within Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The travel permit will allow non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents to utilise self-service clearance at Mainland control points, thereby significantly reducing wait times and enhancing travel efficiency. This is particularly beneficial for foreign talents and international business professionals, allowing them easier access to the Mainland for business, travel, and family visits.

Lee highlighted that the measure is inclusive, applying to all nationalities and industries, thereby reinforcing Hong Kong’s unique status under the “one country, two systems” framework. This inclusivity is expected to bolster Hong Kong’s international appeal and attract global talent and businesses to the city.

Applications for the travel permit can be made through the China Travel Service (HK), which has been entrusted by the Exit & Entry Administration. The permit will be valid for five years, allowing multiple entries into the Mainland for stays of up to 90 days per visit, without the need for a separate visa.

The introduction of this travel permit complements the previously announced “northbound” multiple-entry visa initiative and is part of a broader strategy to attract international talent and investment to Hong Kong. This new measure is anticipated to address the aspirations of various sectors of the Hong Kong community, providing a significant incentive for global talent to contribute to the city’s growth and development.

Experts in the area have responded to the changes with enthusiasm.

“As a legal professional in Hong Kong, I see this initiative as a crucial step in maintaining the city’s competitive edge in the global market.” commented Jennifer Baccanello, a well-respected China-watcher. “By simplifying the process for non-Chinese residents to travel to the Mainland, this measure not only underscores Hong Kong’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity but also strengthens our economic ties with the Mainland. It is a clear signal that Hong Kong is open for business and ready to embrace the opportunities of the future, ensuring our city remains a vibrant and dynamic hub for international talent and enterprises.”

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