One hell of an experience ! When I had booked my flights back in December, Indians did not require a prior Visa to come to Hong Kong. But suddenly, it was stopped and Pre Arrival registration was started, and I was perhaps among the 1st few, who’s PAR got rejected; perhaps because of the UK residential address, that I had that time. Not just me, I discovered that almost everyone’s PAR got rejected. I had to send all my documents by post to Hong Kong directly, as Chinese missions in India refused to entertain Hong Kong visa applications. The visa was thankfully approved in mid February, and the Visa label/sticker was being sent by post. But thanks to out great Indian Postal services, the sticker still did not reach my address in Kolkata. I had even arranged for the sticker to be posted to Vietnam, if it had reached before my flight to Hong Kong. But sadlyy luck was bad ! I managed to board my flight to Hong Kong, from Ho Chi Minh City, because I convinced them that I always had the option of using the HK airport ferry to Macau, where I don’t need to cross Hong Kong immigration, incase I am refused entry into Hong Kong. After landing in Hong Kong, I went to the passport control and told them about my situation, and they strictly told me that since I don’t have my visa label, I won’t be allowed in, and asked me to book a flight back to India right now, or go to Macau. Their view is that I shouldn’t have flown without my visa label. I requested them to speak to any senior person and look into my approved visa details. They literally threatened and warned me that if I go to a senior person, and my case was not satisfactory, I will be deported back to India immediately, and that will be the worst thing for my travel history. So, she asked me either go to Macau or book a flight back to India instead. The officer asked if I am ready for the risk of deportation, to which I was confident that there was no reason for them not allowing me in, especially when my visa has been already approved, just the label did not reach, and my passport is full of Visas and visit stamps. I was taken to a strange room, where after gruelling interrogation for an hour by 2 officers, they took all my details, saw my Facebook profile, and kept on asking me very strange and lame questions, such as why am I travelling alone, that too to so many countries; why did I choose Hong Kong and not Indonesia, etc etc. I simply love to travel! What’s my fault? After that they went on a huddle and said that this time they will allow me in and asked for another 190 HK$ and gave me a visa form to fill in again. And finally I am relieved and I will be able to spend my 23rd Birthday in Hong Kong 🙂 Undoubtedly the year of being 22, has been the most eventful year of my life, even till the last evening 🙂 I would not recommend others to take this risk please.
I guess my parents back home were more tensed about me, than me myself. Sorry for the agony Mom Dad ! #Relieved