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HK’s ‘Smart Departure’ scheme includes Macau

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department announced Monday that self-service departure for visitors to Hong Kong – “Smart Departure” – will be launched at Hong Kong International Airport today.

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PUBLISHED

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Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department announced Monday that self-service departure for visitors to Hong Kong – “Smart Departure” – will be launched at Hong Kong International Airport today.

The list of eligible travel documents for the department’s Smart Departure e-Channel service includes Macau. Among the world’s eight Portuguese-speaking countries, Brazil and Portugal are included in the scheme, which also includes all EU member states and the US. Mainlanders are also included, but Taiwan residents are not listed.

The department said in a statement that Smart Departure aims to provide greater travel convenience for visitors while enhancing the effectiveness of immigration control.

Smart Departure employs face recognition technology for identity verification, which facilitates self-service departure for visitors.

Photos of visitors will be taken at arrival clearance counters to assist in authentication of their identities. The whole process takes about 20 seconds.

Visitors aged 11 or above who hold valid electronic travel documents compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) requirements and issued by designated countries or regions as announced by the department may perform self-service departure clearance through Smart Departure e-channels without prior enrolment.

According to the existing arrangement, all arriving visitors are issued with landing slips. Upon completion of arrival clearance at immigration counters, the landing slips of eligible visitors will additionally bear the Smart Departure logo.

In addition, the department will also install cameras at arrival clearance counters to take real-time photos of visitors, which will be compared with the photos in their travel documents through face recognition technology for the purpose of identity verification.

The measures will be first implemented at Hong Kong International Airport and will be extended in phases to other border checkpoints in Hong Kong.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

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