Smart Departure at HKIA

Old Nov 1, 18, 2:45 am
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Smart Departure at HKIA

I had never used Smart Departure before, where you can exit HK using an e-channel, as according to the list online British Citizen passports arenít eligible. (https://www.immd.gov.hk/pdf/SSD%20countries%20(Eng).pdf)

That changed the other day when I was ushered through. Somewhat sceptically I inserted my passport and it worked! It certainly saved what looked like a bit of a queue.

My entry ticket didnít have the SD logo on it, so does anyone know if the list has changed? Or a trial? Or just a fluke? Which I doubt!

thanks
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Old Nov 1, 18, 2:53 am
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You missed that, strangely, the UK is listed as "Britain".
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by christep View Post
You missed that, strangely, the UK is listed as "Britain".
Which is strange as I've put down British as nationality on HK government forms, only to have to change to "UK".
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Old Nov 1, 18, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jeonatl3 View Post
I had never used Smart Departure before, where you can exit HK using an e-channel
Is this available to anyone with a passport from a country on the list?
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Old Nov 1, 18, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by fliesdelta View Post
Is this available to anyone with a passport from a country on the list?
My boss does not have echannel and has been using this system for the past several months.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:46 pm
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Yes, everyone on the list can use it for departure, no registration required. Note that the passport slot is fussy and not well-designed: sometimes you have to make several tries. The Mainland machine is more reliable and user-friendly.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Yes, everyone on the list can use it for departure, no registration required. Note that the passport slot is fussy and not well-designed: sometimes you have to make several tries. The Mainland machine is more reliable and user-friendly.
Excellent.

Is the machine easy to spot? Where is it located? I'll be flying Korean Air next week, so I'll be in T1.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 7:24 pm
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Instead of heading to a gate with a guy at a counter, just head to one with the machine. You put your passport data page into the scanner -- like I said, the fit is awkward and it may take a few tries (press down on the page) -- then the gate opens and you stand on the marked area to have your photo taken. If everything matches, the next gate opens and you're out. Don't know what happens if the machine thinks there's not a match, but I assume you won't be stuck in the photo booth for eternity and miss your flight.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:57 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Instead of heading to a gate with a guy at a counter, just head to one with the machine. You put your passport data page into the scanner -- like I said, the fit is awkward and it may take a few tries (press down on the page) -- then the gate opens and you stand on the marked area to have your photo taken. If everything matches, the next gate opens and you're out. Don't know what happens if the machine thinks there's not a match, but I assume you won't be stuck in the photo booth for eternity and miss your flight.
There is some kind of notification to the HKIS agent that the person stuck at the closed gate has issues.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Don't know what happens if the machine thinks there's not a match, but I assume you won't be stuck in the photo booth for eternity and miss your flight.
Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
There is some kind of notification to the HKIS agent that the person stuck at the closed gate has issues.
The way eChannel gates work is that there is a HKIS agent in the immediate vicinity of the gates, and if there's an issue, they're there within seconds. It's not as if they have to come from a back office or from behind a counter. Also, they have a PDA in their hand which displays details of the traveler's history and what the problem is that is preventing the gate from opening on its own. In many cases, it takes them all of 1 second to look at the traveler, glance at the PDA, and decide it's okay. Then they hit a key on the PDA and the gate opens. It's extremely efficient. I would assume that a similar setup is in place for Smart Departure.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Yes, everyone on the list can use it for departure, no registration required. Note that the passport slot is fussy and not well-designed: sometimes you have to make several tries. The Mainland machine is more reliable and user-friendly.
I tried it for the first time last week, could not get it to work, eventually went to the manned stand.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 10:12 am
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Oh, this is good to know! I've done this in Europe at FRA and AMS over the past year on a US Passport, which definitely saved me some time.
The HKG departure immigration has never been *that* long of a line, but at least it's an option.
The bigger issue IME has been at arrivals immigration (have waited an hour before ), and I suppose nothing there has changed? Unfortunately it's been a bunch of years since I've traveled frequently enough to HKG to qualify for the HKIA Frequent Visitor card.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by DragonSoul View Post
Which is strange as I've put down British as nationality on HK government forms, only to have to change to "UK".
A perennial problem ... I find, UK, Britain, Great Britain and England all used interchangeably in various application forms across the world.
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Old Nov 13, 18, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Unfortunately it's been a bunch of years since I've traveled frequently enough to HKG to qualify for the HKIA Frequent Visitor card.
That program has been discontinued for a long time...

Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
A perennial problem ... I find, UK, Britain, Great Britain and England all used interchangeably in various application forms across the world.
Not English...be careful with people like Scottish or Irish...
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Old Nov 18, 18, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post

Not English...be careful with people like Scottish or Irish...
Ah the joys of Britain!
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