Hong Kong immigration department introduces self-service departure for visitors

A file photo of people looking at the flight information board at the Hong Kong International Airport. The airport has introduced a self-service departure scheme for visitors.
A file photo of people looking at the flight information board at the Hong Kong International Airport. The airport has introduced a self-service departure scheme for visitors. PHOTO: ST FILE

HONG KONG - Visitors departing Hong Kong International Airport can now opt for self-service departure, starting from Tuesday (Oct 10).

Called Smart Departure, the scheme aims to provide greater travel convenience for visitors while enhancing the effectiveness of immigration control, the Hong Kong Immigration Department said in a press statement.

Smart Departure uses face recognition technology for identity verification.

According to existing arrangement, all arriving visitors will be issued with landing slips. The landing slips of eligible visitors will additionally bear the Smart Departure logo.

Cameras at arrival clearance counters will take real-time photographs of visitors, which will be compared with the photos in their travel documents through face recognition technology for the purpose of identity verification.

Smart Departure is applicable to visitors aged 11 and above who hold valid electronic travel documents that meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation's requirements. The documents must also be issued by designated countries or regions as announced by the immigration department.

Smart Departure will be extended in phases to other control points, the immigration department said in the statement.