HK visa run, be careful!

The following information was found on the TEALIT forum:

"I called the HK office several times last week:
They did confirm me that from 1st december rules will change and that they might not be able to make it on the same day.

The fact is that now you might get your visa in the afternoon on the same day you applied; however they simply won’t guarantee anymore that you’ll get it!!!

The reason I was given is that their office gets very busy. I was also said that too many foreigners complain about delays in their visa issuance…"

Did anyone hear about that?

“I’ve survived the Hong Kong Visa Office” T shirts going for $NT500. After my latest trip, I reckon I could make a dollar or 2 here.

How’s their form this time. Apparantly my passport photo’s were a couple of mill short in height, so the stupid bitch told me to go back downstairs and get new ones. Mind you, it’s 11:40, “just make sure you get back here before 12, or you won’t get your visa back today”, I tell you what, they really are the worst visa office in the world. Anyway, I got back with 5 or so to spare, and am just happy to say, “I went, I applied and I survived the Lippo Tower”

Oh yeah footnote : To the previous poster, that info you have is incorrect (the origional message was posted a loooong time ago, I only revived the post as it matched my search for the Hong Kong visa run). Future reference, I wouldn’t take too much as gospel if it comes from there

Visa is still same-day, though you have to pay the “express service” fee if you want to collect it that afternoon. You can pay the regular fee, but they won’t guarantee that you can pick up the visa the same day. Easy huh? Nothing has changed.
As for the photos thing … why would you NOT present recent photos?

Monkey, perhaps I wasn’t clear when I said my photos were short in height. My photos were new. They were taken in Taipei a week earlier. By mill, I mean mm (millimetres), like rather than the standard 25mm shots, or whatever, myn were 20mm. Anyway, she assured me she was serious, as she could see the rectangle lines pertruding around my photo. Thus she ruled “nah they’re too small”… “off you go”

Furthermore, although I was only in this office a short time, it was long enough to witness 1 argument and another one brewing. That was the one with an angry foreigner and an uncompromising Visa lady. I’d say there’s a few more than 1 an hour going on there each day.

Try the KL (Malaysia) office next time, hassle-free.
Nice place to stay for a weekend and hotels are cheap (but good).

Do any of you who have had such problems ever write letters to the Taiwan representative in HK to complain? If a petition or the like was bundled together with “Issues” in dot point for them then perhaps they would do something about it?

3q, everyone in that office is already aware of the problems. The office is quite small, so any argument between the foreigner and the visa lady is generally witnessed by all there. I doubt a petition would do jack shit, retirement for a few of the ladies who’ve worked there for a while however … If you head into a language school and asked about the HK reputation, you’ll find there are, apart from my story, endless examples of rudeness, unhelpfulness and a general ruling with an authoritarian thumb.

I can only say that the only time i have been at the beginning of this year, i was surprised, no grief, no hassle, just courteous but firm handling of the paperwork concerned.

Had no problems in getting things done.

I haven’t had any issues either … and I’ve been a few times

Hong Kong visa office is natorious as the worst place to go, but also the most convenient. Out of my 4 roomates, 3 have a Hong Kong visa office horror story. Two of them both got the same ‘visa lady from hell’ on the same day last year. It nearly resulted in fisty cuffs. On a brighter note, the other guy had no probs.

Another thing to be careful about these days when going for a HK visa run is the return ticket.

I went to HK two weeks ago, and as usual I bought a return ticket to Hong Kong from Taipei that I used to get the visa. I cancelled the ticket later in the day to get back the money.

This has worked fiiiine before, but two weeks ago it was different. When I was checking in at Cathay Pacific at HK airport, the check-in counter asked me to show the return ticket!

I spent more than 10 minutes at the check-in counter lying about how I got a ticket in Taipei, and assured them that there wouldn’t be any problem in Taiwan. The check-in counter still proceeded into their database to see if they could find my return flight, but just because the person that knew how to do this wasn’t there, I got board that plane. Phew… too close.

I met someone with a open ticket to Okinawa. Maybe that’s a safer way of doing this HK visa-run.