At the present time, Hong Kong is among 62 countries whose citizens may visit Italy without obtaining a visa. From 2021 onward, however, this is expected to change, as the European Union will introduce the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS. Unlike a traditional visa for Italy, the ETIAS will allow applicants to obtain travel authorization for Italy electronically, before they leave their home country. Hong Kong citizens traveling to Italy can expect the ETIAS Italy for Hong Kong citizens to replace the current visa-free regime in the near future.
ETIAS Requirements for Hong Kong Citizens
Citizens of Hong Kong need to be in possession of three items in order to satisfy the ETIAS Italy requirements for Hong Kong citizens:
- A valid passport, issued by the government of Hong Kong
- An active debit or credit card (to pay the ETIAS application fee)
- A working email address (to receive the electronic ETIAS authorization)
Hong Kong nationals who possess these items are eligible to apply for ETIAS to visit Italy. To do so, applicants must complete and submit a short online form. This form will ask them to provide their basic personal details, passport information, and some details about their health status, criminal record, and travel history. The fact that this process can be completed entirely online means that Hong Kong passport holders can obtain their ETIAS Italy for Hong Kong citizens from the comfort of their own home or office.
Applicants who apply for ETIAS to visit Italy can expect to receive their ETIAS within minutes after submitting their application, but processing can, occasionally, take up to a maximum of 72 hours.
Personal Information for the ETIAS Italy
- Full name as stated on passport
- Place and date of birth
- Current home address
- Email address and phone number
- Passport details (number, dates of issue and expiry)
In accordance with ETIAS Italy requirements for Hong Kong citizens, applicants must also specify their planned port of entry into Italy or the wider Schengen Area when completing their ETIAS application. This is necessary because, in addition to granting entry into Italy, the ETIAS Italy for Hong Kong Citizens also authorizes the holder to visit any other Schengen country for a stay of up to 90 days within a single 180-day period.
The personal information submitted by Hong Kong citizens who apply for ETIAS to visit Italy is checked against a number of EU security databases, among them, VIS, Interpol, and EURODAC. If an ETIAS application is flagged based on information found in these databases, it will be processed manually by a member of ETIAS staff. Applications that are rejected may be appealed, in which case, the applicant will need to provide additional documentation to support their application.
What Documents Do I Need for the ETIAS Italy?
Once it has been processed and approved, the ETIAS Italy for Hong Kong citizens remains valid for three consecutive years. If the passport with which the ETIAS was obtained expires, however, the ETIAS itself will be rendered invalid. If this occurs, travelers are advised to renew their Hong Kong passport and obtain a new ETIAS which will be valid for entry into Italy.
Medical Info for Hong Kong Citizens
Hong Kong citizens are also advised to make sure they still have sufficient health insurance coverage for their trip, as the European Union does not automatically cover non-citizens for accidents or medical emergency expenses. Additionally, travelers should remember to store any prescription medication they are carrying in its original packaging, clearly labeled. It may be necessary to produce such items for inspection at the traveler’s initial port of entry or at other points within the Schengen area. To reach the emergency services in Italy, dial 112.
ETIAS Italy Benefits for Hong Kong Citizens
The ETIAS is intended to boost public security and guard against threats to public safety within Italy and the Schengen area. Thus, Hong Kong citizens traveling to Italy can feel safer on their trip thanks to ETIAS.