landing in HK, visa doubt
Hi everybody! I'm from Italy, moving to Zhuhai for about 3 months for an internship. I would like landing in HK and getting a ferry to Zhuhai from the airport, the reverse on the way back. What puzzles me is the customs. I will have a Chinese business visa and if one's staying less than 90 days in HK no HK visa is needed, trouble is I'd have to leave from HK after about 93-94 days since the first arrival. Is travelling via HK actually a problem in this situation? Did anyone of you do the same to arrive to and then leave from Zhuhai? I tried to call the Chinese Consulate yesterday but nobody answered, the flight i'd like to book seems really convenient so I'd be really happy for any advice of yours :)
Do I understand correctly - you arrive to HK, and leave immediately for Zhuhai, then come back to HK airport in 93-94 days and leave for Italy? if so, you have no problem. Your day count starts as you enter HK and stops as you leave. Next time you get to HK, it is a new day count.
Upon landing in HK Airport, look for and follow the ferry service counter sign as you get off the plane & walk toward the arrival area. The ferry counter is inside the airport terminal, so do not go through the custom passport inspection as you're not entering HK but instead taking a transfer inside the airport terminal to China/Zhuhai by ferry----it's same principle as transferring onto another flight. When buying your ferry ticket be sure to show them your luggage tag if you have checked baggage on the flight, they'll move it to the ferry for you. When you arrive Zhuhai Port, wait and collect your luggage right after you step off the boat before going through the Chinese custom inspection. Be sure your flight arrives the HK airport allowing you to buy your ferry ticket 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure otherwise you'll have to take a later ferry (and there aren't many only 3 per day)
HKIA to Zhuhai Ferry schedule
12:15, 14:15, and 17:00
You'r only in HK to land so if you get the ferry across you never need to go to HK customs. Not that that matters anyway as you are not staying over night in HK. Each time you visit HK you have 90 days to stay there. I would look more at what your business visa offers you for China? 30 days or 90 days & is it multi entry?
HK is part of China now but one country two systems so HK/Zhuhai don't count towards your China/HK visa requirements.
Does that make any sense??!!
If you take the boat to Zhuhai directly from the Hong Kong airport you do not "enter" Hong Kong. Same on the return.
I have done this a few times. I do not recall clearning Hong Kong Immigration/Customs either way.
You remain within the secure area of the airport. That is my understanding.
Oh yes, what Taffy said - double check how many actual days they give you with a stamp at the immigration in Zhuhai. Clarify it with them - we were going to Macau with a friend a couple months ago and he apparently overstayed by 2 days (miscalculated). Thankfully it was his first time and they just let him go with a warning.
And don't forget when you return from Zhuhai (or Macau) to HK airport, you can claim a refund on airport tax (cos you are in "transit"), there is a special desk for that.
It sounds to me like you have a three month multi entry visa into China. So before the 90 days is up you will need to leave and go to Macau or Hong Kong then come back again. If you have a European passport you will get 90 days entry to both HK & Macau automatically with no visa requirements.
If you stay in China over the 90 days they can fine you up to 5000RMB and you will only get fined as you are leaving China to go home.
Generally they will not be that generous and let you leave unless you have a baby or are pregnant. Unfortunately they are not the EU where if you overstay your visa they'll give you a house and pay for all your food!!!! LOL!!
I believe the last ferry from HK to Zhuhai is 20:00. They added a later ferry. I know this because the 20:00 ferry is the only one I can use to return "home" from Canada. Were the last ferry 17:00, I'd have to arrange overnight accommodations in HK.
Alternatively Turbojet sails to Macau from HKIA until 2200, the border closes at midnight, so there should be about an hour for the trip from ferry terminal to the Macau/Zhuhai border.
There are also later ferries from downtown Hong Kong to Macau, but anything later than 2200 will not work as it will not be possible to get across to Zhuhai. The HK-Macau Ferry Terminal ferry terminal has the last ferry at 21:30.
The ferry straight from HKIA to Zhuhai is by far the easiest as the alternatives from downtown Hong Kong does involve picking up luggage, finding the Airport Express train, and then finding the way to the right ferry terminal. Not the best of activities after a long flight, however it is worth some effort to not have to find a hotel late at night in Hong Kong, the couple of times I have been trapped there, the cheapest hotelrooms I could dig up have been about 2000HKD.
Try the Butterfly on Wellington. Much less than 2000 HKD, clean, and in an interesting area of the city.
However, it would be a tiring trip from the airport after a long flight.