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FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE: Na-Hold kami ng Immigration sa Hong Kong

Na-Hold kami ng Immigration sa Hong Kong

Three or four months ago, madami akong nabasa about dun sa mga Filipinos na na-hold ng immigration sa Hong Kong. They were interrogated and unfortunately, some of them were sent back to the Philippines. I can only imagine how bad that experience could be. It could be very traumatic.

Last week Two weeks ago, me and my friend have a scheduled trip to Hong Kong and Macau from November 12-19, 2018. Our plan is to fly from Manila to Hong Kong, spend a 5 days there then take a ferry to Macau and then fly back to Manila from Macau. Hindi naman ako worried kasi this will be my 3rd time to visit Hong Kong, and my friend's 2nd time.

Our flight is a 6:00 AM flight from Manila to Hong Kong via Cebu Pacific Air. They used a huge plane and we were almost full. Since hindi naman kami nagmamadali, we let other passengers get out of the plane first. So, nung medyo konti nalang and tao sa loob ng plane, when we decided to get out na. Siguro we were about 50 people na lang when we decided to get out.

So, ayun, nag-lakad na kami sa tube ng plane then when we got out - yung moment na papasok na sa mismong Hong Kong airport - nakita namin na ang daming immigration officers na naghihintay. Siguro nasa mga 10 immigration officers sila. Hindi naman lahat hinaharang nila for questioning. Pero ayun na nga, nasaktuhan kami.

'Eto na yung nangyari....


First, the immigration officer asked for our passports. Nung hawak na nya yung passport namin, she started to ask us questions.

She asked:
  1. What are you going to do here? Tourist? - We answered "yes," we're tourists.

  2. Is this your first time here? - We said "no." I said it's my 3rd time here.

  3. How many days are you staying here? - We said 5 days.

  4. Where is your return ticket? - We showed her our tickets from Macau to Manila (vouchers from Traveloka) along with the vouchers of our pre-booked ferry tickets from Hong Kong to Macau.

  5. Where will you be staying? - We showed her our hotel bookings in 2 hostels in Tsim Sha Tsui (hotel vouchers from Traveloka).

  6. What will you do here? - We said, "we're going to Disneyland" and then showed her our pre-booked Disneyland tickets (vouchers from Klook).

  7. You're not visiting other attractions? - We said, "no, because we've already been to the other sites. Maybe, we'll just go around and try the food."

She then gave back our passports and our vouchers and said: "Enjoy your time here in Hong Kong!" Then, she let us go.

Bakit ko nasabi na "na-hold" kami? Kasi hinarang kami ng immigration officer at hindi kami kaagad pinapasok. Habang yung ibang pasahero, tuloy tuloy lang. Random lang talaga siya.

This is not yet at the immigration area ha? All these happend paglabas pa lang from the tube ng plane (jet bridge).

Then maglalakad ka pa ng malayo at sasakay ng train to get to the immigration area, to the customs area, and finally get out of the airport. Pero dun sa immigration area where they give you entry permit, walang na tinanong sa amin. I just gave the Immigration Officer my passport and the accomplished arrival card then he gave me my entry permit.

Okay, yun lang naman ang nangyari sa amin. Importante talaga na ready ka kung sakaling matyempuhan ka na ma-hold ng immigration. Random lang naman yun. Pwedeng ma-hold ka, pwede din na hindi.

If ever ma-hold ka, just be confident and truthful in answering their questions and always be ready with your vouchers - especially your return tickets, hotel bookings, activities, tours, and attraction tickets.

Hong Kong, being a visa-free country for Filipinos, I didn't expect that this will happen to us. But it's a learning experience. I hope makatulong ito para sa mga pupunta sa Hong Kong.


To help you plan your Hong Kong and Macau Adventures, please read the travel guides below:




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3 comments :

Joel Aldor said...

Could be one of these things:

1.) Hongkong has already becoming more and more integrated with China that its immigration officials have adopted the inquest procedures being done in the mainland. Add to the fact that China is always suspicious of activities by Filipinos whenever they enter a territory they claim as theirs (e.g. West PH Sea)

2.) You may be mistaken for another Mervin Marasigan which may have been red-flagged early on.

Either way, this post is quite helpful.

nina said...

Something similar happened to me too, but in Singapore. I never had problems entering the country before, but what I overlooked was that I was using a new passport, and didn't bring my old one. Even though my new passport already had a couple of entry stamps from other countries, it wasn't registered in Singapore's database yet, so they had no record of me visiting before. I was taken to a holding room (with 5 other Pinays), and when I was asked again about my stay, I said this wasn't my first time, and it was a good thing I had a photocopy of my old passport, so they were able to look up the passport number in their database, and I was able to enter the country. Not as traumatic as other Filipino's experience, but it's still something that stays with me (and now I ALWAYS make sure to bring my old passport!)

Niks said...

same! but back then, d ko pa nababasa ung mga stories about it so akala ko tanong lang talaga. napabuti pa because i looked calm and excited lang. buti they let us through din and wished us a happy stay. dapat handa lang talaga ung docs.

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