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Same-Sex Dependent Visas to be issued in Hong Kong

20 September 2018

With effect from 19 September 2018, same-sex partners will be eligible for the grant of a dependent visa in Hong Kong. Previously, same-sex partners were not deemed to be eligible for dependent visas under the Hong Kong Immigration department’s policy.

Who is affected:

Same-sex partners of eligible sponsors who have entered into a legal marriage, civil partnership or civil union outside of Hong Kong, that is legally recognised in the country of the marriage/partnership or union. Opposite-sex partners meeting the same criteria will also to obtain dependent visas without being married. Previously, only opposite-sex, married partners were eligible.

Background:

The Hong Kong Government conducted a policy review after a decision by the Court of Final Appeal earlier this year ordered the Immigration Department to grant a dependent visa to a same-sex partner.

Impact:

As a result of this review, the Immigration Department will grant dependent visas to qualifying same-sex partners, allowing them to live and work in Hong Kong. Previously, same-sex partners could be granted a long-term visit visa, though this did not permit employment.

Same-sex partners must be lawfully married, or in a legally-recognised civil union or civil partnership.

Furthermore, opposite-sex partners who are not lawfully married, but are in a legally-recognised civil union or civil partnership are now eligible for dependent visas through these provisions.

In addition to providing evidence of the marriage, civil union or civil partnership, applicants must also satisfy the Immigration Department that:

  1. there is reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor;
  2. there is no known record to the detriment of the applicant; and
  3. the sponsor is able to support the dependent’s living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.

Eligible same-sex partners currently holding other visas in Hong Kong can now pursue dependent visas if this better suits their personal circumstances.

How Santa Fe can assist:

Santa Fe can support businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals in Hong Kong by assessing their eligibility to qualify for the required visas to ensure compliance with immigration criteria.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Peter Ng
Immigration Team Leader
Santa Fe Relocation
Hong Kong
D: +852 2833 2532
F: +852 2575 1907
E: peter.ng@santaferelo.com

Byron Lewis
Regional Immigration Manager
MARN: 0635170
Santa Fe Relocation
Hong Kong
D: +852 2586 6023
M: +852 9023 3109
E: byron.lewis@santaferelo.com

Soumeya Messadi
Head of Immigration – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Singapore
D: +65 6398 3520
M: +65 9169 6061
E: soumeya.messadi@santaferelo.com

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