California, US

Jul 10 2018

Temporary Arrangement in Place for Same-Sex Dependent Visa Applicants

Hong Kong

The situation

As a result of the Court of Final Appeal’s recent ruling upholding the right of same-sex spouses to dependent status, the Immigration Department has announced that it will start accepting dependent visa applications from qualified same-sex spouses as part of an interim arrangement while it reviews current immigration policy on this issue.

A closer look

  • Eligibility. Applicants must meet usual immigration requirements including the following specific eligibility criteria:
    • reasonable proof of genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor;
    • no known detrimental record; and
    • sponsoring spouse’s ability to support the applicant's living standard, which should be well above the subsistence level, and provide him or her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong.
  • Benefits granted. Qualified dependents will enjoy the following benefits:
    • Permission to remain in Hong Kong for up to 12 months or in line with their sponsoring spouse's limit of stay, whichever is shorter.
    • Employment rights;
    • Right to start or join a business; and
    • Right to study.


Same-sex spouses of eligible sponsors should benefit from this interim arrangement that would allow them to stay longer, find employment, start or join a business, or study in Hong Kong.

Looking ahead

The rules and conditions governing a dependent visa application under this interim arrangement may change once the Immigration Department completes its review and a new policy takes effect.

Fragomen will monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to