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Hong Kong Dependant Visa: How Can You Prove Your Relationship is Genuine If You Marry in Hong Kong But Have Been Together Only About a Year?

January 2nd, 2022

Posted in Family Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered /


How do you go about demonstrating to the Hong Kong Immigration Department that your relationship is a genuine one as you apply for a Hong Kong dependant visa?


I have a question about the interplay between marriage and subsequently obtaining a Hong Kong dependant visa.

Our situation is as follows: I am professional with an employment visa for HK (through sponsorship). I can provide accommodation and living well above subsistence level for us both. I have been in Hong Kong for 9 months. I have a French passport.

My girlfriend holds a German passport. She arrived in Hong Kong in three weeks ago and so has a 90 days visitor visa. She came here to spend time with me but of course also to look into job opportunities. As you know it is much easier to take up employment when on a dependant visa compared to having to go through the process of finding an employer who wants to sponsor you.

We are not married but we are considering the option so as to (1) get peace of mind in regards to right of staying here and (2) to make it easier for my girlfriend to get a job here in Hong Kong.

We understand it is quite easy to arrange a legal marriage here in Hong Kong and that it takes about two weeks.

What we are interested in finding out is however what happens after the marriage and whether, in our circumstances, we are likely to obtain a Hong Kong dependant visa easily.

We are unable to prove previous cohabitation (Hong Kong is our first chance to live together) and we have only been a couple for little more than a year. Nevertheless our motivation to be together is genuine and marriage is probably something that would happen further down the line.

So to sum up all we would have to convince Immigration is a marriage entered into in Hong Kong together with a genuine motivation to be together.

My question are therefore:

(A) Whilst we can easily get married (the formalities), can we expect the Immigration Department to grant a dependant visa to my girlfriend?

(B) How long is the process likely to take?

(C) Is she allowed to stay in Hong Kong while the visa application is being processed and can she travel with me on one or two extended weekend holidays during the remainder of the 90 days?

We understand a new entry triggers a new 90 day period and that a total of more than 180 days stay in one year is likely to result in questions and possibly Short Conditional Landing status.

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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