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How Are Fiances Prior To Marriage Treated By The Hong Kong Immigration Department?

May 10th, 2024

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


The issue of fiances prior to marriage and how the Hong Kong Immigration Department treat them is often confused so I was happy to receive this question recently.

Fiances Prior to Marriage

So, how are fiance’s prior to marriage treated by the Hong Kong Immigration Department?


My fiancé is a Philippine resident working in Hong Kong for the past 4 years. She met with a divorce lawyer and is filing for divorce from her Philippine husband.  Will be uncontested.  The lawyer from Hong Kong said the divorce will proceed faster if we show the court we filed for a fiancé visa and showed that to the court.  Can we file for fiancé visa during the divorce process?   I am an American citizen, spent a week there earlier in the year.  I qualify on my end


Unlike countries such as Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand, Hong Kong doesn’t have a formal fiance visa as such. That is an immigration status that’s designed specifically to allow a couple who are engaged to be married in Hong Kong and who need to have some time together in Hong Kong prior to the completion of the legal formalities, which results consequently in a dependent visa upon application; in such instances the Immigration Department will receive an application from the non-resident partner on the basis of an extension to her or his visitor visa pending the completion of the nuptials.

So, effectively this is an out of pocket positive act of discretion on part of the Immigration Department to allow the couple to remain together until the formalisation of the marriage occurs through the complete ceremony. And usually the Immigration Department don’t afford any longer than a three-month period of stay as an absolute maximum to accommodate  such fiance type scenarios.

So whilst I can understand what your divorce lawyer is attempting to accomplish, unfortunately there isn’t a formal fiance visa as such that’s going to help you strategically move your fiance’s divorce from her previous partner along, unfortunately. So, yeah, that’s how fiance visas are dealt with in Hong Kong.

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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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