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The Visa Dilemma of an Unmarried Trailing Partner Seeking to Work in Hong Kong

November 2nd, 2012

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


It’s a common enough problem, where unmarried couples are coming to Hong Kong, one to work, one trailing in the other’s wake. I have covered variations on this scenario previously, but this question is excellent as it gets to the heart of how to manage the inevitable visitor status of the non employed partner through til such a time as both parties are able to gain employment visa status.


“I viewed your Hong Kong visa presentation & I was wondering if you could help me with a query?

My partner is travelling over to Hong Kong to work for an airline. As we are not married I will not be a dependent person.

I was told that I would receive a tourist visa for 3 months which could be lengthened by travelling outside HK & re-entering.

I hope to find employment in HK & remain on, on a work visa.

Please advise on:

(1) Should I mention my intention of seeking employment when entering HK or on a visa application?

(2) Your opinion on whether extending the visa based on the desire to find work in HK is possible?”

More Stuff to Help You Along

The long stay visitor’s awkward predicament

What Hong Kong visa options exist for unmarried trailing partners?

Do I automatically qualify for a Hong Kong dependant visa if my partner has a work or investment visa here?

The Hong Kong Immigration Department are out to deny, not approve, visa applications (aren’t they?)

Is it possible to get an extension to my visitor visa to stay with my girlfriend here?




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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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