First Published 27th June 2013
In Hong Kong, unmarried heterosexual life partners who share their lives as defacto spouses can’t apply for a dependent visa for the non principal visa holding partner.
Instead they have to reply on a positive act of discretion of the Director of Immigration via an application for a prolonged visitor visa issued on an out of policy basis.
Rather the prolonged visitor visa is the response of the Immigration Department in recognizing the need for genuine, non-traditional families not to be separated just because they don’t confirm to an archetypical family construct.
Consequently, whilst this prolonged ‘slippers and pipe’ visa given to the trailing partner does afford the ability to be physically present in Hong Kong, it doesn’t, unfortunately allow any of the normal privileges that go with the dependant visa.
So, no ability to work, study or join in a business.
Apart from the need for the normal dependant visa type criteria to be satisfied en route to approval of such a prolonged visitor visa (such as prior cohabitation before the application and the ability for the sponsoring partner to show he can put a roof over the applicant’s head and food on her table) the couple need to be able to demonstrate that they are both free to marry, but choose not to.
So, if one of the parties is still legally married to an ex partner, the prolonged visitor visa is simply not going to fly.