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Hadley Says

What is the Condition Precedent for Defacto Spouses In Securing a Prolonged Visitor Visa for Hong Kong?

March 2nd, 2019

Posted in Family Visas, Hadley Says…, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


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.

The prolonged visitor visa doesn’t actually exist as an official visa type like the employment, investment, student, QMAS and other categories do.

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.

More Stuff to Help You Along

What Hong Kong visa options exist for unmarried trailing partners?

Is the ‘Shenzhen Shuttle’  a good way to extend your Hong Kong visitor visa?

Blended, unmarried, non traditional family with school age kids – what Hong Kong visa choices exist?

I have an employment visa and want to bring my girlfriend to Hong Kong  so what are our visa options?

Understanding the procedure for a same sex partner visa applicatrion 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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