The Hong Kong government made a formal announcement on Tuesday, 18 September that as of 19 September, 2018, same-sex couples whose relationship is legally recognised in the country in which they were married or entered a civil union will be able to apply for a dependent visa or entry permit to Hong Kong. The full text of the announcement is available here.
This is a significant step forward for Hong Kong, for the local LGBTQ community of Hong Kong, for LGBTQ couples and their families seeking to settle in Hong Kong and finally, for Hong Kong’s businesses. Hong Kong based businesses will now be on par with those in other locations globally when seeking to recruit the best staff, regardless of the individual’s personal circumstances.
With full access to a dependent visa, the ‘trailing spouse’ of a same-sex couple will now be on the same legal footing as all other trailing spouses. Most importantly, they will be able to obtain a HKID document which in turn will allow them to be a full participant in society – with the ability to get a job, register a business, open a bank account, obtain a HK driving licence, register for community library services, volunteer at their children’s school, be legally recognised as their spouse’s next-of-kin and as the full legal parent of their children – amongst a myriad other little (and not-so-little) everyday things.
A further point to note about this decision is that it shows that a government can recognise an existing, legally solemnised same-sex relationship, without permitting same-sex unions to be solemnised on their own sovereign territory.
This is fantastic news for all globally mobile families, but especially good news for those children with two mums or two dads.
link of govt announcement:
Written by Marion Wotton, Family Mobility Consultant Parental Choice – Hong Kong