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Hong Kong to recognise same-sex partnerships when granting dependant visas

The new policy does not mean the government has legalised same-sex marriages

By Steve Brown

Hong Kong will recognise overseas same-sex partnerships when granting dependant visas for the first time.

The new policy, which is set to come into effect on Wednesday (September 19), was announced by the government today (September 18) after a review prompted by a Court of Final Appeal ruling in July after a long legal battle, where a married British lesbian – who had been denied a spousal visa – was granted the needed visa.

Despite introducing the new policy, it doesn’t mean the government has legalised same-sex marriage, the South China Morning Post reported.

Under the new police, the director of immigration will consider an application from a person who has entered into “a same-sex civil partnership, same-sex civil union, same-sex marriage, or opposite-sex civil partnership or opposite-sex civil union outside Hong Kong” for entry for residence as a dependant.

There will need to be “reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor”, “no known record to the detriment of the applicant”, and proof that “the sponsor is able to support the dependant’s living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong”, according to a government statement.