The dependent visa in Hong Kong is a type of visa that allows an individual to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as a dependent, a person who joins another who has the right to stay in the city.A key element of the application process is that the dependent’s visa is based on the fact that his or her relative is a sponsor for this purpose, and has already been admitted to remain in the HKSAR for a certain purpose.
|Who can apply||The spouse, the other party to a same-sex marriage or civil union, the unmarried minor children; for sponsors who are already permanent residents or have a resident permit without a limit of stay, parents aged 60 years and above can also apply as dependents.|
Who is not eligible for application
|Certain Mainland Chinese citizens, Afghan, Albanian, Cuban and Korean nationals, former Mainland Chinese residents who have residence in Macau (subject to conditions).|
A genuine and reasonable relationship between the applicant and the sponsor;
No record that is detrimental to the applicant;
The sponsor is able to support an adequate standard of living and accommodation for his/her dependent/s.
|Documents submitted by the applicant||Part A of the application form, identification documents, proof of the relationship with the sponsor (marriage or birth certificates, etc.).|
|Documents submitted by the sponsor||
Part B of the application form, identification documents, proof of lawful stay in Hing Kong and proof of financial standing, proof of proper accommodation in Hong Kong.
English or Chinese
Sworn translations if the original documents are issued in languages other than Chinese or English.
The Hong Kong authorities may require other supporting documents on a case-by-case basis.
|Applications for minors||
The application is signed by the parent or legal guardian when the applicant is under 16 years of age.
|Dependant’s length of stay in Hong Kong||Depends on the Sponsor’s length of stay (under the General Employment Policy, as per the employment agreement, or as applicable in other cases).|
|Expected processing time||
|Dependent visa renewal||
Within 4 weeks before the expiry of the limit of stay and only if he continues to comply with the eligibility criteria for residence as a dependant.
|Permanent residence for dependants||
After at least 7 years of lawful stay in Hong Kong.
|How we can help you||
We provide complete assistance throughout the entire visa application and processing phases.
|When to contact our team||As soon as you decide to reunite in Hong Kong with the individual for whom you are considered a dependant.|
Table of Contents
Who can apply for a dependent visa in Hong Kong?
The dependent visa in Hong Kong applies to several categories of individuals:
- Spouse: when an individual who is already accepted to enter Hong Kong wishes to bring his or her spouse;
- Civil partner: the holder of a residence permit can also be a dependent with whom he or she is not married, but in a civil partnership, including a same-sex civil partnership;
- Children: the unmarried, dependent children of the sponsor or permit holder who are under the age of 18;
- Parents: the residence permit holder’s mother or father can join him or her in Hong Kong, provided that they are aged 60 or above.
If you wish to move to Hong Kong and bring your family members with you, the immigration experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can help you.
We invite you to watch a short video about this type of visa:
Dependant visa Hong Kong application
When applying for this type of visa, the process will be looked upon in a favorable manner if the following apply:
- the relationship between the parties is a genuine one and the application includes proof thereof;
- the applicant, the one who applies for the HK dependent visa, has no record that would prevent the authorities from granting the request;
- the sponsor is able to support the dependent above the subsistence level and will be able to provide him or her with accommodation in Hong Kong that is deemed suitable.
The dependent visa in Hong Kong is awarded to one applicant only. This means that each family member will submit a separate application that is subject to evaluation according to these criteria, along with others that may apply in a particular situation.
Our lawyers in Hong Kong can give you more information about the conditions that need to be satisfied by both the dependent (applicant) and the sponsor.
Discussing the needed steps for visa or entry permit applications is easier with a team of immigration lawyers in Hong Kong. Our immigration attorneys assist foreign nationals who wish to apply for a visa or an entry permit, those who are already in the HKSAR and wish to apply for a Hong Kong identity card, as well as those who wish to extend their right of stay.
The list below briefly outlines the documents needed when making an application for the dependant visa in Hong Kong:
- forms: both the dependent (applicant) and the sponsor fill in special forms that outline their situation;
- application: the dependent fills in an application for entry for residence as dependant in Hong Kong;
- identity documents: a copy of the applicant’s travel document (passport) as well as a recent photograph;
- proof of relationship: a copy of the document that attests to the relationship with the sponsor; this can be a marriage certificate, a birth certificate, or a census record; informal documents can also be included, such as family photographs or letters.
Our team can give you more details about the documents that need to be filled in and submitted by the applicant for the purpose of obtaining the dependent visa for Hong Kong.
Apart from having to fill in the form intended for his status, the sponsor will also be asked to provide copies of his Hong Kong identity card or travel document, as well as proof of financial means and accommodation (these can include the bank statement, salary slips, and tax receipts as well as the rental receipts or the rental agreement).
Applicants should know that the aforementioned documents are required in all cases, however, the authorities may decide to request additional supporting documents, as may be fit on a case-by-case basis.
Documents that are not in Chinese or English are to be accompanied by a sworn translation in one of these two languages. This is a document signed and stamped by a sworn translator.
The completed forms are mailed to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong (by following the rules for postage with return address), or delivered in person to the Immigration Department (to a certain sub-unit). Some applications can also be submitted to Chinese diplomatic/consular missions abroad, which are near the applicant’s domicile.
All applications are processed and evaluated by the Immigration Department individually. Their refusal can apply when the Director of Immigration believes that the applicant does not meet all the eligibility criteria.
Applicants should also take the following into account:
- the usual processing time is around 6 weeks;
- $230 is the fee for an ordinary visa;
- $260 for any request or recommendation to an authority of a foreign state.
While the normal processing time for this type of visa is six weeks, one should take into account that this time is calculated after the receipt of all the needed documents. Therefore, if the initial submission lacks one or more documents, this processing time will be longer. The Immigration Department does not commence the processing of visa applications until all the required documents (and additional documents, as may be the case) are received for a particular applicant.
In order to avoid the situation in which your application might be deemed incomplete, we recommend discussing with our local team before making the final application with the Immigration Department. Our agents will be able to tell you if your documentation meets the current criteria, as well as advise you beforehand if any documents are missing or should be provided.
Our team also informs applicants that filed visits may be conducted by immigration officers, should the authorities suspect that an inquiry is needed in a certain case. Individuals found guilty of making false statements during the application process for obtaining a dependant visa shall be charged with an offence and prevented from being granted such as visa or permit to remain in the HKSAR.
Post-application steps for the HK dependent visa
Once the application is approved by the Immigration Department, the applicant collects the visa/entry permit label.
An individual who holds a dependent visa for Hong Kong can take up employment in some cases, for example if he or she is the dependent of a Hong Kong permanent resident or of an individual who is not subject to a limit of stay or of a foreign national who is in Hong Kong for employment purposes.
Dependants of foreign nationals who reside in Hong Kong temporarily for study purposes may not take up employment in Hong Kong. The only manner in which they may do so is if they obtain permission for employment from the Director of Immigration.
The dependent visa does not apply in case of Chinese residents of Mainland China (with certain exceptions), former Mainland Chinese residents who reside in Macao and have a identity card issued for less than seven years or to nationals of Afghanistan and Korea.
Dependent visa holders who wish to extend their application (renew their visa) will be required to submit the following documents:
- the application form for the extension of stay;
- original and copy of the applicant’s travel document and the previous visa;
- Hong Kong identity card copy;
- Copy of the sponsor’s valid identification documents (either the Hong Kong permanent identity card or the valid travel document which includes the right to remain in the HKSAR);
- the filled form for the dependent spouse (or civil partner, as applicable).
The dependent who holds and renews his visa periodically can apply for the right of abode if they have continued to reside in the HKSAR continuously for at least seven years. The same requirements for acquiring the right of abode apply in the case of dependents as for other categories of applicants (such as those who have remained in Hong Kong for at least seven years under the general employment policy).
Reuniting with family members who are already living in Hong Kong as temporary or permanent residents is important for many families and it is a natural step, once the sponsor has arrived in Hong Kong and has made the needed arrangements for secure income and proper accommodation.
Our team can assist you if you want to apply for a dependant visa. Contact our lawyers in Hong Kong for more information about how your spouse or family members can join you if you wisht to move to Hong Kong.
We also assist applicants who are interested in other types of entry visas or permits.