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Obtain a Spouse Visa in Hong Kong

Obtain a Spouse Visa in Hong Kong

spouse visa in Hong Kong is an entry permit issued for dependants. It is issued to those who will enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) accompanying another individual who will reside for employment, business, or other purposes.

 Quick Facts  
Spouse visa in Hong Kong requirements

The applicant must have a sponsor in Hong Kong
(a residence permit holder)

Spouse visa nationality restrictions Certain Chinese nationals
Former Mainland China residents residing in Macao Special Administrative Region (in certain cases)
Nationals of Afghanistan
Nationals of Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

Spouse visa for civil partnerships (Yes/No)

Spouse visa in Hong Kong for non-heterosexual couples (Yes/No)


Spouse visa validity Dependent on the sponsor’s residence permit validity
Employment in Hong Kong for the spouse visa holder

The holder of a spouse visa in Hong Kong cannot take up employment if the sponsor resides in Hong Kong for study purposes unless they have special
approval for this

Study for the Hong Kong
visa holder

There is no need for prior permission
to study in the HKSAR

Income requirements The sponsor must prove that he/she has income to sustain the dependant at an standard above the subsistence level
Accommodation requirements

The sponsor must show that he/she can provide the spouse visa holder with proper accommodation
in Hong Kong

Document requirements
for the applicant
Hold a valid travel document at all times
Proof of relationship The parties must be able to show a genuine relationship (marriage registration, etc.)
Right of abode After continuous residence as a dependent
for no less than 7 years
Dependent visa for relatives other than spouses  Minor, unmarried and dependent children, parents aged 60 or above (in some cases)
Visa fee in Hong Kong $230 for the ordinary visa
 Visa processing time 6 weeks
Assistance for spouse visa applications   Foreign nationals who apply for the spouse visa in Hong Kong can benefit from complete assistance offered
by our team of lawyers

The visa for dependents is not an equivalent of a Hong Kong marriage visa, as different conditions can apply in this case.The conditions for the Hong Kong dependent spouse visa are briefly outlined below by our team.

For complete information about immigration, or details on other types of visas or entry permits, please get in touch with our lawyers in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong dependent spouse visa conditions

A spouse who accompanies the holder of a visa or residence permit is considered a dependent.

The entry arrangement allowing an individual to enter HKSAR as the dependent of a permit holder (his or her sponsor) does not apply in case of:

  1. Chinese residents of Mainland China, with certain exceptions (such as when the sponsor was admitted for certain purposes);
  2. former Mainland China residents who reside in Macao Special Administrative Region who have Macao identity cards for less than 7 years (unless they are residents of Macao under the one-way permit scheme);
  3. foreign nationals of Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Korea.

The immigration experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can give you more details about the conditions for the dependent entry permit, and the spouse visa in Hong Kong in case of Chinese residents subject to the aforementioned exemptions.

We can also provide information on the general residency requirements in HKSAR.

Hong Kong spouse visa requirements

The following categories of dependents can apply for this type of visa:

  • the applicant is the spouse or the other party to a same-sex civil partnership or same-sex civil union;
  • the applicant is unmarried dependent child under the age of 18;
  • the applicant is the parent aged 60 or above (only in some cases, when the sponsor is not subject to a limit of stay in Hong Kong).

The application for a spouse visa in Hong Kong is favourably considered in the following cases:

  • there is a genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor;
  • there is no detriment to the applicant;
  • the sponsor can support the dependent’s living in Hong Kong at a level above the subsistence level;
  • the sponsor can provide the applicant with accommodation in Hong Kong.

The applicant and the sponsor will provide adequate and sufficient proof of their relationship as part of the mandatory documentation requirements.

The dependent is required to fill in Part A of the application form for the dependent’s visa, while Part B of the same form is completed by the sponsor.

The duration of the dependent’s stay is dependent on that of the sponsor. The holder of a spouse visa in Hong Kong does not require special permission to study in HKSAR.

Dependents are generally permitted to take up employment while in the HKSAR, however, this is not possible for the dependants of sponsors who are in Hong Kong for study purposes.

Main fees and processing time for the spouse visa in Hong Kong

All visa or entry permit/residence permit applications are subject to fees.

To these, the applicant may also need to include any sworn translations for their documents, as needed.

The following fees and processing times are relevant for the spouse visa in Hong Kong:

  • ordinary visa fee: $230;
  • marriage at the office of the Registrar: $715 during regular hours and $1,935 outside of normal office hours;
  • the normal processing time for the dependent visa is 6 weeks.

Applicants should keep in mind that approval of the spouse visa is at the discretion of the Director of Immigration.

An extension of stay can be applied for within 4 weeks before the limit of stay expires.

If the couple plans on getting married in Hong Kong, our team can give them details on the Hong Kong marriage visa, and how to proceed for the lawful registration of their marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming to Hong Kong as the spouse of another foreign national will also create obligations and conditions for the spouse who is joining the Sponsor (the foreign national who was the first to obtain the right to remain in Hong Kong).

Our team specializing in residency in Hong Kong and immigration matters answers some of the most commonly asked questions by spouses.

1. Do I need to apply for the dependent visa or does my spouse?

You will need to apply for your part of the visa and the spouse will apply as the Sponsor.

2. Can same-sex couples benefit from this visa?

Yes. The other party to a same-sex civil partnership or union can also apply for a spouse visa in Hong Kong when the civil union is entered into in accordance with the laws in place and it is officially recognized by the authorities in the location where it was concluded.

3. Can I study in Hong Kong?

Yes, provided that you are admitted by a recognised educational institution on your own merits. There is no restriction or needed permission for dependants who wish to study in Hong Kong. While this is more often the case of dependents other than spouses (such as children who join a parent and will continue or take up studies here), the spouse is free to continue his/her studies.

4. Can I work in Hong Kong?

Only if you are the spouse of:
– a person who is a Hong Kong permanent resident;
– a person who is not subject to a limit of stay;
– an individual who has entered Hong Kong under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, or other schemes (our team can give you a complete list).

You will not be able to take up employment as the spouse of a foreign national who resides in Hong Kong for study purposes unless the Director of Immigration approves this in your case.

5. How can I extend my stay as a dependant?

As a spouse, you will need to maintain the same relationship with the Sponsor, meaning that the marriage relationship cannot change. The spouse visa cannot continue if the death of the sponsor occurs. In all cases, the Sponsor (your spouse) needs to remain a Hong Kong resident who continues to live in the HKSAR.

6. What happens if our child is born in Hong Kong while we are living here?

If your child is born in Hong Kong, he can obtain permanent residence only if your spouse (the Sponsor) is a permanent resident at the time of birth. However, the child will most likely retain this status until the age of 21, after which he or she will need to apply for permanent residence on own merits.

If neither parent is a permanent resident (nor a Chinese national), then a child born in Hong Kong will not have the legal status of a HKSAR permanent resident solely by virtue of having been born in this territory.

Our team can always answer additional questions about the visa for dependents, in the case of spouses who join their partners in Hong Kong.

Living in the HKSAR

Once you decide to relocate to Hong Kong, you will need to be aware of the requirements that you will need to comply with as a new resident. Making sure that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for your type of visa is essential, and so is the mandatory step of renewing your residence permit accordingly.

One of the steps you will need to take once you arrive in Hong Kong as the spouse to a Sponsor who is already a lawful resident will be to register for an identity card. All Hong Kong residents above the age of 11 are required to do so, although some exceptions apply.

The permanent identity card includes information on the holder’s right of abode in Hong Kong while the Hong Kong identity card does not state this particular right. The initial step is to obtain the identity card, followed by the permanent identity card as the holder will gain the right of abode (which is obtained after a lawful minimum period).

Do you wish to join your partner as his or her spouse? Contact our law firm in Hong Kong for more information about the spouse visa in Hong Kong.

Our team can answer any questions concerning immigration, from simple issues such as those concerning visas and entry permits to more complex issues that concern reuniting with family members. You can reach out to our immigration lawyers in Hong Kong if you have questions about the right of abode, residency in general, identity cards, or the certificate of registered particulars.