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With effect from 19 September 2018, the Immigration Department revised its immigration policy that recognises granting a dependant visa to a person who has entered into a same-sex relationship outside Hong Kong, i.e. civil partnership, civil union or marriage, if the normal immigration requirements and specific eligibility criteria of the policy are met. Under the policy, there should be “reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor”, “no known record to the detriment of the applicant”, and “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”.

The revision was made in light of the Court of Final Appeal judgment handed down on 4 July 2018 in Director of Immigration v QT [2018] 4 HKC 403. The court held that the Director was not entitled, in implementing the immigration policy, to exclude, in the absence of justification, spousal relationships because they did not correspond with the definition of marriage under Hong Kong law, which did not recognise same-sex marriage or civil partnership.

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