The Hong Kong Government announced that from 19 September 2018, their Immigration Department will for the first time recognise the nature of same-sex civil partnerships, which have been entered into in accordance with laws outside Hong Kong, as being akin to spousal relationships in a heterosexual marriage. 

This new policy means that the other party to a same-sex partnership will now be able to apply to join their same-sex partner, who has been admitted into Hong Kong, for residence in Hong Kong as a dependant. Such applications for admission of a dependant will be favourably considered by the Director of Immigration if the individuals meet the normal immigration requirements. As is the case with heterosexual marriages, 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 should be able to support the dependant’s living at a standard well above the subsistence level and be able to provide him or her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong. 

Antonia Grant, partner at Lewis Silkin