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Extending Your Hong Kong Dependant Visa After Divorce – Is It Possible?

August 9th, 2023

Posted by / in Family Visas, Your Question Answered / 57 responses


Can You Extend Your Hong Kong Dependant Visa After Divorce?

First Published February 17, 2016

This is a Hong Kong immigration situation that happens a lot more frequently that you might imagine!


Hong Kong Dependant Visa After DivorceUpdated August 2023

Can You Extend Your Hong Kong Dependant Visa After Divorce?


I would like to know if there is any possibility to extend your Hong Kong dependent visa after divorce from a spouse who used to be my sponsor.

Presently I am a student in Seoul, Korea though I have been visiting Hong Kong at least once or twice a year since 2014.

My current dependent visa expires 2016/10/09.

I would like to maintain my residency in Hong Kong and I hope your expertise in immigration matters might be of great help to me.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.


Unfortunately, in the wake of your divorce from your dependant visa sponsor, unless you have a continuing rationale for remaining in Hong Kong there’s not much you can do, especially if you actually live in another country at this time.

My best advice would be to return to Hong Kong, start working for a third party employer (you don’t need special permission to do this with your current dependant visa) and in 2013 when your dependant visa expires, ask your employer to sponsor your employment visa to continue your residence in Hong Kong.

This should not be too much of a problem to accomplish.

After that, so long as you remain in Hong Kong as an employment visa holder, you should be able to get to 7 years continuous ordinary residence and thereafter make an application for the Right of Abode.

There’s no silver bullet in your circumstances I’m afraid.

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

  • John

    17 Jan 2024 am31 9:15am

    Me and my wife we just divorce.and my dependent visa need extension in 1 year 12/12/ spouse said she can spounser my dependent visa even we divorce.this is true or not?my question is it’s possible to spouser my visa after divorce?

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Jan 2024 pm31 12:13pm


  • Alex

    25 Sep 2023 pm30 12:43pm

    Hi – my wife and I are planning to divorce but before that, she has asked me to renew her dependent visa first so that she can get PR (she still has 1 year to go after the current visa’s expiration before hitting 7 years). By the time I can renew her dependent visa, I would have been out of the Hong Kong for almost 2 years (and she has been mostly in Hong Kong during this period). If I return to Hong Kong to renew her visa, will immigration question why I have been out of Hong Kong for 2 years and am still coming back to renew her visa?

    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Sep 2023 am30 10:53am

      Generally not.

  • KK

    25 Apr 2023 pm30 2:30pm

    Dear Advisor,

    I am now with my depandant visa for 3yrs 10 months, and I just renewed my dependant visa for another 3 yrs. I’m planning to divorce, so can i get a student visa to keep my 7yrs mark in order to get the PR?

    Such under dependant visa for 6yrs and student visa for 1 years = 7 yrs stay?

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Apr 2023 am30 8:27am


  • Ad

    14 Sep 2022 am30 11:52am

    If I get divorced after four years but my wife and I have joint custody of the child can I get pr ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Sep 2022 pm30 2:14pm

      Only if you have a valid residence visa at the 7 year mark (and maintained back to back valid residence visa status for the full 7 years). The fact of your custody arrangements with your child doesn’t automatically avail you of extensions to a depedant visa (assuming this is the visa type you have) or favourable consideration for any other type of visa.

  • JW

    3 Feb 2022 am28 11:33am

    Dear Advisor,

    I got married to my HK wife a few years ago and if I want to divorce with her, will it affect my stay in HK ? My visa is valid until Oct 2024.
    How will the arrangement be or anything that I need to pay attention to?

    One more thing , I will be a permanent resident after 3 years . If I divorce with my HK wife now , will I lose the chance to get my permanent in HK ? Do I need to start from zero if I intend to stay in HK?

    Thank you so much for your help .

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Feb 2022 am28 9:30am

      After divorce you cannot extend your dependent visa. So if you have no other immigration means to remain in HK after October 2024 (working as a Professional, for example) then you will be temporarily converted to visitor status at that time and eventually you will have to leave. If you possess visitor status you will lose your eligibility for PR

  • Souf

    11 Oct 2021 pm31 11:05pm

    Dependant Visa extension During divorce processing

    I filled for divorce a month ago (take 6 months at least to finalise a divorce in hong kong)

    My dependant visa is expiring in a month.

    Can I get a dependant visa extension for at least 6 months so I can be able to finalise my divorce?!

    N.B:my spouse is not co-operative at all (mean reason why we getting a divorce) so can’t ask him to cooperate and sign jointly the paper for a new dependant visa renewal, he wouldn’t do it.
    I can’t apply for an employment visa, as I’m the director of a limited company that I newly incorporated in hong kong.

    What are my options?

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Oct 2021 pm31 4:00pm

      ImmD will not grant you an extension to your dependant visa if legal proceedings to bring the marriage to an end have commenced. Never any exceptions. Your options are limited sorry to say. They will probably let you remain on visitor status for some time to finalise your divorce proceedings but it will be month by month.

  • jhen

    22 Sep 2021 pm30 11:57pm

    hello,I am jhen please help me, I am dependant visa with my husband since 2016 and we have 3yrs old daughter,but I’m planning to divorce him visa expire on Dec 21 ,2021,my question is what if my husband did not extend my visa for another 2 years to get (7yrs),since we already separate for 3months can I extend my visa by myself ?I have stable job at the moment and my daughter live with me, Do I still need him to sign my extention visa?my daughter was born here in hk.

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Oct 2021 pm31 12:39pm

      In order to secure an extension to a dependant visa both parties must remain reconciled and make a declaration to that end during the extension process.

  • Desperate Mom

    7 Jun 2021 pm30 1:54pm

    Dear Advisor, my husband and I have been separated for 3 months and soon we will start the mediation process, but I’m facing a big challenge re my DV. I’ll be eligible for PR on January 2022 but there’s still one more sponsorship needed for the renewal of my DV at the end of August 2021 and I’m afraid he will refuse it, even though he has said he won’t but I can’t trust on his words. I have not job currently and even so, the jobs I can apply are low to middle level and usually employers don’t offer employment sponsorship for this kind of jobs. Therefore I’m written to know my options at immigration in order to avoid interrupting my 7 years that would make me eligible for PR in with that having the opportunity to all the benefits that comes with it in order to be able to offer my 6 years old daughter the stability she deserves as she is born and raise in Hong Kong, her friends and school is here and my home country is not an option as literally it would be putting our life at risk. Please let me know your advice. Thank you very much for your attention and help. Best regards.

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Jun 2021 pm30 7:10pm

      Sorry for the delay in response. I missed this question. If your marriage has irretrievably broken down and legal proceedings have commenced to bring the marriage to an end there is no possibility of an extension to your dependent visa in any event. If you are not a Professional and unable to secure sponsorship for an employment visa, the only other surefire way to retain residency status in order to qualify for PR would be to convert to student status with the attendant cost and attendance to studies.

  • A

    23 Mar 2021 pm31 6:17pm

    Hi, great information, really thankful for the value you put in here for free on this blog. I have been on a dependent visa in hong kong for 6 years and 9.5 months. I need to renew my visa as my dependant visa it’s about to expire so I can heat the 7 years mark (to hit the 7-year mark I need only 2.5 months worth of visa), but I separated from my husband almost 2 years ago, so I wouldn’t be able to renew the dependant visa for that short time of 2.5 months just so I qualify to apply for PR. I was wondering if I can change my visa from a dependant visa to an employment visa as a director of my own business consulting company that I incorporated as a limited company here in hong kong 2 years ago.

    so the 7 years mark would look like something like this :
    6 years and 9.5 months. =under a dependant visa.
    2.5 months = under an employment visa sponsored by my own limited company as a director of that company.

    It’s a legitimate company as I have been paying corporation taxes and personal taxes. When I decided to separate I preferred to be self-employed rather than look for work on another company, would applying as a director of my company to obtain that employment visa says of at least 2.5 months to mark the 7 years and + 2 months that needed to go through the process of applying for a PR demand? So a total of 4.5 months visa extension with visa employment.

    If this option is not possible, is filing for divorce a better option and marrying my new boyfriend a better option ( as the dependant visa will expire in about 1.5 years from now. Would starting a divorce process cancel my dependant visa? and would apply for a new dependant under future husband count as an extension for the 6 years 9.5 months toward the 7 years mark for PR application? Or a reset altogether and I have to start recounting for 7 years with my new dependent visa (back to square 0)?

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Mar 2021 am31 10:45am

      (I need to renew my visa as my dependant visa it’s about to expire)
      (as the dependant visa will expire in about 1.5 years from now.)

      What date exactly does your dependant visa expire?

      • A

        31 Mar 2021 pm31 9:37pm

        Expire on the 7th of October 2022, but I need a visa extension up to 18th January 2023, so missing my 7-year mark by 3 months and 12 days.

        I was wondering if I could register for a mandarin or Cantonese course for a full year, starting February 2022 for the spring semester when my dependant visa is still valid, then when the dependant visa is about to expire ( 4 months before it expires) ask the school to apply me for a student visa to finish my academic year up to after 18th January 2023.

        or do you think the employment/entrepreneur visa is a better choice?

        • The Visa Geeza

          2 Apr 2021 pm30 12:27pm

          The student visa route will work.

          • A

            2 Apr 2021 pm30 6:15pm

            any affordable course Cantonese/mandarin course that you would advise that can take care of applying for my student visa too?

            Any risk to run into getting my student visa rejected?

          • The Visa Geeza

            13 Apr 2021 am30 10:20am

            No idea, sorry. Not my baliwick.

          • A

            2 Apr 2021 pm30 6:19pm

            when applying under my dependant visa for the course would I be considered applying as a local or nonlocal, just so I consider the fees associated with the school

          • The Visa Geeza

            13 Apr 2021 am30 10:20am

            No idea. Check with the School.

  • The Visa Geeza

    26 Jan 2021 pm31 2:18pm

    If you can show genuine reconciliation then yes.

  • Jina

    13 Jan 2021 am31 2:06am

    Hi, we appreciate all the information you provide for us for free on the comment section. Here my situation, my first one-year dependant visa was given to me on January 2018. Atthe end of 2019 I renewed it and they give me a second dependant visa for less than 3 years around 2 years and 9.5 months up to my passport expiry date: my passport expiry date on November 2021, and my second dependant visa expiry date is on October 2021. Now when I will be renewing my dependant visa on October 2021 wil they give me 3 years and 3.5 months = to compensate those months they haven’t given me on my second dependant visa, so I complete the 7 years mark, or they will only give me a dependent visa with 3 years. Hence the need to apply for a fourth dependant visa to complete the 7 years?

    Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Jan 2021 pm31 2:30pm

      3 years only. There’s no make up of missing periods due to passport validity issues.

  • Cc

    8 Nov 2020 pm30 9:55pm

    I am currently staying in hongkong as a dependant for 6 years and 1 month… next year 2021 October i will get my permanent.. i just apply my extension last june and immigration gave me 3 more years of visa that will until 2023 due to my passport renewal. But me and my husband are planning to get divorce as our relationship is not healthy anymore.. so the question is, after divorce can i still get my Pr ? Or no?

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Nov 2020 pm30 12:16pm

      The answer is yes you can qualify for PR

  • Martins

    2 Oct 2020 pm31 12:55pm

    Hello, please am in my 4 years independent VISA , I need to apply for the remaining 3 years on February 2021, but I want divorce from my wife now , we have a Child, My question is With my child or something can I still get my visa extension if I divorced her, Pls respond to me,

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2020 am31 11:23am

      No your fact of your child will not enable you to extend your dependent visa is your relationship has irretrievably broken down.

      • Martins

        11 Oct 2020 pm31 10:43pm

        Not really but close to, if I can be able or manage to stay till February to get the remaining 3 years visa, do I need her to get my PR?

        • The Visa Geeza

          16 Oct 2020 am31 11:44am


  • Vivian

    9 Apr 2020 am30 7:45am

    Hi I have a question, I was on a dependent visa with my ex husband ( who was on a working visa in HK). We were married in another country ( not HK), and then divorced. my dependent visa expires Aug 2020, but i am NOT currently residing in HK. However, my new employer is in HK and is seeking to sponsor my work visa (applying now to start working in Sept 2020). I would like to know if my dependent visa will affect the application of my work visa in any way? when going through the process of applying for the work visa, what are some of the things i should watch out for. In filling out new work visa application, should I idnetify as single or divorced ( because technically the marriage never registered in HK). Thank you in advance for answering these questions~

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Apr 2020 am30 11:13am

      As an existing dependant visa holder you will need to be in HK to seek to change your status to employment visa (you are currently deemed a resident so you need to be physically in HK to make adjustments to your immigration status here). In the meantime please see:

      • Vivian

        17 Apr 2020 am30 5:04am

        My dependent visa will expire before i start working for the company. The company is applying to sponsor my work visa from Aug 2020, my dependent visa will expire before that. Which means its not a change in sponsorship?

        • The Visa Geeza

          22 Apr 2020 am30 11:01am

          It’s a change of visa category.

  • Kevin

    28 Mar 2020 pm31 1:50pm

    So I have lived in HK for 6 years on dependent visa and I still have 1 more year of dependent visa left. My question is if I get divorced now, will I be able to apply for PR by myself after 7 years?

    • The Visa Geeza

      30 Mar 2020 am31 10:30am

      Yes but you MUST have a valid residence visa at the time you apply for an have your PR approved so if you DV expires just before your 7 years you might struggle.

  • catherine halasan

    8 Feb 2020 am29 3:04am

    hi .im dependant visa until may 10, 2020 .already been 6yrs being dpendanr .my problem is im divorce already with husband can i still renew m visa on my own. ? .pls answer me

  • kath

    11 Jan 2020 pm31 9:49pm

    I applied for a visa extension this time and my dependant visa is valid until January 2, 2023.
    Is my extended dependant visa valid after my divorce?
    Do I have to inform Hong Kong immigration about my divorce?

    • The Visa Geeza

      20 Jan 2020 pm31 1:41pm

      Yes your limit of stay remains valid even after divorce. However you will not be able to extend that dependent visa again. Yes, write to ImmD and let them know about the change in your marriage circumstances.

  • Nini

    14 Nov 2019 am30 2:44am

    Hi, I had divorced with my husband and I’m in the mid of apply my working visa, while I waiting for my working visa can I continue to work ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Nov 2019 am30 11:48am

      Yes as long as your dependent visa remains valid.

  • Ak

    17 Jun 2019 pm30 12:31pm

    Hi, I just divorce with my wife and my depend visa is valid till 1st June2020 . it will be 7 years in 1stJune2020. Do I need inform immigration now for change of status or I can simply work on the same visa till 1st June2020 after that apply PR.

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Jun 2019 am30 9:40am

      You can continue working on your DV until it expires BUT ImmD don’t just grant PR to you on June 2 – you need to anticipate that a valid visa will be needed on the day you file your PR application and also again on the day ImmD approve your PR application some 30 days after you apply and you can only apply after the 7 years have accrued in full.

  • jolly

    5 Mar 2019 pm31 12:36pm

    i am on depended visa for more than four years. recently i got divorced and now getting married to another woman in hong kong. My visa will expire in 2020, can i apply for renewal of visa through my new spouse who is also hk p.resident. my past years of stay will included in 7 year period for getting PR or it would be reset from now on?

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Mar 2019 pm31 3:37pm

      Yes but you will need to undergo a change of sponsorship application at the same time as you seek an extension pf stay. Treat it just like a new dependant visa but use the 5/F Immigration Tower Residents Section to start the process.

  • princesseye20

    15 Jul 2018 pm31 9:58pm

    I uave a concern with regards to ky current status as me and my daughter will live separately from my husband.. we got separated for a year but not divorce.. will my dependant visa be affected if we are living in different roofs? My dependant visa finishes on june 2021 and that completes my 7th uear of stay in the territory

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jul 2018 pm31 10:23pm

      If your husband assists in the extension of your dependant visas then you have nothing to worry about.

  • Shani

    12 Nov 2017 pm30 3:56pm

    Hi I’m shani I need yur help
    I’m here in Hong from 3 years I Hv dependet visa
    My wife want divorce
    Can I apply next visa by myself I do business I have trading company in Hong Kong ?

  • Sadik

    23 Sep 2013 pm30 7:43pm

    Please I need to know if the bad credit history can affect the procesing of dependant visa


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