New Content Daily Sign Up Here

Your Questions Answered

Hong Kong Dependant Visa: How Can You Prove Your Relationship is Genuine If You Marry in Hong Kong But Have Been Together Only About a Year?

January 2nd, 2022

Posted by / in Family Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 12 responses


How do you go about demonstrating to the Hong Kong Immigration Department that your relationship is a genuine one as you apply for a Hong Kong dependant visa?


I have a question about the interplay between marriage and subsequently obtaining a Hong Kong dependant visa.

Our situation is as follows: I am professional with an employment visa for HK (through sponsorship). I can provide accommodation and living well above subsistence level for us both. I have been in Hong Kong for 9 months. I have a French passport.

My girlfriend holds a German passport. She arrived in Hong Kong in three weeks ago and so has a 90 days visitor visa. She came here to spend time with me but of course also to look into job opportunities. As you know it is much easier to take up employment when on a dependant visa compared to having to go through the process of finding an employer who wants to sponsor you.

We are not married but we are considering the option so as to (1) get peace of mind in regards to right of staying here and (2) to make it easier for my girlfriend to get a job here in Hong Kong.

We understand it is quite easy to arrange a legal marriage here in Hong Kong and that it takes about two weeks.

What we are interested in finding out is however what happens after the marriage and whether, in our circumstances, we are likely to obtain a Hong Kong dependant visa easily.

We are unable to prove previous cohabitation (Hong Kong is our first chance to live together) and we have only been a couple for little more than a year. Nevertheless our motivation to be together is genuine and marriage is probably something that would happen further down the line.

So to sum up all we would have to convince Immigration is a marriage entered into in Hong Kong together with a genuine motivation to be together.

My question are therefore:

(A) Whilst we can easily get married (the formalities), can we expect the Immigration Department to grant a dependant visa to my girlfriend?

(B) How long is the process likely to take?

(C) Is she allowed to stay in Hong Kong while the visa application is being processed and can she travel with me on one or two extended weekend holidays during the remainder of the 90 days?

We understand a new entry triggers a new 90 day period and that a total of more than 180 days stay in one year is likely to result in questions and possibly Short Conditional Landing status.

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

Pathways to Hong Kong residency

Hong Kong travel pass used to keep an extended family together – quite lawfully

Is it better to apply for your visa before or after you move to Hong Kong?

What are your visa options for Hong Kong where your marriage has irretrievably broken down

How to gee up a Hong Kong visa application where the process is taking too long to finalise




Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

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.

  • rose

    12 Jul 2023 am31 11:24am

    hello, i just recently got married with a hongkong citizen. i want to know how long do i need to wait before i can apply for the spouse visa after marriage? I hope you can help me. Thank you.

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Jul 2023 am31 11:51am

      6 weeks after submission

  • Fatima

    9 Apr 2023 am30 6:17am

    If I am living with my father my father pay rent and I don’t have job but I owned something which is valuable and I sell and deposit money to bank account for spouse visa can I do it is it acceptable to have money in account without job

    • The Visa Geeza

      9 Apr 2023 am30 10:28am

      I doubt it.

  • Jesslie

    9 Jan 2023 pm31 2:11pm

    Hi, my partner is a HongKong resident and we’re almost 4 years in a relationship and we just got married last December 23 2022, I want to know how long we should wait before applying for Independent visa?

    I’m also working as a domestic helper for almost 1 year because of pandemic we cant see each other so I decided to work here so we can see each other atleast

    What do we need prepare and what to expect?
    Thank you so much

  • Jeremy

    8 Nov 2020 am30 2:45am

    Hi, I hope this message finds you well.

    I have listened to your podcast and read all the responses to all the above questions, however our circumstance has been met with some complications due to COVID, and wanted a bit more information on the possibility of obtaining a dependant visa.

    Our situation is as follows:
    1. I am a HK permanent resident currently living and working in HK;
    2. My girlfriend is an Italian citizen currently living in Italy ;
    3. I can provide accommodation and living well above subsidence levels ;
    4. We have been dating for a year and a half;
    5. We can provide proof of a genuine relationship (messages, photos, witnesses from both friends and family)
    6. Proof of cohabitation to some level; we met in Amman Jordan and each rented a flat (before we met), but I moved into her flat after it became a serious relationship (though my name is not on the lease due to previously mentioned reason)

    Under the above circumstances, is it possible to:
    1. Get married online in HK during COVID;
    2. Obtain a dependent visa
    3. What information/proof would they ask us to provide?

    We really appreciate you taking the time out, thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Nov 2020 pm30 12:32pm

      The meat of this question is ‘online marriage’. I have no idea if this is legally possible anywhere in the world much less whether ImmD would recognize it. Assuming you can both travel to a location to complete the nuptials in person the rest of the dependant visa process is straight forward. Check out Malta or Gibraltar for marriage arrangement.

  • CL

    11 May 2020 pm31 11:17pm

    Hello, for my circumstances, I have been dating my online boyfriend since I was 16 and him 17, we have been in a realtionship for 8 years already. We never got a chance to live together, however my boyfriend visits me once in 2-3 years, and we would have images to prove that. Also, we would have records of chat messages from whatsapp to show how we talk regularly over the years. In addition, we could also show them the photos of him with my relatives and immediate family (taken one week ago) as prove. Although we want to have a ceremony but he could only stay as a tourist for 3 months, so there is no way there is enough time. Now we are also considering the option of getting married so he could work and stay in my country. Would the immigration embassy also ask us questions allowing us to prove our marriage? Also, If we explain our circumstances of how we can’t get together, with our limitations, do you think the possibility of him getting a dependent visa is high? If not, what do you think we could do to increase our chances given our limitations?

    If not do you it would be an easy thing for him as an American, native english speaker, with 1-2 years of job experience and mere college (not that well known) degree, who working in the technology industry, to find a job as a foreigner?

    • The Visa Geeza

      12 May 2020 am31 11:05am

      No chance for an employment visa. Get married somewhere as soon as you can. Show ImmD you have a stable income of about HKD15K per month and a place for you both to live in HK. Then you’re in with a chance. Everything else is a pipe dream (sorry to say).

  • Cherisse

    15 Apr 2020 am30 10:57am

    Hi, I have read the response to this question, however I have a few more points to ask as my situation is a little different.

    I have been living and working in Hong Kong for 5 years with my partner (we have been together for 6.5 years). We are planning to get married in Australia in November 2020 assuming the bans are lifted there for group gatherings.

    I just got made redundant at work and have switched to a visitors visa as no one is hiring at the moment due to the virus. When I applied for a visitors visa they only gave me 1 month and asked me to pay $230. Usually when you exit/enter the country you get 3 months for free. I don’t really want to have to go every month to do this, I can’t exit the country without having to do 14 days quarantine there and back plus there is no guarantee I’ll get the extension each time I apply.

    My partner and I were wondering if it’s easier to get married in Hong Kong next month and if the immigration department will allow me to get a dependent visa under the circumstances?


    • The Visa Geeza

      22 Apr 2020 am30 11:05am

      You can certainly get married in HK and apply for a dependant visa. However, the fact that you’re in HK doesn’t positively impact that application. It will be treated as normal. Presently ImmD are extending visitor visas 30 days at a time. The fee of 230HKD has to be paid each time. under presently arrangements if you left you would not be admitted back into HK which is not admitting visitors at this time. So the quarantine fear is a red herring at the moment.


CommentLuv badge