Hong Kong Dependant Visa Scheme
This article provides details about eligibility requirements, application procedure, processing timeline, and other relevant information about the Dependant Visa Scheme in Hong Kong.
The Dependant Visa is essentially a relocation visa for the immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children below 18 years of age) of foreign nationals who hold a valid Hong Kong visa for employment, investment, training or study in Hong Kong or who are permanent residents in Hong Kong.
A separate application needs be filled for each family member and must be sponsored by the principal visa holder.
The dependant’s length of stay in Hong Kong is tied to the sponsor’s length of stay. In other words, the Dependant Visa holder can live, work and study in Hong Kong for the period during which the principal visa holder is permitted to stay in Hong Kong.
Who can apply?
Depending on the residency status of the sponsor, the following dependants may apply to join him/her for residence in Hong Kong.
- Category A – For a sponsor who is a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident who is not subject to a limit of stay (i.e. a resident with the right to land or on unconditional stay):
- Unmarried children below 18 years of age (including legally adopted)
- Parents aged 60 years and above
- Category B – For a sponsor who has been issued a visa for: employment as a professional, for investment to join in/establish a business, for training, for studies in a full-time undergraduate or post-graduate programme in a local degree-awarding institution, or who is permitted to remain in Hong Kong as an entrant under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme:
- Unmarried children below 18 years of age (including legally adopted)
A Dependant Visa application must fulfill the following conditions:
- There must be reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant (i.e dependant) and the sponsor
- There should be no known record that is detrimental to the applicant
- The sponsor should be able to demonstrate that he can substantially support the dependants and provide suitable accommodation during their stay in Hong Kong
This entry arrangement does not apply to the following categories of persons:
- Chinese residents of the Mainland (except for those who fall under Category B mentioned above)
- Former Mainland Chinese residents residing in Macau who have acquired residence in Macau through channels other than the One-way Permit Scheme
- Nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Cuba and Korea
What documents are required?
Documents to be submitted by applicants:
- Completed Dependant Visa Application Form. For a child applicant under the age of 16, the form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child.
- Dependants whose sponsors are applying for visas either for employment as a professional, for investment to join in/establish a business, for training or for studies, need not fill in the separate Dependant Visa Application Form. This is because the application forms for employment visas, investment visas, training visas and visas meant for studies have a built in section for dependants and can be completed along with the sponsor’s principal application and submitted together.
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. If you are currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of your passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong. If you are a Chinese resident of the Mainland who has not been issued with a travel document you may submit a photocopy of your People’s Republic of China resident identity card.
- A copy of your Hong Kong identity card (if any)
- A copy of your Macau identity card (if you are a resident of Macau)
- A copy of your household registration in Taiwan and Taiwan identity card (if you are a resident of Taiwan)
- A copy of proof of your relationship with the sponsor, e.g. marriage certificates, birth certificates, family photographs, family letters, census record book and Privilege Card for Single Child (if applicable)
Documents to be submitted by sponsors:
- Part B of the Dependant Visa Application Form
- A copy of the sponsor’s Hong Kong identity card (if any)
- A copy of the personal particulars page of the sponsor’s passport. If the sponsor is currently staying in Hong Kong, a copy of the sponsor’s passport page containing the latest arrival stamp/extension of stay label in Hong Kong
- A copy of proof of the sponsor’s financial standing, e.g. bank statements, savings accounts passbooks, tax receipts and salary slips
- A copy of proof of sponsor’s accommodation, e.g. rental receipts
In the case of built in applications, where both the sponsor as well as the dependant are applying at the same time, it may not be possible for the sponsor (i.e. principal applicant) to furnish certain details like salary slips or rental receipts.
In such cases, the principal applicant’s sponsor should provide affirmation by furnishing a copy of the principal applicant’s employment contract stating salary, benefits etc. or any other document that demonstrates the principal applicant’s ability to support his/her dependants.
All documents submitted must be in English or Chinese or translated into English or Chinese by a certified translation body. The Immigration authorities reserve the right to demand further documents from the applicant or sponsor as and when necessary.
Application procedure and timeline
- Both you and your sponsor must prepare and complete all the necessary documentation
- Once the application forms and supporting documents are ready they must be submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
- If you are residing overseas, you can submit the documents in person to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country
- If you hold a foreign passport and live in Mainland China you can submit the documents to the Hong Kong Immigration Division located in Beijing.
- In the case of in-built applications, your sponsor can submit the application along with his principal visa application form – employment, investment, training or study (as the case may be).
- Once all the documents have been submitted, the processing of your Dependant Visa Application will on an average take around six weeks.
- If your application has been successful, the Immigration Department will issue a Visa/Entry Permit label. Your sponsor can collect it in person on your behalf and then proceed to post it to you. If you have submitted your application to the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, the Visa/Entry Permit will be issued through the relevant Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the Immigration Division of the Beijing Office, as the case may be.
- Upon receipt of the Visa/Entry Permit label, you must affix the same on a blank visa page of your passport. This must be presented to the Immigration Officer upon your arrival to Hong Kong. (for non-Mainland residents)
- If you are a Mainland resident you should, upon receipt of the Visa/Entry Permit label, proceed to obtain an Exit-entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (EEP) and a relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau office where your household registration is kept. The Entry Permit label should be affixed onto a blank endorsement page of your EEP on which your relevant exit endorsement has been obtained. The EEP must be presented to the Immigration Officer upon your arrival to Hong Kong.
Dependant Visa renewal
You can apply for a renewal of your Dependant Visa by filing the renewal application at least four weeks before the limit of stay expires. Your renewal application will be considered only if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for entry for residence as dependants and your sponsor remains a bona fide Hong Kong resident.
If the application is approved, the extension of stay in respect of:
- Dependants of persons who are Hong Kong permanent residents or residents who are not subject to a limit of stay (i.e. a resident with the right to land or on unconditional stay), will normally follow the 3-3 years pattern for the spouse and unmarried dependant children under the age of 18, and the 2-2-3 years pattern for the parents aged 60 or above.
- Dependants of persons who have been admitted into Hong Kong to take up employment or studies, or who are permitted to remain in Hong Kong as entrants under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme or Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, will be linked to that of their sponsors.
Can Dependant Visa holders work in Hong Kong?
- Dependants of the following persons are eligible to take up employment in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong permanent residents
- Persons who are not subject to a limit of stay (i.e. residents with the right to land or on unconditional stay)
- Persons who have been admitted for employment (as professionals, for investment to establish/join in business or for training) and
- Entrants under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme or the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme
- Dependants of persons who have been admitted into Hong Kong to study are not eligible to take up employment in Hong Kong unless prior permission from the Director of Immigration has been obtained
- Dependant Visa holders need not apply for a separate Employment Visa in order to work in Hong Kong
Can Dependant Visa holders study in Hong Kong?
Yes. All dependants are eligible to study in Hong Kong and do not require prior permission from the Director of Immigration. Dependant Visa holders need not apply for a separate student visa in order to study in Hong Kong.
Permanent residence in Hong Kong
If you have been granted a Dependants Visa and you have resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of at least seven years you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residence, commonly referred to as “Right of Abode” in Hong Kong, subject to satisfying the requisite criteria.