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V. Marrying non-HK residents

Generally, spouses of Hong Kong permanent residents do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong unless they fall within Schedule 1 of the Immigration Ordinance , Cap. 115 .

A. Hong Kong residents with spouses from overseas (other than Mainland China)

For spouses from overseas (other than Mainland China), if they wish to enter Hong Kong to reside, they need to apply for a dependant visa. They must show that they are dependants of their spouses who are either 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).

The following conditions must be satisfied for a successful dependant visa application:

  • Reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant ("dependant") and the spouse residing in Hong Kong ("sponsor");
  • the applicant should be of clear criminal records and raise no security or criminal concerns for the HKSAR;
  • the sponsor can substantially support the dependant and provide suitable accommodation during his/her stay in Hong Kong.

For more details on the application for a dependant visa, please visit the website of the Immigration Department .

Upon successful application for a dependant visa, the spouse from overseas is not prohibited from taking up employment in the HKSAR.

B. Hong Kong residents with spouses from Mainland China

For details about applying for a marriage registration in Mainland China, you may refer to the website of the Beijing Office of the HKSAR Government .

According to Article 22 of the Basic Law , for entry into the HKSAR, people from Mainland China (including a Mainland spouse) must apply for approval. A Mainland resident who wishes to settle in Hong Kong must apply for an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (also known as a "One-way Permit") from the office of the Exit-entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau where his/her household registration is kept in China. The process and issue of One-way Permits are administered by the Public Security Bureau in accordance with Mainland Chinese laws, policies and regulations.

Therefore, if a Mainland spouse  wishes to come to Hong Kong for family reunion, he/she needs to apply for a “One-way Permit” from the public security authority in the place of his/her household registration in China. The mainland spouse may also apply to bring along his/her minor children (i.e. under 18 years of age) from the Mainland to Hong Kong.

For more details, please refer to the website of the Immigration Department .

C. Foreigners or mainland residents working/studying in Hong Kong with spouses from overseas (including Mainland China)

For foreigners or mainland residents who are:

  • working in Hong Kong (as a professional, for investment to establish/join in business, or for training); or
  • studying in a full-time undergraduate or post-graduate local programme in a local degree-awarding institution; or
  • permitted to remain in the HKSAR as an entrant under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme or the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme,

their spouses and unmarried child (children) under the age of 18 may apply to join him/her for residence in Hong Kong.

The following conditions must be satisfied for a successful dependant visa application:

  • Reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant ("dependant") and the spouse residing in Hong Kong ("sponsor");
  • the applicant should be of clear criminal records and raise no security or criminal concerns for the HKSAR;
  • the sponsor can substantially support the dependant and provide suitable accommodation during his/her stay in Hong Kong.

For sponsors 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, their spouses or children may take up employment in the HKSAR upon successful application for a dependant visa.

However, dependants of sponsors who have been admitted to study are not permitted to take up employment unless they have obtained prior permission from the Director of Immigration.

For more details, please visit the website of the Immigration Department:

Foreigners working/studying in Hong Kong

Mainland residents working/studying in Hong Kong

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