Hong Kong Denies Lesbian's Spousal Visa
Hong Kong Denies Lesbian’s Spousal Visa

A judge has ruled that Hong Kong will not recognise the ‘overseas concepts’ of a spouse.

A court in Hong Kong has rejected the application visa of a British lesbian.

The woman and her partner, only identified as QT and SS, entered into a civil union in the United Kingdom in 2011.

The pair planned to move to Hong Kong where SS had accepted a job offer.

On March 10, the Court of First Instance ruled that ‘overseas concepts’ of spouses were not accepted in Hong Kong.

Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung rejected international cases QT’s lawyer presented, writing in his ruling that, “We do not have such a specific provision in Hong Kong,” in reference to a safeguard in the UK Equality Act.

He also stated that the Immigration Department should begin using the definition of heterosexual and monogamous marriage. He wrote that viewing “same-sex marriage-like relationships” as legally equivalent to marriages in Hong Kong would show acceptance of civil partnerships.

In a statement, the couple’s legal team explained, “This decision, whilst disappointing, is not altogether unexpected. Experience has shown us with previous LGBTI cases that we often have to turn to the Court of Appeal or even the Court of Final Appeal for a correct judgement.”

The couple intends to appeal the court’s decision.