An exception to dependent visas has been made to allow same-sex spouses of consular staff to stay in Hong Kong beyond the usual limits.
The concession was granted in June through a diplomatic note from the Chief Secretary for Administration’s Office, according to the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).
The exception was made only for those holding diplomatic or official passports and with support of local consulates in Hong Kong.
A government spokesperson said that the concessions were made “with a view to promoting friendly relations between international community and the HKSAR.”
“The measures do not imply recognition of same-sex partners as spouses of the officials in Hong Kong, nor have any effect on the domestic legislation of Hong Kong regarding same-sex marriage,” the spokesperson said in an email to HKFP.
The British, Swiss, Swedish and Canadian Consulates separately confirmed to HKFP that they have received notice of the concession, which reportedly came about after a series of meetings with a number of consulates in January.
Hong Kong’s government does not recognise same-sex unions of any form and therefore does not usually issue dependent visas to same-sex spouses.