Date
28 March 2017
QT (inset) says she was wrong to think that sex discrimination does not exist in Hong Kong. She is asking the High Court to decide on her petition for same-sex partnership rights. Photos: Ming Pao, Reuters
QT (inset) says she was wrong to think that sex discrimination does not exist in Hong Kong. She is asking the High Court to decide on her petition for same-sex partnership rights. Photos: Ming Pao, Reuters

High Court to hear UK woman seeking same-sex partnership rights

Hong Kong’s High Court will hear a petition Thursday by a British woman seeking same-sex partnership rights.

The woman in her thirties, identified only as QT, filed for a judicial review after two failed attempts to obtain a dependent visa so she can live with her partner in Hong Kong, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

She is asking the High Court to decide whether the Immigration Department’s decision to deny her a visa is discriminatory, unreasonable and unconstitutional.

The woman said she was wrong to think that sex discrimination does not exist in an advanced society like Hong Kong.

The Immigration Department declined to comment on the case.

QT and her partner registered their civil union in Britain in 2011. The latter has since moved to Hong Kong.

Twice — in 2012 and 2014 — QT applied unsuccessfully for a dependent visa. Her application for a working permit was also denied by immigration authorities, citing “lack of appropriate education”.

QT can enter Hong Kong on a tourist visa that allows her to stay for a maximum of 180 days at a time.

Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex partnerships. It defines spouses as one man and one woman in a permanent union for the sake of living together.

Despite being otherwise eligible for a dependent visa, QT can only remain in Hong Kong with her partner as a visitor.

That means she cannot obtain permanent residency after seven years of continuous stay, nor be allowed to work.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

TL/AC/RA

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