In Hong Kong, only marriages between opposite-sex partners are currently recognized by law. This impacts any same-sex spouse of a relocating employee hoping to accompany their partner on assignment. Many relocating employees have found workarounds for this, such as applying for prolonged visitor visas in order to join their partners in Hong Kong.

The process to obtain a prolonged visa requires detailed documentation proving pre-existence of the relationship and the financial ability of the sponsoring partner to fund the prolonged visit to Hong Kong. One downside of prolonged visas is that they still do not allow a person to work for, join in or establish a business, or undertake a formal course of study.

If Hong Kong is willing to consider legalizing and recognizing same-sex marriage, this will allow more flexibility for organizations that are moving employees with same-sex partners.

Check out Plus's recent Relo Tip Tuesday video on how your company can support LGBTQ relocating employees.