Same-sex spousal visa decision widens talent pool and increases Hong Kong's competitiveness

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The decision to grant a spousal visa to a gay woman has been welcomed by business groups and banks and heralded as a mood change on LGBT rights in Hong Kong – but it won’t affect the legal entitlement of same-sex couples to other benefits, according to experts.

The American Chamber of Commerce, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau all welcomed the decision.

“This decision widens the talent pool, and it allows people to think of Hong Kong as a competitive place to do business,” American Chamber of Commerce president Tara Joseph told the Post.

Joseph had heard of same-sex spouses from a variety of sectors “regularly” encountering visa problems, and even knew of senior executives deciding against coming to Hong Kong as they had issues bringing their partners.

“Attracting, retaining and engaging in a competitive talent pool is a key priority for companies operating in Hong Kong. The current immigration policy has the potential to be a significant obstacle in achieving this.”

On Tuesday, 12 financial institutions – including banking giant Goldman Sachs – which had previously offered to support QT during her legal battle released a statement welcoming the decision.

“This is a major victory for Hong Kong – it is not just about diversity and inclusion but also equality,” the banks said.

Read more at SCMP