Hong Kong’s highest court has dealt a massive blow to a lesbian’s ongoing fight to win a spousal visa.
The Court of Final Appeal ruled that some of the world’s biggest banks, law firms and Amnesty International could not contribute to the case and argue in favor of the woman’s visa rights.
Embroiled in a lengthy legal battle, the English woman known only as QT, is trying to get a dependent visa after her wife got a job in Hong Kong in 2014.
The pair married in a England in 2011. But because Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage, QT is not eligible for a dependent visa.
In 2017 she won a huge victory against the Immigration Department in the High Court. In September it ruled she should be entitled to a visa.
But the Immigration Department quickly appealed the decision. The appeal hearing starts on 5 June.
Ahead of the appeal some of the world’s biggest banks, law firms and Amnesty International applied to have a say in favor of the woman during the appeal.
Some of those banks and law firms included; AIG Insurance Hong Kong, Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Morley Chow Seto.
Big business denied a voice
But on Monday the court decided those businesses and Amnesty International could not contribute to the appeal.
Law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell, is representing the coalition of banks and law firms.
The firm’s spokesperson said the coalition was ‘disappointed’. But also the decision could have implications on the kind of employment talent Hong Kong attracts.
‘Hong Kong faces strong competition from other international financial cities in the region and globally and the current immigration policy risks putting Hong Kong behind other jurisdictions,’ he told South China Morning Post.