In the United States, a dependent visa is the visa which enables the dependent or dependents of a person who is a USA citizen or a permanent resident in the United States. For example, the visa allows the person’s spouse (i.e. wife) and children to travel the United States (assuming they are not U.S. residents) to accompany this person.
What about Hong Kong?
The Hong Kong Immigration Department offers the dependent visa. For example, a HK local citizen after marrying to a person from overseas (and is not a Hong Kong resident), he can help his spouse (or wife) to apply for the dependant visa.
In this case of application, the HK local citizen person is the sponsor.
This dependant visa is essentially a visa for relocation for an immediate family member with an overseas nationality.
It is similar with children, should the couples have children who are not residents of HK. The kids must be still under age of 18 during application.
If the person has parents whose ages are over 60 but don’t have residency of Hong Kong, they are also eligible for dependant visa application.
Exceptions of the visa
The dependent visa does have exceptions. For example, the Hong Kong dependent visa is not eligible for spouses who are of Mainland Chinese residents. Similar to the sponsor’s children who hold Mainland Chinese residency. Mainland Chinese family members will have to go through another application scheme.
Other examples are that the dependent visa is not available for applicants of nationality of Afghanistan, Albania, Cuba and North Korea.
Employments in Hong Kong for dependant persons
Dependants are eligible to work or take up employment while they are living in Hong Kong, but some conditions must be met. For example, the sponsor must be a permanent resident of HK.
One exception is with students. If the dependent person is a student who is to study in HK, during her study she cannot be employed for work.
When the dependant person is been applied with a limit of stay in HK, she is not eligible to work.
Note that when the spouse has obtained the dependant visa, she is not required to apply for a work visa (or employment visa) in order to apply for and work at local jobs in HK.
Whether it is dependant or dependent?
Usually, the difference between dependent and dependant is only the preferred spelling. Dependent is more dominantly used in American English (i.e. USA) as a noun and an adjective. Dependant has been more common in British English (i.e. UK) as a noun.