Revised policy allows for change of sex entry on Hong Kong identity cards

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3rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Following the Court of Final Appeal’s (CFA) judgment on 6th February, 2023, in the case of Q & Tse Henry Edward v Commissioner of Registration (FACV No. 8 & 9 of 2022) (Q & Tse case), the Hong Kong Government has announced a revision to the policy concerning the change of sex entry on Hong Kong identity cards. This update, disclosed today, expands the eligibility criteria for individuals seeking to update their sex entry on their identification cards, beyond those who have undergone full sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

According to a government spokesperson, this policy revision comes after a thorough review conducted in light of the Q & Tse case judgment. The decision to revise the policy was made prudently, considering the policy’s objective, legal and medical advice, and taking reference from relevant practices in other jurisdictions.

Under the newly revised policy, individuals who have not undergone full SRS may apply for a change of sex entry on their Hong Kong identity cards if they can demonstrate, with relevant medical evidence and supporting documents, that they have undergone specified surgical treatment to modify sexual characteristics. Additionally, they must meet the revised criteria and requirements set forth by the Commissioner of Registration (Director of Immigration).

The revised criteria include:

  • For female-to-male sex change: bilateral mastectomy (removal of the breasts)
  • For male-to-female sex change: removal of the penis and testes

Furthermore, applicants must satisfy the Commissioner of Registration by fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Having or having had gender dysphoria
  • Having lived in the opposite sex for a continuous period of at least two years prior to the application
  • Committing to continue living in the opposite sex for the rest of their life
  • Undergoing continuous hormonal treatment of the opposite sex for a minimum of two years before the application, and agreeing to provide blood test reports for random checking of their hormonal profile as requested by the Commissioner.

The Immigration Department will process pending applications in accordance with the revised policy and will reach out to the respective applicants for further action.

The spokesperson emphasised that this revision solely pertains to the policy on the change of sex entry on Hong Kong identity cards. The sex entry on an identity card does not constitute legal determination of an individual’s sex. It does not impact any other government policies or the handling of gender-related matters and relevant legal procedures in Hong Kong.