‘Giant step forward for equality’ in Hong Kong as same-sex couples win right to spousal visas in Court of Final Appeal


Hong Kong’s top court handed down a landmark ruling in favour of a lesbian expatriate on Wednesday, requiring immigration authorities to grant same-sex partners spousal visas previously available only to heterosexual couples.

In its unanimous decision that recruiters say will give the city an edge in hiring foreign talent, the Court of Final Appeal sided with the British citizen, known in court as QT, putting an end to a three-year legal battle against the immigration policy.

The finding against the Immigration Department means the marriage status and civil union partnerships of same-sex couples will be recognised in Hong Kong for the specific purpose of a dependant visa. However, the city’s definition of marriage, between a man and a woman, remains unchanged.

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