In their 68-page judgment, reached unanimously, three appeal court judges said the department had failed to demonstrate the visa scheme had been put in place rationally.
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse among pro-LGBT banks backing expat lesbian couple in legal battle against Hong Kong government
QT moved to Hong Kong in late 2011 with her same-sex partner, known as SS, who works in the city.
She applied for a judicial review after the department rejected her application for a dependant visa, saying it did not recognise same-sex marriage.
The judges asked both QT and the department to work out an arrangement in accordance with the judgment and submit a proposal within 28 days.
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