History was made on June 26, 2013 when the Supreme Court declared DOMA to be unconstitutional. US laws have long been lagging behind those of Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, to name a few countries recognizing same-sex marriages for about a decade. We at Valentini Law Offices salute this change and look forward to representing same-sex couples applying for green cards and other immigration benefits!
Immigration Implications of DOMA Repeal
United States Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) followed suit and on July 1, 2013 announced that it is starting to review immigration applications of same-sex couples in the same manner as those of opposite sex couples. DOMA was repealed only a week ago, but due to our vast experience in the field of family-based immigration we’ve already been consulted and retained by many same-sex couples applying for green cards and other immigration benefits. To benefit from our expertise contact Immigration Lawyer for Same Sex Couples for a confidential case evaluation and consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ on Immigration Options for Same-Sex Couples
I am a U.S. citizen in a same-sex marriage to a foreigner. Can I now petition for my spouse who is currently in the US on a valid H-1B visa?
Absolutely! Now you as a US citizen are eligible to file a green card (lawful permanent residency) application on behalf of your foreign national spouse.
I am a green card holder (lawful permanent resident) in a same-sex marriage to a foreigner. Can I now petition for my spouse who is currently in the US on a valid O-1 visa?
Absolutely! However, you should keep in mind that the application process would take longer for lawful permanent residents as opposed to US citizens since a green card would not be immediately available to your foreign spouse. In order to get an estimated timeline of your application processing and further discuss your case feel free to reach out to us.
I am a US citizen. My foreign spouse and I were married in a US state that recognizes same-sex marriages, but we live in a state that doesn’t. Can I file a green card application for my foreign spouse?
Yes! In determining whether your marriage is valid for immigration law purposes USCIS would look to the law of the place where your marriage took place.
I am a US citizen. My same sex partner is a citizen of Switzerland and we just got engaged. Are there any immigration options for same-sex couples that are not yet married?
Yes. You are eligible to apply for a K-1 visa on behalf of your foreign partner.
I am a US citizen. My same-sex foreign spouse lives in the US with me. He however has a deportation order which he never complied with. Once I apply for my spouse, his deportation order would be erased from his record and he would get his green card, correct?
Unfortunately, no. This question is very complex and the stakes for your family are extremely high. Simply put, your spouses deportation record would not be “erased” or “expunged” from his records simply because you file for his green card. This scenario and possible outcomes are best discussed with an experienced immigration attorney during a confidential consultation.