We are very excited to report that DOMA is now repealed! On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional. The Court declared Section 3 to be “a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment” paving the way for immigration benefits, including green card availability, for same-sex couples.
Right away, President Obama ordered federal departments to make sure the ruling and its implications for same-sex couples are adopted efficiently. On July 1, 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) pledged to review immigration applications of a same-sex couples in the same manner as those of opposite-sex spouse couples.
The fact that DOMA is no longer in effect means a great deal for our existing and prospective same-sex clients. If a same-sex couple lives in the US, a US citizen spouse is now eligible to file for a foreign spouse’s green card for same-sex couples via adjustment of status process. If a foreign national spouse is outside of the US, a US citizen has options of filing for a fiancee/fiance visa, spousal visa or a spousal green card for same-sex couples on behalf a foreign spouse.
Those newly available options sound confusing, don’t they? There is no algorithm or template that could be applied to immigration cases. Every case is unique! Some foreign national spouses might have acquired unlawful presence in the US. Some might have worked in the US without proper authorization. Some might have been arrested in the US or abroad. Unfortunately, some already applied for immigration benefits with USCIS and were denied.
That’s exactly where our expertise in family-based immigration law comes in handy! Our Ivy League-educated managing partner Anna Valentini has been exclusively practicing immigration law, focusing on family-based cases, since 2006. DOMA was repealed only a week ago, but we’ve already been consulted and retained by many seeking green cards for same sex couples all across the US. You could benefit from our expertise by contacting Immigration Lawyer for Same Sex Couples for a confidential case evaluation and consultation.
Still confused about green cards available to same-sex couples? Turn to Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ on Immigration Options for Same Sex Couples for clarifications.