After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional in 2013, same-sex marriages in the United States are treated in the same way as heterosexual marriages for all immigration-related matters. This implies that gay and lesbian who are married to U.S. citizens or green card holders may apply for immigration into the country based on their marriage.
Your Marriage In The United States Counts
If your marriage to a United States Citizen or green card holder occurs in the United States, you may obtain immediate immigration status.
Applying For A Marriage Green Card
Since applying for a green card based on a marriage to an American spouse is typically very detail-oriented, it’s best that you seek assistance from an best immigration lawyer in Florida specialist. To start with, you need to establish that you have a bona fide relationship and that your marriage is legally valid. Your case can run into possible roadblocks if you or your spouse has had a heterosexual marriage in the past.
Might There Be Bias?
USCIS and consular officers have the liberty to use their discretion when deciding on green card applications, so it’s fair to wonder if you might face any bias or discrimination. Fortunately, both receive sensitivity training surrounding LGBTQ issues, and they are required to follow the letter of the law in its true spirit.
Do Registered Partnerships Or Civil Unions That Occur Outside The United States Count?
Unfortunately, a registered civil union or partnership does not count as a marriage under American immigration lawyer. To hold validity in the U.S., any such marriage should take place in a country that regards same-sex marriages as legal. Some of the countries on the list include:
- Great Britain
- Mexico (not all states)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
If you and your same-sex partner got legally married in a country that recognizes your union as legal, you may apply for an American green card based on your marriage. If you have been persecuted because of your sexual orientation in your home country or fear persecution in the future, you might even qualify to seek asylum in the U.S. To determine where your case stands, consider speaking with an immigration expert or Call: 215-587-9787 at the earliest.