Countless same-sex couples have been forced to live outside of the United States, or been separated from their partners, due to the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA’S) denial of federal immigration benefits to same-sex couples. However, the Supreme Court of the United States in a historic case, United States v. Windsor, struck down DOMA and now same-sex married spouses of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and even certain foreign born persons are eligible for U.S. Immigration benefits.
If you are married to a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, you may apply for your green card and later citizenship based on your status as the spouse of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).
In addition, foreign temporary workers, students, and investors can now bring their spouses to the United States as dependents!
In order to be eligible for U.S. immigration benefits, you must be legally married to your spouse in a State (or Country) that recognizes same-sex marriages. (Civil unions and domestic partnerships will not suffice for immigration purposes). The list of States that recognize same sex marriage is growing.
Also, same-sex married couples will need to address any previous civil unions or domestic partnerships with former partners.
YES! You may have to travel to a State other than your own to get married, but you will still be able to apply for permanent residence for your foreign spouse regardless of the State in which you reside. A same-sex marriage valid in the State where the marriage occurred is valid for immigration purposes, even if the couple resides in one of the States that does not recognize same-sex marriages. Also, the same sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal. The validity of the marriage will depend on whether the marriage was legally valid in the “place of celebration” rather than the place of domicile.
Yes! Benefits also extend to spouses of non-U.S. citizens who are non-immigrant students, workers, investors, etc.
If you are a foreign person with a temporary visa to live in the USA, your spouse can apply for a temporary visa as your dependent.
For example, the spouse of an investor is also entitled to an E2 visa and work permit. Therefore, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in order for your spouse to derive a U.S. immigration benefit!
If you are looking for a marriage visa for your same sex partner, we can help! Immigration attorneys Suzanne E. Vazquez and Maud Poudat are both Board Certified as experts in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Florida Bar and have help many other couples with their migration needs, including same sex marriage visas. Call us today at 407.674.6968. If you have an emergency after office hours please call or text us at (407) 925-2554 and we will contact you shortly. You may also fill our online form provided on this page and we will get back to you shortly.