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Do Same-Sex Couples Have the Same Rights as Hetero Couples in Immigration?

Posted on in Immigration

Fairfield County immigration lawyer

In most of the world, same-sex relationships are not given the same recognition and equality as heterosexual marriages. Only 21 countries have legalized gay marriage and offer refuge for homosexuals fleeing persecution in their own country. The United States is a mixed bag when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. While many states still have anti-sodomy laws, recent court decisions have ruled in support of the LGBT community. In 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruling of The United States V. Windsor, SCOTUS ruled that the DOMA Act (The Defense of Marriage Act) was unconstitutional. President Obama directed then Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano to review all same-sex couple immigration and visa requests on the same grounds as opposite-sex couples.

With DOMA now unconstitutional, gay, lesbian, and transgender couples are given equal recognition as hetero-couples. The significance of this is that if a U.S. citizen marries, or wants to marry, a foreign national of the same sex, they can petition for them to come to live in the United States. 

What Visas can Same-Sex Couples Petition For?

Same-Sex couples can petition for the K-1 fiance visa through the Form I-129F which allows their fiance to enter the U.S. for marriage. After the wedding, the new spouse may petition for a green card. 

If a US citizen is already married to a foreign national, they can petition for that spouse to receive an Immigration visa through the I-130 form. Additionally, you can file for a Nonimmigrant (K3) visa, which is issued in the country that the spouse currently resides and allows them to travel to the United States; but the I-130 and I-129F forms are requested to get the Nonimmigrant Visa.

What if the Couple Lives in a State Where Gay Marriage is not Recognized?

Even if homosexual marriage is not recognized in the state you are living in, for immigration purposes, the relationship is identified under U.S. federal law. State laws will apply in every other instance while you maintain residency in that state.

Contact a Fairfield County, CT Immigration Lawyer

In the United States, gay marriages are rapidly gaining more recognition, and the U.S. public at large has great sympathy for homosexuals being persecuted in other nations. With the recent court rulings, the ability for same-sex couples to get visas is higher than ever. Even so, when you are going through the immigration process, you are best served by entrusting the New Canaan immigration lawyers at Gonzalez Law Office, LLC to help you navigate the process. To contact our offices, call us at 203-323-1440.

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/family/same-sex-marriages

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/family-immigration/immigrant-visa-for-a-spouse-or-fiance-of-a-us-citizen.html

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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