Same-Sex Marriage Visas

Same-Sex Marriage Visas

The United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, holding that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional, opens the door for immigration benefits for same sex couples.  DOMA denied thousands of legally married same-sex couples many important federal benefits, including immigration benefits.

In determining whether a marriage is valid for immigration law purposes, USCIS looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place.  While many states permitted same sex marriages, DOMA made it so that the same-sex marriages were invalid in the eyes of federal law.   Currently, as of July 2013, 13 states permit same-sex marriage:  California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Because same sex marriages were not considered valid under federal law, same-sex couples were prevented from obtaining immigration benefits.  With the ruling in United States v. Windsor striking down provisions of DOMA and under the directive of President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, many federal entities, including Department of Homeland Security have worked to conform their practices to what is now federal law.   In regards to immigration law, Janet Napolitano has stated that every effort will be taken to so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of immigration laws.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services permits a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national to file for immigration benefits just as any heterosexual married couple.   USCIS will not automatically reject an application as a result of the marriage being between same-sex couples. 

If you are a United States Citizen and married to a foreign national of the same sex, and same sex marriage is permitted where you married, your partner may be eligible to receive immigration benefits if all other marriage qualifications are met. 

Immigration benefits through marriage require various supporting documents and proof as to the validity of marriage.  If you are seeking immigration benefits for your same-sex spouse, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration firm, such as Gupta & Trujillo.   Our attorneys will guide you through the new process as seamlessly as possible. 

Law Offices of Ramon Trujillo assists clients with Immigration and Criminal Defense in Orange, Irvine, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Tustin, Placentia, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Costa Mesa, Westminster and throughout all of Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego County.

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| Phone: 800-846-0935


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