Even after some states legalized gay marriage, the federal immigration system did not recognize gay marriage for the purpose of immigration status in the U.S. the same way it did for heterosexual marriages.
But after the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, USCIS began recognizing gay marriage for immigration purposes. Martin Law was among the first law firms in the country to get approval of Marriage Visas and Fiance Visas for same sex relationships.
Since that time, we have helped many same sex couples either immigrate to the United States or adjust status from within the U.S. based on their marriage or engaged status. The same rules apply for gay or heterosexual marriages:
1. If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national, you can file an immigrant visa petition.
2. If you are a U.S. citizen who is engaged to be married to a foreign national of the same sex, you may file a fiancé or fiancée petition for him or her. As long as all other immigration requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow your fiancé to enter the United States for marriage.
3. What if my spouse and I were married in a U.S. state or a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but my spouse currently lives in a country that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?
Yes. As a general matter, the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes. Just as USCIS applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, it will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage.
Let us know if we can help you!