Same-Sex Immigrant Couples Can Finally Be Together

August 6, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone
By Law Offices of James V. Sansone on August 6, 2013 8:00 AM |

immigration.jpgWhen the U.S. Supreme Court made its historic rulings on same-sex couples on June 26 of this year, gay citizens were elated.

There were very likely some private celebrations held as well, especially among gay or lesbian naturalized citizens who were previously denied the right to bring a partner cross the U.S. border and obtain a coveted Green Card.

Citizenship and Immigration Services Green Cards

Since the legalization of medical marijuana in California, medical marijuana cards are sometimes referred to as "green cards." Elsewhere in the nation, a green card holder commonly refers to someone who has received authorization to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis.

Many green card holders are sponsored by employers or, more commonly, by family members. But what happens when your family member is a same-sex spouse or fiancé?

Before the Supreme Court ruling in June, petitions to admit a same-sex romantic partner were commonly denied. However, since the liberalization of the law, the federal administration has started a system-wide review of cases where U.S. citizens had been denied green cards for the simple fact that they were same-sex couples.

Attaining Legal Status Will Involve Forms

A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national can now file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form simply establishes the relationship to a foreign individual who wishes to immigrate to the U.S.

Filing and approval of an I-130 is just the first step - and the first form to complete - to help a relative immigrate to the United States. In addition, foreign family members will need to wait for an available visa number before they can become a lawful permanent resident.

What if you aren't married yet? You'll need to complete different forms. In this case, you must file Form I-129F, the Petition for Alien Fiancé. There's additional good news: You may also use this form to bring that person's children to the U.S.

Dealing with Previous Denials

What if you, before June 26, 2013, filed a Form 1-130 and your request was denied? The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reopen those petitions that were solely denied due to the Defense of Marriage Act.

But if the USCIS doesn't contact you, use this email address USCIS-626@uscis.dhs.gov to state your case. Once your is reopened, it will be considered again.

Finally, your petition to bring your spouse or fiancé will be reviewed solely based on current immigration law and will no longer be denied as a result of your same-sex relationship.

Do you have questions about your divorce, family law, children's issues, same-sex unions, juvenile dependency, adoptin, or spousal support? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support, domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.