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Can lesbian and gay married couples apply for a green card if one partner is a U. The short answer: yes! The U. Windsor means that same-sex marriages are treated the same as heterosexual marriages for immigration purposes under U. Gay and lesbian U. Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS treats applications from same-sex couples the same as applications from heterosexual couples. However, there are a few areas that are more likely to cause hiccups for same-sex couples than for heterosexual couples.
The following is a rundown of common concerns for same-sex couples and how to handle them. Boundless makes it easy to complete your green card application by turning all the required government forms into simple questions you can answer online — typically in under 2 hours, compared with days or weeks the traditional way.
Ready to start? Im looking 4 sme sex moreor check your eligibility now. The foundation of any marriage-based green card application is proving that you and your spouse have an authentic marriage, rather than a marriage solely intended to help the foreign national partner obtain a green card. There are no special requirements for same-sex couples—you need the same documents as heterosexual couples to prove an authentic marriage for more information about what to include, see our guide on How Do We Prove Our Marriage Is Real? However, there are a few potential challenges that are more common among same-sex couples than among heterosexual couples.
Photos of you, your spouse, and your respective families are a good way to prove your relationship is authentic as part of your initial filing package I petition. So is correspondence between each spouse and his or her in-laws. As with any other issue, the best approach is always honesty. This can be challenging for same-sex couples who fear discrimination either from landlords or from employers, especially because not all states legally protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in housing or employment. The important thing is to provide proof that you live together and that you have t financial assets and responsibilities.
One common concern for same-sex couples arises if one or both of the partners has had a heterosexual marriage in the past. You are required to list any and all marriages on your green card forms I petitionand to provide divorce certificates or death certificates proving that any prior marriages were legally terminated.
While you should expect questions about your opposite-sex marriage at your green card interview, having a heterosexual marriage will not automatically raise red flags.
This issue becomes more complicated if you or your gay spouse ly filed a green card application specifically, the I petition based on a prior heterosexual marriage. At the interview, you could face accusations that this prior marriage was fraudulent and solely intended to obtain a green card.
If you became a U. With Boundless, you get the confidence of an independent immigration attorney who will review all of your application materials and answer any questions you have — for no additional fee. Learn more about what you get with Boundlessor check your eligibility for free.
Separate from the matter of proving an authentic marriage described abovesame-sex couples may face special challenges in establishing the legal validity of their marriage. Before marriage equality was established throughout the United States by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodgesmany gay and lesbian couples entered into civil unions that provided some of the same benefits as marriage.
Immigration benefits, however, are not one of the benefits of civil unions. You and your partner must be marriednot just ed in a civil union, to be eligible for a gay marriage green card. Immigration benefits are governed by U. Since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages must be recognized everywhere in the United States, you do not need to get married in a state that passed its own law legalizing same-sex marriages. As with heterosexual marriages, your marriage must be valid in the place it was performed. That means that you must get married in a country that recognizes same-sex marriages or you can get married anywhere in the United States.
Not sure if you qualify for a marriage-based green card? You can check your eligibility through Boundless without providing any personal or financial information. Learn moreor get started today. Because individual consular Im looking 4 sme sex and USCIS officers have a lot of freedom to use their discretion when granting or denying green card applications, many same-sex couples worry about getting a biased officer who is inclined to deny all green card applications based on a same-sex marriage.
Attorneys who assist with a large of same-sex marriage-based green card cases have not reported a major bias issue among USCIS or consular officers.
Boundless Im looking 4 sme sex with married couples from diverse backgrounds, including same-sex couples. As part of what you get with Boundless, an independent immigration attorney will answer any questions you have about your application — for no additional fee.
Check your eligibility without any obligation, or learn more about our services. My spouse and I got married in a U. Can I sponsor my spouse for a marriage green card? For immigration purposes, generally the Im looking 4 sme sex of the place or country where the marriage took place determines whether the marriage is legally valid.
Does our child born abroad need to have genetic ties to a U. Recently, the State Department announced it would grant citizenship to children born outside the United States to married couples via in vitro fertilization or surrogacy. ly, children born abroad had to be genetically related to a U. Now, the child qualifies as long as one of the parents is a U. The new policy allows parents who were ly denied citizenship for their child to re-apply. Can the foreign spouse in a same-sex marriage apply for naturalization after three years?
Yes, same-sex marriages are treated exactly the same as opposite-sex marriages. Green card holders who are married to a U. Yes, as long as you, the sponsor, are a U. Can a same-sex spouse apply for an inadmissibility waiver? Yes, for waivers of inadmissibility that require the foreign partner to be a spouse, same-sex marriages are recognized and treated the same as opposite-sex marriages.
That said, as with anything related to immigration, the best practice is to honestly and clearly explain any potentially confusing situations. If you include in your filing package a genuine written explanation in the form of a cover letter, for example for any potential issues your green card application might face, you may avoid being asked for more evidence of an authentic marriage at the interview stage. While couples may sometimes face special hurdles when applying for a same-sex marriage green card, these challenges should be easy to address in most cases, especially with appropriate documentation and preparation.
Learn moreor check your eligibility for free. Boundless — for people who want the expertise of an immigration lawyer, not the price tag. Get Green Card Checklist Learn what we do for you. Marriage Green Cards, Explained. What is an Affidavit of Support? Boundless legal support plus RapidVisa speed means you get the fastest and best green card and naturalization service! Looks like you were working on a application just now. Applicants typically only require one service at a time. Because your friend referred you, your application with Boundless is discounted.
Start by checking your eligibility. Get Green Card Checklist. Learn what we do for you. No relationship with in-laws Photos of you, your spouse, and your respective families are a good way to prove your relationship is authentic as part of your initial filing package I petition. Prior heterosexual marriages One common concern for same-sex couples arises if one or both of the partners has had a heterosexual marriage in the past.
Marriages vs. Does it matter where we were married in the United States? Does it matter where we were married abroad? Which Service?Im looking 4 sme sex
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Marriage Equality Around the World