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Same - Sex Marriage News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2015  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

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Supreme Court Ruling On DOMA Gives Same-Sex Partners Full Immigration Rights 
While most immigrants are anxiously awaiting the House of Representatives to move on Immigration Reform, some immigrants have recently been awarded Immigration benefits - even without it. In a historical decision, the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the Federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) gives same-sex partners immediate rights to sponsor Fiancées and Spouses for Immigration benefits including Green Cards . 

The result of DOMA’s defeat is that it prohibits the Federal government from denying thousands of Federal benefits to Same-sex partners who are legally married in one of the now 13 states which currently allow so called “Gay marriage”, (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), the District of Columbia and five Native American tribes.
And presumably, foreign Same-sex marriages in many countries around the world, including those from Canada and Latin America will also be recognized, allowing U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents to immediately have the right to sponsor their loved-ones to immigrate the U.S., just like straight married couples. 

This even applies to gay and lesbian partners who are currently in deportation proceedings, allowing them to marry and receive Immigration relief through marriage to their Citizen or Resident spouse!
Find Out More About States and Countries Which Recognize Same Sex Marriage:
U.S. Same-Sex Marriage States
U.S. Same-Sex Marriage Countries

New USCIS Page Provides Answers To Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Issues
The USCIS recently established a new website page which provides a Q & A for common questions relating to same-sex marriage immigration under the new policy. 

CLICK HERE to go to the USCIS Same Sex Marriage Immigration Page
Same Sex Spouses Are Now Eligible For A 
Full Range of Immigration Benefits  
We love to hear from you with your questions and comments! Find out more about Same-Sex Immigration benefits by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378
This includes not only Fiancée visas, but visas for spouses of Students (F-1), Professional Workers and Investors, such as spouses of H-1B, L-1, E-2, TN, R-1, O/P visa holders, as well as Green Card based Immigrant Visas including I-140 visas for workers sponsored by Employers, such as workers in the EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based Residency categories (Labor Certification), Multinational Executives, Extraordinary Ability, EB-5 Investor Immigrants and more.

 Even legally married same-sex spouses vacationing in the U.S. can obtain Tourist visa extensions (B1/B2) as a family. 
Many see the defeat of DOMA and resulting immigration benefits to same-sex spouses only in terms of conferring U.S. Residency (a Green Card), when in fact, every other spousal visa benefit is now available.
Question: I  heard about the DOMA Supreme Court ruling that allows a citizen to sponsor his fiancé of the same sex (gay) for permanent residence. Is this true? What is the catch? Can I get legally married in one of the 13 states and then move to another state that does not recognize same sex marriage and still keep my permanent resident status? I will continue to live with my partner. Please advise.
Questions & Answers
Answer: Yes, it is incredible – but true!!! And amazing as it is, there is no “catch”, as long as the case is handled properly. We are already preparing to file our first DOMA marriage case this week. As long as you are legally married in one of the states or countries recognized and very importantly, you are able to show through EXTENSIVE documentation that you are in fact a genuine, couple married for love, not immigration purposes and have been living together, it does not matter what state you live in right now. 

We feel confident that the USCIS officers will be given special training in DOMA cases, however, we are advising all DOMA clients to be prepared for a very “vigorous” process. 
You can find out more about Sponsoring your Same Sex Partner for a Green Card 
by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
We are advising and preparing DOMA couples to meet a higher standard of documentation and marriage interview preparedness including marriage interview preps - before the actual interview so clients know what can be expected and are fully prepared.
Find Out More About States and Countries Which Recognize Same Sex Marriage

Countries Which Recognize Same Sex Marriage:

U.S. Same-Sex Marriage Countries

States Which Recognize Same Sex Marriage:

U.S. Same-Sex Marriage States

Question: I am in Miami on an F-1 visa at school and I have been living with my same-sex partner for 2 years now. He has a Green Card. If we get married in New York or another state where gay marriage is legal, can he file for my Green Card through this new August visa program for Residents? Will I get a work permit? How long does it take? Thanks.
Questions & Answers
Answer: Yes, the F2A category for Spouses and minor children of U.S. Residents is now current. So as long as you have been maintaining legal F-1 status by attending school, once you get legally married, he can sponsor you as his spouse and you can adjust status to a U.S. Resident inside the U.S.. 

Once your case is filed, you should receive your Work Authorization within about 60 days and your Green Card in about 6 months after you have attended your immigration marriage interview. If the F2A category regresses, you will still be able to live and work in the U.S. while waiting for it to go forward again. See you next week.
Questions & Answers
Question: My wife and I are legally same-sex married. I am a Citizen and planning to file for my wife’s Green Card soon. My question is about her Naturalization. Will she be able to get her U,S. Citizenship faster like other spouses of Citizens do even though we are a gay marriage?
Answer: Same-sex spouses of U.S. Citizens now have the same rights to “Early Naturalization” as other spouses do. Therefore, your wife will be eligible to apply for her U.S. Citizenship in 2 yrs and 9 months from the time she obtains her initial Green Card, instead of waiting the normal 4 yrs and 9 months. 
Question: My fiancée and I are a same sex couple from Venezuela living together for 13 years. We want to get married in the U.S.. My question is can tourists come to the U.S. and get married? Is it different for same-sex couples? If we get legally married there in America and then I get an investment visa, will my husband be able to get the visa with me as my spouse? What if we have to go back to Caracas, will the Embassy issue him a visa as my spouse?
Similarly, same-sex couples who legally married in the U.S. (as tourists) are recognized as a married couple for visa issuance at the U.S. Consulate in Caracas and around the world.

Visit New York City's Marriage License Information Site:
New York City Marriage License Information Site
Answer: Some states like Las Vegas and New York do not have any “residency” requirements, and allow foreign nationals worldwide to marry with appropriate identification. Marriages that are legal in any State in the United States are generally recognized throughout the world. Same-Sex marriage is also available in many U.S. states, however, some of these states do have residency requirements and so marriage would not be available to foreign visitors.  

The best venue for international Same-sex couples to marry is New York City, which has no residency requirement, is quick, easy and fun. Under new immigration policies, same sex spouses are treated exactly the same as straight spouses. This means that when a foreign national qualifies for an investment or any other visa in the U.S., his or her same-sex spouse obtains a visa as a dependant.