Same Sex Marriages
With the overturning of DOMA, federal immigration benefits are now available to same-sex partners. U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are now able to sponsor their same-sex partners. Gay and lesbian citizens may file petitions to obtain visas for their fiancés living abroad and individuals already in the U.S. may adjust their status to obtain permanent residency based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Which immigration benefits are available?
All of the family based immigration benefits are available to gay and lesbian couples. For example: K1 fiancé visas, K3 marriage visas, Petition for Alien Relative (Spouse), I-130 and Adjustment of status to obtain a Green card, I-601 Hardship Waiver.
Gay and lesbian individuals may now accompany their same-sex spouse who holds an employment-based visa, like an H-4 for the spouse of an H-1B specialty Occupation visa holder, L-2 visa for the spouse of an L-1 intracompany Transferee visa holder, E-2 derivative visa for the spouse of an E-2 treaty trader or treaty investor, Green card benefits for spouse of EB-5 investors.
Gay and lesbian couples may now seek protection from deportation in removal proceedings via some forms of relief: Cancellation of removal, Adjustment of Status in proceedings, I-212(h) waiver.
How can an attorney help in this process?
Family based green card applications are little complex and two step process. When preparing forms, filing and compiling documentation for eligibility both from the petitioner’s side and beneficiary’s side, it is not an instinctive process. It’s essential to provide proper documents in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays. Even in cases where a petition includes the required documents, papers should be presented in a logical format so that the immigration officer reviewing the case will make a favorable decision. An immigration attorney with substantial experience in family based immigration can help avoid the many costly pitfalls and help you sail through the process easily.