Same-Sex Marriage

In a recent Supreme Court case, US v. Windsor, the United States Federal government recognized same-sex marriages. While many states still do not allow same-sex marriage, the ruling applied federal benefits and programs to married couples who are of the same gender. One such benefit is a green card.

When a couple is married, the foreign spouse can be granted permanent residence in the US through a process of applying for a green card. There are two main types of couples that can apply for green cards in the US. The first is a couple where one spouse is a US citizen and the other spouse is not. In this process, the foreign spouse is either in their home country, or they are inside the US through lawful admission or parole. If the foreign spouse is in the US, then the citizen spouse needs to file forms to adjust their status. If the foreign spouse is in their home country, then they will have to file forms with the United States Government and then work with their consulate or embassy to procure their green card.

If one spouse is not a US citizen, but instead has a green card, providing for permanent residence in the US, then the requirements for the foreign spouse are different. If the foreign spouse is lawfully in the US already, then they must wait until there is a visa number available, and then file all required forms with the US government. However, if the foreign spouse is in their home country, then they must file all documentation and work with their consulate or embassy to enter the US legally with a green card.

Now that the US government has extended federal law and benefits to cover same-sex couples, the green card process would be applicable to same-sex couples wishing to immigrate to the US. Once a spouse is given legal status in the US, their foreign same-sex spouse will be allowed to seek a same sex marriage green card in the US as well.

If you are a same-sex spouse of an American citizen, you will now be eligible to receive a green card, allowing for permanent resident status in the United States. However, you will need an experienced immigration attorney for same sex couples to lead you through the process.

While the green card and immigration process is always complicated, this type of immigration case can be particularly frustrating. When a new law, like the ruling in US v. Windsor, is enacted, sometimes it can be overwhelming and complicated. Occasionally, the agencies implementing the new law will not know how to update the paperwork and procedures in order to streamline the process for same-sex couples. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you navigate the complicated US immigration process. Your citizenship and your ability to reside in a country with the spouse that you love and care for is something you can only trust an experienced, accomplished immigration lawyer to do. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys at the New York Human Rights Committee toll free at +1 (800) 560-1768.