Legalizing Gay Marriage and its Effect on Immigration
The Monday after the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that found the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, which had denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, unconstitutional, immigration offices began reviewing visa applications for same-sex spouses of American citizens. The initial focus of the agencies will be to reverse over 30,000 denied visa applications from same-sex couples. President Barack Obama has already directed federal agencies to alter their procedures to ensure the court’s decision is swiftly implemented. Janet Napolitano, the director of Homeland Security, stated “To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”
Previously, if a gay or lesbian couple wed in one of the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage, they were prevented from benefiting from a federal provision that allows a non-American spouse of a U.S. citizen from applying for a work visa. On its website, the Department of Homeland Security now tells same-sex couples they are permitted to file petitions for immigrant visas, and that those applications will no longer be automatically denied because the partners are of the same sex. Although federal immigration offices have been slow to efficiently implement these changes, contrary to President Obama and Napolitano’s direct requests, there is already a successful foundation. A gay couple in Florida had already had its visa application approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and thousands more will surely follow in the months to come.
Lobbyists have tried to introduce legislation over the past decade that would recognize same-sex partners for immigration purposes, though none has been successful. This forced countless same-sex couples to either live apart or immigrate to entirely different countries. Both of these rather extreme measures can now be fully avoided, and same-sex couples can now finally be free to enjoy their civil liberties in the United States.
At Buda Law Group, we are fully prepared to handle the entire application process for all newly eligible couples. Any and all proactive steps that exist in order to help the application go through with the USCIS will be taken. Buda Law Group has a 100% success rate with marriage backed green card applications.
If any further questions exist, they will gladly be answered by the team here at Buda Law Group.
Thank You,John B. Buda, Esq. www.budalawgroup.net
office: 310-452-1872 [email protected] 3301 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 205 Santa Monica, CA 90405