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Bringing Families Together with a Same-Sex Visa

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on May 15, 2016

The United States Supreme Court has now granted same-sex unions the same rights that traditional marriages experience. This also means that green cards are now available for immigrant spouses of the same sex. The law now grants this right but a happy ending remains elusive for many couples and their families due to the current legal process.

Family-Based Immigrant Visas Now Available

Family-based immigrant visas are now available to same-sex couples. A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can now sponsor a same-sex spouse.

Petitions that were previously denied because the couple were same-sex can now be reconsidered without additional fees. These cases can be reopened on request.  Couples can file a new petition, but fees would then be assessed. A Chicago immigration lawyer can provide immigration assistance.

The Law Creates Problems for Same-Sex Families

Actually acquiring a visa for a same-sex partner can be more difficult than acquiring a visa for a traditional partner. The same laws apply to either circumstance, but same-sex couples face other obstacles. These may include:

  • A showing of a good-faith marriage
  • Perceived discrimination of same-sex couples
  • Same-sex marriages are not recognized universally

A showing of a good-faith marriage is necessary to prevent marriage fraud. This is necessary if the couple has been married for less than two years. Many same-sex couples fall under this stipulation. They simply have not had enough time to be married because the laws prohibited their unions until now.

Discrimination of same-sex couples can also be an issue. LGBT persons often face discrimination, and immigration officers or government officials can wield a certain power in these cases. The outcomes can be influenced by a government worker’s personal beliefs.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in many areas of the world. In order to apply for a visa, the marriage must have occurred in a location that recognizes same-sex marriages. The couple may apply even if the couple currently resides in a state that does not recognize the marriage.

All Couples Deserve to be a Family

Immigration benefits are available for same-sex couples, although many couples are unaware of the laws. LGBT applicants are afforded the same rights as any other married couple. These laws have been in effect since 2013, yet many couples are still struggling.