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In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and, thereafter, federal government departments were instructed to ensure that federal benefits are extended to legally married same-sex couples. Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that same-sex married couples are afforded a number of immigration rights, namely the right to sponsor their spouse for a family-based visa, green card, or citizenship.

The Chicago same-sex marriage immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group focus on helping same sex couples and families stay together by securing the appropriate immigration documents, including visas and green cards. We stand ready to serve those in need of immigration assistance, particularly those same-sex couples who need help with immigration benefits related to their marriage status. If you are in a same-sex marriage with a foreign national, contact us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified Illinois immigration attorney.

How Same-Sex Marriage Laws Impact Immigration

In order to be eligible for federal immigration benefits, the couple must be married in the United States or married overseas in a country that allows same-sex marriage. As of June 2013 the United States barred Federal prohibition of same sex marriages. Subsequently the U.S. Supreme court barred states from prohibiting same sex marriages. This means that USCIS now recognizes same-sex marriages that have taken place within the United States as being eligible for federal immigration benefits.

For instance, a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (a “green card” holder) in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national can sponsor their spouse (husband or wife) for a family-based immigration visa by filing an Immediate Relative Visa Application (Form I-130) or K-1 fiance visa (Form I-129F) together with any applicable accompanying paperwork.

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Adjustment of Status

While international same-sex married couples can file a Form I-130 and Permanent Residence Application (Form I-485) to request an adjustment of status if they are currently present in the United States, and the foreign national spouse legally entered the United States, the process is a little trickier for those international same-sex married couples located abroad. In these instances, the couple can begin the visa process by filing the I-130 with USCIS, and complete the processing through the National Visa Center (NVC) and their local U.S. consulate if they are located abroad, but a nonresident should not enter the U.S. from abroad as a derivative without first contacting the port of entry or an immigration attorney for guidance.

Contact a Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Professional

The Chicago family immigration attorneys at the Shapiro Law Group are dedicated to helping clients with a wide variety of immigration needs, including same-sex married couples in need of immigration assistance. Please contact us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified Illinois immigration attorney.