Lawful Permanent Residence (Green card) applications for binational same-sex married couples are now being considered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unlike a visa, permanent residence allows the green card holder to remain in the United States indefinitely. Green card holders are also allowed to work in the U.S., unlike family-based immigration visas.
The Chicago green card lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group are dedicated to helping spouses and families, including same-sex married couples, obtain the necessary immigration documents, including derivative visas and green cards. 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.
U.S. citizens (including naturalized citizens) may sponsor same-sex spouses and other immediate relatives to enter the U.S. under an immigrant visa (green card). Permanent residents (foreign nationals holding a green card) may sponsor only spouses and unmarried children.
The USCIS has said it is now processing binational same-sex marriages the same way as opposite-sex unions and does not differentiate by orientation. Nonetheless, length of marriage still remains a factor in obtaining a green card. Couples married less than two years are subject to more scrutiny – a factor that can work against same-sex couples since many states have only recently begun to allow same-sex marriage and because the couple may have been reluctant to openly publicize their relationship until recently.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, in which the Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Department of Homeland Security instructed the USCIS to review visa and green card applications of legally married same-sex spouses in the same manner as those filed on behalf of opposite sex spouses. Nonetheless, it can take several months for a couple to get an interview with the immigration service after filing an application for a marriage-based green card or a change in status.
An interview with a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services official is a critical part of the marriage-based green card application process. The USCIS considers the interview to be an opportunity to confirm that the information provided in the application is correct and to assess whether the marriage is authentic. Marriage-based green card interviews can be conducted in a number of different ways. The USCIS official may talk to the couple individually or separately, and in some cases, the interview might be recorded or videotaped.
In addition to spouses, including same-sex spouses and opposite-sex spouses, U.S. citizens (including naturalized citizens) may sponsor other immediate relatives to enter the U.S. under an immigrant visa (green card), including:
Permanent residents (foreign nationals holding a green card) may sponsor only spouses and unmarried children.
The process of bringing family members – including same-sex spouses and their children – into the United States is not easy or automatic. The dedicated Chicago green card lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group use their extensive knowledge of USCIS requirements and processes to help clients obtain green cards for their same-sex spouse and/or children. Whether your spouse is already in the U.S. and seeking a green card, or you are filing a new immigration application on their behalf, our Illinois immigration lawyers are here to guide you through the entire process.
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 green card attorney.