Same-sex married couples are eligible for derivative visas in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013. The Chicago family-based immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group focus on helping families, including same-sex married couples, stay together by securing the appropriate immigration documents, including visas and green cards.
If you are in a binational same-sex marriage, contact us at (847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified Illinois immigration attorney.
To be eligible to sponsor your same-sex spouse for lawful permanent residence you must meet the following criteria:
If you and your spouse were married in a U.S. state or a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but you live in a state that does not, the USCIS makes clear that you can still file for a same-sex marriage visa. As the USCIS states in its FAQs, “a general matter, the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes. Just as USCIS applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, we will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage. The domicile state’s laws and policies on same-sex marriages will not bear on whether USCIS will recognize a marriage as valid.”
Same-sex fiancés may file a Form I-129F to apply for a fiancé(e) (K) visa. If the following requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow the foreign national fiancé to enter the United States for the purpose of marriage:
The Chicago same-sex marriage immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group help engaged couples with all documentation, including proving to the USCIS that the impending marriage is not a fraudulent means to gain U.S. entry by a non-citizen. Upon approval, the couple can file a green card (permanent residency) application on behalf of the fiancée or fiancé. If the couple does not marry within ninety days, the K-1 fiancée/fiancé and any K-2 dependents will be required to depart the U.S.
Any U.S. citizen who has legally married outside the United States or who have been previously legally married within the United States can file a K-3 spouse visa to bring their new same-sex spouse lawfully into this country if the foreign national is a legal spouse of a U.S. citizen and a petition for an immigrant relative has been filed by the U.S. citizen. Your same-sex spouse will enter the U.S. to await the approval of the petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status.
The marriage is determined to be valid by the USCIS and a spouse visa is granted, the spouse is automatically eligible for application for Permanent Resident status. The children of your same-sex spouse eligible for a K-3 visa are eligible for a K-4 visa if they are unmarried and under 21 years of age.
K-3 and K-4 visa holders can enter the U.S. and file for adjustment of status after being admitted. While the green card petition is pending, the K-3 visa and K-4 visa holders may remain in the U.S., as well as apply for employment authorization until becoming permanent residents.
After three years of marriage, your foreign national same-sex spouse can apply for U.S. citizenship. If your same-sex spouse or fiancé is already in the United States, the Chicago family immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group can assist in filing a green card application for permanent residence with the appropriate USCIS office.
The Chicago family immigration attorneys at the Shapiro Law Group 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. Please contact us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified Illinois immigration attorney.