USCIS Implementation of DOMA Ruling
President Obama directed federal departments to provide federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples. On Monday, July 1, 2013, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, directed US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed by a opposite-sex spouse.
Can a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse file a family-based immigrant visa for their same-sex, foreign national spouse? Yes.
Can they still apply if they were lawfully married but now have moved to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages? Generally, yes. USCIS will look to the laws of the place where the couple was married with some limited exceptions, such as the law of the state of residence and where the marriage was celebrated.
With respect to same-sex fiance’s, more guidance should be provided by USCIS in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation.