The United States Supreme Court has declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. This is the statute that prevented the Immigration Service from recognizing as valid same sex marriages even where those marriages were legal in the state (or foreign country) where they took place.
In light of this development, it is now possible for foreign nationals who entered into a legal same sex marriage to immediately seek and obtain any benefits accorded to spouses under the immigration laws. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Applying for a green card on the basis of marriage to a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident;
- Acquiring green card status as the spouse of an applicant seeking a green card in an employment-based category (or self sponsored category such as EB-1A or NIW);
- Obtaining derivative status as the spouse of a nonimmigrant in F, J, H, L, or any other category;
- Seeking various waivers and other exceptions that apply only to spouses of US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.
We look forward to working with foreign nationals to take advantage of these opportunities previously denied to them.