Ep. 44 Can Same Sex Couples file for Immigration benefits?

  • It is possible in the state that allows same sex couples to marry.
  • Same sex couples can marry and proceed with immigration benefits.
  • Even if you don’t live in the states that allows same sex couples to marry, as long as you married there, you can proceed with your federal benefits

Raw Transcripts:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob and you ask, we answer, simple.

Welcome to our Ask an Immigration Podcast and today we have a question from our Twitter page from the state of New York. Eduardo is asking whether same sex couples can marry in the United States and pass the benefits of a green card from US citizen same sex person to their partner.

Well, the good news is it is possible. It is possible. The law has changed more than a year ago and now since the US Supreme Court decision on The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decided … issues a federal law and they have now allowed same sex couples to marry and other federal law pass benefits. Which means that after the marriage takes place, in the state that allows same sex couples to marry, then they can continue with the federal paperwork and obtain a green card.

And so there are, currently, under the new ruling, 12 states that offer federal benefits to same sex couples and couples can legally marry in those states and those include California, Washington, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware. So as long as you marry in any of those states you can proceed with filing the paperwork for adjustment of status or consular processing or a fiancé visa K1 and obtain the same benefit as just regular couples, heterosexual couples are able to pass and being able to pass the past many years.

So, this only gets very important because immigration is governed by federal law then the Supreme Court confirm this power when it struck down … for example an Arizona law, allowing police to detain suspected legal immigrants. Now, under the repeal of DOMA, all states must treat same sex couples as married for immigration purposes if they wed in those states that I mentioned before.

So if two people enter into a valid marriage in Iowa but they live in Alabama, they can be denied immigration benefits even if the state has not yet legalized same sex marriage. So that’s really how it’s going to work. So, as long as the marriage takes place in a state that recognizes same sex marriages they can proceed with federal benefits as well.

So, even if you don’t live in one of those 12 states, as long as you married there, you can proceed with your federal benefits.

So, that’s perfect. So that’s what it is. To answer the question, yes, same sex couples can marry and proceed with immigration benefits.

If you have any more questions email us at jacob@askanimmigrationlawyer.com or comment in our Facebook page or at the bottom of this podcast.

Thanks for listening. You ask, we answer, simple. And we’ll see you at our next episode.


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