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What You Need to Know: Immigration and Same Sex Marriage

 
“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.” 
-Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, July 1, 2013
 
Immigration for same-sex couples is protected against discrimination. Getting a green card, visa, or other immigration benefits can be an option for all immigrants. The landmark gay rights decision in United States v. Windsor, granted same-sex couples the same rights at opposite-sex couples. It determined that restricting marriage to apply to only opposite-sex unions was unconstitutional. The case repealed the Defense of Marriage Act and changed immigration forever.
If you want to bring your spouse to the United States you’ll need support as well as if you’d like to migrate here as a same-sex couple. Immigration laws are always changing and evolving. Seeking the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale is important.
Being separated from your spouse is one of the most difficult and trying times for a couple. There are immigration laws that can help you close the miles. A United States citizen or legal permanent resident of the country has a right to file an I-130. An I-130 visa petition is your request to sponsor your foreign-born spouse. You’ll need to show that your relationship is genuine and that your are in fact legally married.
 
But what if you and your partner have yet to tie the knot legally and are making wedding plans? Then you should ask our immigration attorney about a K-1 Visa.

K-1 Visa

A K-1 Visa is petition made by an United States citizen on behalf of a foreign national. The visa allows your fiancé/fiancée to travel the United States to get married to the you (the petitioner). The marriage must take place within 90 days of their arrival.
 
The process for a K-1 Visa involves:
  • Filing Form I-129F to petition USCIS to recognize your partner as your fiancé/fiancée
  • USCIS will review your documents that state you are both free to marry and you intend to marry within 90 days
  • Demonstrating that you have met within 2 years
  • USCIS will conduct a background check on you and your partner
  • USCIS sends the approved petition to the DOS National Visa Center
  • Your partner’s embassy or consulate will recieve the petition
  • Your partner will apply for the K-1 visa
Once you partner applies and gets approved the next steps can be tough to navigate. Through filing the right forms your partner may be eligible for a green card.

Next Steps

Our experienced immigration attorneys in Fort Lauderdale can help you stay together. Settling with a foreign-born spouse is not always easy. If you are a United States citizen you must plan to marry in a state that recognizes same sex marriages. The K-1 Visa petition can take up to 6 months for approval. Once you’re married your immigration attorney can help you adjust your partner’s status.
 
Adjustment of status keeps you and your spouse together. This process changes your partner’s status from K-1 visa holder to permanent residency. It also can take up to 6 months.

Let Us Prepare and Plan

When it comes to matters of the heart nothing can stand in the way. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale immigration attorneys work with you every step of the way. It our goal to simplify the immigration process for you and give you peace of mind. We understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we prepare your documents without errors to prevent delays in your processing.
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The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan, P.A. offer aggressive and experienced legal representation for immigration cases, with a focus on family immigration and investor visas.

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