July 2, 2013
SAME SEX SPOUSES TO OBTAIN IMMIGRATION BENEFITS
Last week, the Supreme Court held Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, and declared that same sex married couples must receive the same federal benefits that heterosexual married couples receive.
As a result of this decision, it appears that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will now be required to extend the same immigration benefits that heterosexual married couples receive to same sex married couples. This means that U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents may sponsor their same sex spouses for Green Cards. CIS has already posted FAQs confirming that it will accept Petitions for such sponsorship. Additionally, nonimmigrants who are coming to or already present in the U.S. on temporary work visas will likely be eligible to sponsor their same sex spouse for a temporary derivative visa (if available in the appropriate category) once appropriate guidance has been issued.
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