LGBTQ+ immigrants enjoy the same rights under immigration law as all other non-citizens. Department of Homeland Security treats same-sex couples the same exact way as a heterosexual couple. Same-sex marriages are able to petition for each other or if one partner qualifies for an immigration benefit, their same-sex spouse qualifies a derivative of the same immigration benefit.
Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in every state in the country. This means that U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (green card holders) can petition for their foreign-born, same-sex, spouses to get immigration status like a visa or a green card, and some visa holders can get a visa for their same-sex spouse as well.
If you have a same-sex partner or spouse who is a U.S. citizen, green card holder, or visa holder, it is best to get an immigration screening by a qualified Doraville green card immigration attorney to understand all of your potential immigration options and risks. We work with gay and lesbian couples to petition for their loved one’s green card through marriage.
Gay and lesbian U.S. citizens and green card holders can, therefore, apply for a marriage-based green card for their foreign national spouses, USCIS treats applications from same-sex couples the same as any other application. In addition, if you are an immigrant who qualifies for a U Visa, for example, because you were a victim of a violent crime, your same-sex spouse would also qualify. In all cases whether one spouse is petitioning for the other spouse green card or if both spouses are immigrants applying for an immigration benefit, we must prove that your marriage. En Español.
Prove You Have a Real Marriage
The first thing is to prove that you and your spouse have an authentic marriage, rather than a marriage solely intended to help the immigration partner obtain a green card or immigration benefit.
There are no special requirements for same-sex couples, you need the same documents as heterosexual couples to prove an authentic marriage. However, there are a few challenges that are more common among same-sex couples than among heterosexual couples.
Based on my experience with thousands of cases, here are a few examples of factors I consider important when proving my clients’ marriage:
- Children together. We include birth certificates for the kids. For those who have been trying to adopt or have children, we include evidence of that. We even got a little creative with a few couples and presented evidence of the dog’s veterinary account showing both partners listed as parents.
- Joint Finances such as joint taxes or joint bank accounts
- Evidence that you both live at the same address. You don’t need to have all of your mail and bills with both of your names. However, we should include bills/mail addressed to each one individually and the address on the documents should be the same. For example, if one spouse has paychecks with the home address and the other spouse has the water bill and internet bill, those documents must show the same address.
- Lease agreement showing both names, or home mortgage documents
- Insurance together, for example, care, life, health, etc…
- Show you have a relationship with your in-laws and family members. Usually, we ask for photos or letters from those family members.
- Photos of together during holidays, vacations, special occasions, and random days.
You don’t need to have everything on this list. The more you have the better. We’ve worked with couples who are recently married and barely have any evidence, especially in cases where the immigrant spouse does not have a social security card. Don’t worry! Once we file your applications and you are issued a work permit and social security card, then you can do things like open a bank account, add your name to the lease, file taxes together, obtain a driver’s license and car insurance, etc… We have successfully proved 100% of all marriages that my firm has filed over the last eight years. This ranges from couples that have been together for 20 years all the way to couples who have been married for one month. When you are in love and married in good faith, we can always find a way to prove it.
It’s the law of the land that same-sex marriages be treated the same as heterosexual marriages throughout the immigration system. Our mission is to help immigrants build a better future. That includes everyone who was not born in the United States. We believe in equal rights and freedom of expression and association for all. We do not discriminate against any person. We respect all cultures, religions, sexual preferences, and lifestyles. We will listen to your story and help you find the best path to legal status in the U.S. Our immigration lawyers are here to help you, call us at (404) 800-9086 for a free initial case evaluation.