Top Questions About Same-sex Immigration
Atty. Amira Al-Alami, Chair for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Immigration Section Executive Committee, Radio and TV personality answers burning questions about same-sex immigration
"Now that DOMA and Prop 8 have been held unconstitutional, if I marry my partner can I sponsor her for a green card? We are Both in the United States, My spouse and I married in a marriage equality state and live in a state that recognizes our marriage. Can I file for her?" Atty Amira Al-Alami answers these questions
In many cases, yes. Options for families will vary from case to case, based upon a number of factors, including: whether the partners are living together or in different countries; whether the partners are living together in the United States or abroad; whether the partners have married; whether the partners can marry; and for families together in the United States, whether the non-U.S. citizen partner arrived here after having been inspected by an immigration officer or whether the partner entered without inspection. Same-sex couples will also have to meet the general criteria for marriage-based immigration.
We are Both in the United States, My spouse and I married in a marriage equality state and live in a state that recognizes our marriage. Can I file for her?
Yes, your application should be treated exactly as the application of a different-sex couple.
My spouse and I married in a marriage equality state but live in a state that does not recognize our marriage. Can I still file for him?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) focuses on the place where the marriage was entered (the place of celebration), not the place where one spouse or both spouses live. As long as the marriage was validly entered into under the laws of the state or country of celebration, it should not matter where you currently reside.
If my partner and I entered into a civil union (for example in New Jersey) or a Domestic Partnership (for example in California) with all the rights of marriage, but are not actually married, can I sponsor her for a green card?
The answer to this is not entirely clear, and we hope to have guidance on this soon. If it is possible for you and your partner to marry even if you have to travel to a different state to do so, you may be better off marrying because you could then feel more secure in filing right away without having to wait for further guidance.
If you have further questions contact the office at (888) 990-6020 or (818) 484-5126.
Atty. Amira Al-Alami is the 2014-2015 Chair for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Immigration Section Executive Committee. Atty. Alami has been on TV Azteca, Canal 22, Mundo Fox, Canal 52 and Canal 34. She has recently been interviewed on Myrka Dellanos Estrella TV news regarding the Immigration Crisis. Listen to her Immigration talks on 97.9 La Raza, Every Wednesday 6-7pm.
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