On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for immigration purposes. Effective immediately, same-sex marriages that are valid where they are performed–whether in the United States or in another country–should be treated in the same manner as any other marriage. A US citizen can therefore petition a same-sex spouse to become a permanent resident of the United States.
A long-time LGBT rights and human rights activist, I have extensive experience advising and representing LGBT immigrants and the particular issues that face our community. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your case, please call (212) 988-5806 or email me.
In addition to marriage petitions, LGBT people are also entitled to the same immigration benefits as other people. For example, it may be possible to obtain an employment-based visa or green card or to immigrate based on another qualifying family relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. An LGBT person who is afraid of being harmed because of her or his sexual orientation or gender identity in her or his own country may also be eligible for asylum. Every case is different, so it is wise to consult a qualified immigration attorney familiar with LGBT issues.
This fact sheet is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice. Every case is different, and must be evaluated individually.