Same-Sex Marriage Green Card
The provisions in United States immigration law that make green cards available to the spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents apply to same-sex couples as well heterosexual couples. Requirements to demonstrate eligibility can be more challenging for LGTQ+ couples, however, particularly when certain countries are involved.
Assistance from a knowledgeable immigration lawyer can help avoid many potential pitfalls when applying for a same-sex marriage green card. At American Dream™ Law Office, we understand the type of evidence you need to present to show that you qualify, and we are ready to assist if problems arise or unusual delays occur.
Proving a Same-Sex Marriage in Genuine
Because immigration officials are so concerned with fraudulent marriages where couples marry just for immigration purposes, they generally take a suspicious approach to all marriage-based green card applications. All couples need to demonstrate that they have a bona fide marriage relationship. This is often more difficult for same-sex couples because some of the evidence typically used to prove the validity of the relationship may not be available. For instance:
- You might not have photos of you at family gatherings if relatives do not accept your relationship
- You might not be able to answer questions about your spouse’s family if you don’t have contact with them because of homophobia
- Your spouse might not be listed as your emergency contact person or beneficiary if you fear repercussions
- You might not have a joint lease if your landlord is prejudiced against same-sex couples
- If one partner had a prior heterosexual marriage, immigration officials might assume that at least one relationship was fraudulent
Immigration attorneys know strategies to handle these potential difficulties. It is important to be honest and complete throughout the process, yet it is also necessary to understand when your information might send up a red flag to officials so that you can be prepared with answers to explain an apparent discrepancy.
Proving a Same-Sex Marriage is Valid
In order for a same-sex relationship to provide eligibility for a green card, the relationship must be formalized through a valid marriage, not just a civil union. The marriage must be recognized as valid in the country where it was performed.
If a same-sex couple marries in a country that refuses to legally recognize same-sex marriage, it might make the most sense to apply for a fiancé visa and get married (again) in the United States. Despite some state laws to the contrary, U.S. federal law allows same-sex couples to marry, and federal law overrides state law.
A Dedicated Immigration Attorney Can Help Same-Sex Couples Obtain Green Cards
U.S. laws provide equal immigration opportunities for same-sex couples, but the path to demonstrate that you qualify for those opportunities is not quite the same. A skilled immigration lawyer at American Dream™ Law Office understands the challenges you face and the best ways to overcome those challenges.
To learn more or schedule a strategy session to find out how we can help you reach your goals, contact our office now.
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