At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we are constantly trying to find new ways to break down topics that are commonly misunderstood or at the tip of current events. Since specific areas of the law can sometimes be very broad and rely on related information, we wanted to start writing some articles as a series.
Immigration Law is one of those areas. There are a variety of topics such as Visas, Deportation, Citizenship, Asylum and Green Cards that are worthy of breaking down. But for this article, we wanted to talk about same sex marriages and immigrant visa petitions. Since it is both relevant to the current state of affairs in the USA and is a topic that is heating up.
LGBT Marriage And Immigrant Visa Petitions
The Immigration road has historically been a rough street for many; but it definitely was a closed road for the LGBT community and their loved ones intending to migrate.
Recent changes in the law finally lifted that roadblock; first the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, in 2013, and now in the 2015 landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that marriages between gay and lesbian spouses must be legal in all 50 States.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, eloquently stated, “Marriage is a keystone of our social order, [and] no union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
Now that same sex marriage is recognized in all 50 States a US citizen may petition for a Fiancé visa (K-1) for his or her fiancé abroad if the UC citizen is able to present the following evidence:
- The couple have to have met in person within the last two years.
- Both parties must sign an affidavit that there are legally able and willing to marry one another.
- They must get married within 90 days of the immigrating party’s arrival in the United States.
- The relationship has to be genuine. This can be shown by affidavits from family and friends, photos, travel itineraries, receipt of engagement rings, telephone log, and any other documentation proofing the bona fide relationship.
- The US citizen must earn enough and file an Affidavit of Support showing that their intended spouse will not become a public charge.
After the couple marries the UC citizen spouse can then file an immigrant family petition and the immigrant spouse can then change his or her status to permanent resident, which eventually can lead to citizenship.
We here at Seff & Capizzi Law Group are strong supporters of gay and lesbian rights, and will fight for any client who wishes to file for an immigration benefit based on a same-sex marriage.
Call or email Seff & Capizzi Law Group immediately if you or someone you know can benefit from these new and exciting changes to US immigration law.
If you’re interested in filing and wish to speak to an immigration attorney about it, or if you have any questions regarding K-1 fiancé visas, please call 954-920-9220 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.