When the Supreme Court ruled on Windsor on June 26, 2013, the lives of many LGBT couples changed forever. We continue to celebrate that success! Now, many same-sex binational couples (one person is a U.S. citizen and the other is a foreign national) who have legally married one another are able to file marriage-based green card petitions. This is a pathway to citizenship. Immigration Equality worked hard to help make this huge win for our community a reality. Additionally, our expert legal team drew up plans to ensure that this change in policy would be implemented immediately, consistently and fairly. While we appreciate that many couples are still anxiously waiting for a decision from the U.S. government, we are proud to report that things have been going smoothly around the country. Many LGBT binational couples have already had their marriage interviews and many more have received their green cards.
Unfortunately, Windsor did not fix everything. Couples who cannot travel to a marriage equality state to legally wed have no ability to have their relationships recognized. At the same time, permanent residents of the U.S. or those granted asylum here still cannot sponsor their fiancés to join them. Please see below for information that LGBT immigrant families need to know.
Much of immigration law is predicated on familial relationships. However, for many LGBT people, neither genetic nor legal ties are necessarily present in a family. We are frequently not formally recognized as being spouses, children, or parents. For those dealing with immigration issues, lack of legal recognition can be devastating to a family. Immigration Equality continues its work with the Departments of Justice, State, and Homeland Security to ensure that the U.S. government supports and protects our families.