Immigration Attorney Notes Visa Updates From The DOS | Law Firm Newswire

Immigration Attorney Notes Visa Updates From The DOS

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 4, 2013 - The U.S. Department of State has issued visa updates to embassies around the world on how the U.S. is managing the immigration of same-sex couples.

The guidelines include the missive that, beginning immediately, consular officers are to begin reviewing the visa applications which have been filed by a same-sex spouse the same way they review visa applications filed by an opposite-sex spouse. Same-sex marriages are now considered valid for purposes of immigration.

"A same-sex marriage is considered valid for all immigration purposes, even if it is determined that the same-sex couple will eventually reside in one of the U.S. states which still does not legally recognize same-sex marriage," commented Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee.

If a couple has wed in one of the 13 U.S. states which recognizes legal same-sex marriage, that marriage is valid for immigration purposes, even in one of the 37 states where it is not yet legal. Also in the guidelines: the same-sex marriage is considered valid in cases where the applicant is applying, even if that country does not recognize same-sex marriage.

According to the Department of State (DOS), same-sex spouses and their children are also eligible if one spouse has an H-1B visa, known as a “derivative visa.” The other spouse can file to obtain an H-4 visa. Also, if a spouse has an L-2 visa, their partner may be eligible for an L-1 visa.

Any spouse of a citizen of the U.S. or the spouse of a lawfully permanent resident may also apply for an immigrant visa, once USCIS approves the I-130. Each embassy is tasked with determining if the marriage was legally valid.

Same-sex spouses as well as their qualifying children and stepchildren as dependants may qualify for family-preference categories and employment-based categories.

Legal U.S. citizens who have same-sex partners may have their partner come to the U.S to be legal. The immigrant may apply for the K-1 fiancé non-immigrant visa so that they may wed in the U.S. Though a same-sex partner may be in a country where same-sex marriage is not recognized, the partner may be brought to the U.S. on a "fiancée visa" and the wedding can take place on U.S. soil.

For any questions regarding these or other same-sex visa rights issues, contact a Houston immigration attorney.

Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139

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