Does immigration treat same sex marriages the same?

| Feb 23, 2021 | Family Immigration

Same-sex marriages have been legal in Texas since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision from the Supreme Court. This decision allows gay and lesbian couples to join together in matrimony. It also provides same-sex couples with the same legal considerations as opposite-sex couples.

Immigration for same-sex couples

Family immigration laws allow a U.S. citizen joined in a marital union with a foreign national to petition on behalf of their spouse to live in the United States. The citizen spouse will need to file Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Current immigration law determines an American citizen’s right to petition for their spouse to join them. These regulations also determine whether the foreign national spouse is admissible. The same-sex nature of the marriage merits no consideration in the process.

Visa petitions for same-sex fiancé

It is also possible for a foreign national to join a citizen fiancé in the United States to get married. The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen and needs to complete Form I-129 to get the K-1 non-immigrant visa process started.

Both parties must be eligible for marriage to obtain a visa, and the couple has 90 days to complete the visa process once the fiancé is in the United States. The fiancé visa becomes invalid if the couple fails to marry within the one-month window provided, and no extension to the deadline is available. The provisions for a same-sex fiancé visa are identical to fiancé visas for heterosexual couples.

The process for same-sex marriage immigration is no different than the immigration process as a whole. However, the rules and regulations that govern the process can become complicated for immigrants and their families to navigate alone. Individuals with questions regarding the immigration process may find the answers they need by speaking with an attorney familiar with the process.