Is the process of getting a green card the same for same-sex couples?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2023 | Family Immigration

First of all, let’s address the question: can same-sex couples apply for a green card? The answer is yes. For immigration purposes, there is no legal difference between heterosexual and gay couples under the law.

Having said that, is there any difference in the process of a green card petition for same-sex spouses?

Applications are treated in the same way

This means that for same-sex spouses where one party is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, they can apply for a marriage-based green card for their foreign citizen spouse.

The U.S. citizenship and immigration service will process the application in the exact same way they would for a heterosexual marriage

What should you be aware of?

As a same-sex couple, there are some things to be aware of when you’re embarking on the green card application process.

  • For same-sex couples, it can be incredibly difficult when family members don’t recognize or approve of your marriage. As part of applying for a green card, there may be questions about your relationship with your U.S. in-laws and extended family. It’s hard to know how to answer these if you have a difficult or even non-existent relationship. The best thing you can do is to be honest about how things are and gather as much basic information about them as you can so you’re prepared to deal with these questions.

  • If you were previously in a heterosexual marriage, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you are now divorced. The fact that you were in a marriage is not a problem in itself or a bar to a green card being issued. Again, it’s best practice to just be as honest as possible about previous relationships if asked about them in an interview.

A green card petition can feel complex and as a very important process for you, it’s a good idea to have some legal assistance to help you make sure things go as smoothly as possible.