I’m in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, in a long-distance
relationship with another man, from my home country of the Netherlands. We are
planning to marry there, in a few months. Will I then be able to get him a visa
to accompany me to the United States?
Yes, assuming there aren’t any complications in your case
(such as your new spouse being inadmissible to the U.S. for such reasons as
having a communicable disease or a record of crimes, security, or immigration
violations, or past unlawful presence in the U.S.), you should be able to
obtain a derivative visa for him.
U.S. immigration law now recognizes same-sex marriages in
the same way it recognizes opposite marriages. If they are legal in the state
or country where they took place, and you can prove the fact that you are
legally married, then same-sex spouses may obtain derivative visa to the United
States. The H-1B as well as most other nonimmigrant (short-term) visas come
with the opportunity for spouses (and children) to apply for derivative visas.
For the H-1B, the derivative is known as an H-4.
It allows your spouse to spend the same
amount of time in the U.S. as you do, study at a U.S. school or university, but NOT to work in the
United States. Be sure to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate
for the H-4 visa application process.
Actually, even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor
decision, which opened the way to immigration rights for same-sex couples, it
was possible for same-sex spouses and partners to spend some time with the
primary U.S. visa-holder by obtaining a visitor visa. The disadvantage to that
is that they allow stays in the U.S. of only six months at a time, after which
the person must apply for an extension.