U.S. Immigration and Same-Sex Couples: Summary of the Windsor Decision’s Impact

Green cards, nonimmigrant visas, and other opportunities for same-sex spouses after the downfall of DOMA.

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Probably the biggest immigration-related impact of the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, which overturned core portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was to allow U.S. citizens to petition for green cards (lawful permanent residence) for their same-sex spouses. However, this wasn’t the only portion of U.S. immigration law to be affected.

By removing the DOMA definition of marriage as solely the legal union of a man and a woman, legally married gay and lesbian couples become eligible for a number of immigration rights – the same ones that opposite-sex couples have been enjoying for years. Here is a summary list:

Have we forgotten anything? It’s possible! The full impact of this ruling is still being studied and experimented with. And the complexity of U.S. immigration law is the stuff of legend. (Not the good kind.) For a full analysis of your personal situation and immigration options, consult an experienced immigration attorney.

by: , J.D.

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