Review of New Developments in Same Sex Marriage Immigration

With a new sense of freedom, many couples consisting of US Citizens and immigrants have begun to consider green cards through same sex marriage immigration. If you are someone enjoying this new liberty, read on.

This new development emerged just a few months ago with the new Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has gone back to look at same sex marriage immigration cases denied before Windsor.  Those cases should be reopened.

Couples are now being interviewed for green cards.

Petitions the first same sex marriage immigration cases have been approved.


  • Due to Windsor, the Immigration Service will approve green cards based on gay marriage ceremonies anywhere – whether we are talking about a state or a foreign country – as long as that jurisdiction recognizes them as legal.
  • Same sex marriage immigration cases are to be treated exactly the same as opposite sex marriages.
  • Immigration will interview couples to ensure they really live together.
  • Immigration will also review all of the other issues that arise in any marriage cases, such as fingerprinting to check on police records, medical examinations, tax returns and all other required evidence.
  • Be careful when dealing with Immigration if you were previously married to someone of the opposite gender. We are seeing many couples who have divorce judgments from prior marriages.  For example, Immigration may raise questions about how a man – previously married to a woman – is now living with a man.  Couples should carefully think about a consultation on these matters with the best immigration lawyer they can find.  Psychological reports concerning an applicant’s bisexual tendencies may be an excellent idea.

You must give careful consideration to all of these matters when thinking about your same sex marriage immigration case.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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