Today, in the case of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or as it is more commonly known, DOMA. This decision has an immense impact on immigration, permitting married same-sex gay couples to sponsor their spouses for green cards.
Needless to say, this day is extremely important for married same-sex couples across the United States, and even abroad. While DOMA was in effect, federal law recognized only marriage between opposite sex couples. As such, even if a same-sex couple married lawfully in a state such as New York, or Washington, D.C., the married gay couple could not take advantage of certain federal benefits.
One important federal benefit, which until now has been available only to opposite sex couples, was the right to sponsor one’s foreign national spouse for a green card. Until today’s decision, a United States citizen in a married gay couple could not file for his or her spouses’ green card.
Now that DOMA has been overturned, any couple married legally under state law (gay or straight) can take advantage of the United States immigration laws. Whether an individual is currently in immigration court proceedings, or would simply like to file forms to sponsor his or her spouse, today’s decision will open important doors. For those couples that had to leave the United States in order to live with their spouse abroad, the Supreme Court decision will permit them to sponsor their spouse and return to the United States.
Green card for married gay couples: contact our immigration lawyers
If you have any questions regarding green card application process for married gay couples, please contact the premier Washington DC immigration law firm of Basyuk & Klaproth.