The immigration process for any couple in the United States can be challenging and complicated. For LGBTQ couples, this process can be even more daunting due to the various legal challenges and evolving legislation surrounding same-sex marriage. Our firm, Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. has developed special expertise in handling LGBTQ marriage visa cases, ensuring that LGBTQ couples receive the same treatment and rights as heterosexual couples under United States immigration laws.
When it comes to proving the legitimacy of a marriage for immigration purposes, the same proof is required for both heterosexual and same-sex marriages. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, will ask for evidence that the couple is living together in a shared domicile, evidence of commingled assets and liabilities such as a joint bank account, insurance, taxes, and other financial items. Additionally, the couple should be able to show that they, share bills for utilities and other household expenses, and have a collection of photos documenting their life together.
These photos can be particularly helpful in illustrating the genuine nature of the relationship, as they can include pictures with friends and family. Photos of joint trips, vacations, and time with other people can also be beneficial in providing a comprehensive view of the couple’s life together.
An immigration interview will usually be arranged to verify the couple’s knowledge of each other, such as how they met, their familiarity with each other’s families, and their respective work situations, and to determine eligibility for residence if the spouses are in the United States.
For couples seeking to obtain a fiancé(e) visa, the U.S. citizen petitioner must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS. This is the first step in the fiancé petition process, which establishes the eligibility to marry, the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary, the U.S. citizenship of the petitioner, and that the couple have met in person within the last two years. After the I-129F petition is approved, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply for a K-1 visa at their local U.S. consulate or embassy. Once the fiancé(e) visa is granted and the foreign fiancé(e) enters the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days.
Following the marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The adjustment of status process involves filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with the USCIS. After the approval of the adjustment of status application, the foreign spouse becomes a lawful permanent resident.
Two Supreme Court decisions in 2013 paved the way for equality in marriage for LGBTQ couples in the United States. Thereafter, on June 26, 2015, full marriage equality finally arrived in the United States with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges granting same-sex couples in all 50 states the right to full and equal recognition to marriage under US law. This ruling paved the way for LGBTQ couples to access federal benefits, including immigration benefits related to LGBTQ marriage visas. Under current law and practice, same-sex couples are treated in the exact same manner as different-sex couples.
With over 40 years of experience in handling issues of conflicts of law and ensuring that LGBTQ couples receive equal treatment, dignity, and rights under US law, the New York immigration attorneys at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. are dedicated to providing unparalleled support and guidance throughout the LGBTQ marriage visa process. We understand the unique challenges that LGBTQ couples face in navigating the marriage visa process and are committed to working diligently to ensure a smooth and successful experience.
The immigration process for LGBTQ couples in the United States can be complex, but with the right expertise and guidance, it is possible to navigate the system successfully. At Oltarsh & Associates, P.C., we are dedicated to providing LGBTQ couples with respect, empathy, and the same rights and treatment as heterosexual couples, using our extensive experience to help our clients achieve their immigration goals. If you or your partner are considering an LGBTQ marriage visa, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of skilled immigration attorneys for assistance and support.
Our expertise extends to the fiancé visa process, adjustment of status process, and staying up-to-date with changes in immigration laws and important Supreme Court decisions. Our immigration attorneys are well-versed in handling the Department of Homeland Security’s requirements and working closely with the Citizenship and Immigration Services to ensure our clients’ needs are met.
Whether you are a green card holder seeking to bring your same-sex spouse to the United States or a U.S. citizen petitioning for a spouse or fiancée visa, our immigration attorneys will provide personalized guidance and support throughout the process. By staying informed about the evolving legal landscape surrounding LGBTQ marriage and immigration laws, we are prepared to help our clients navigate the complexities of the LGBTQ marriage visa application process and secure their future in the United States.
Don’t let the complexities of the immigration system discourage you from pursuing your dreams with your loved one. Let Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. be your trusted New York LGBTQ Marriage Visa Lawyer in navigating the legal intricacies of LGBTQ marriage and immigration laws in the United States. Reach out to our team today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey toward a successful LGBTQ marriage visa application.