HRC Blog

Department of Homeland Security Announces Guidance Recognizing Same-Sex Spouses for Visa Sponsorship

As a result of last week's Supreme Court decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published guidance that all immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse will now be reviewed in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.

Under this new guidance, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national can now sponsor his or her spouse for a family-based immigrant visa. This policy will also extend to couples who are legally married, but whose current state of residence does not recognize their marriage. USCIS states that this state of celebration rule will generally apply, although further guidance may be necessary regarding exceptions.

For more on the impact of the Windsor decision, visit http://www.hrc.org/SupremeCourt.  To read today's guidance visit: http://www.dhs.gov/topic/implementation-supreme-court-ruling-defense-marriage-act

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