HRC Blog

New USCIS Guidelines Help Transgender Immigrants

Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an important Policy Memorandum revising the treatment of gender designations for transgender people on immigration documents.  This new guidance ensures the federal government will continue to recognize a marriage for immigration purposes regardless of a spouse’s subsequent gender transition. 

All USCIS staff who implement immigration policies and procedures will be required to follow the guidelines. 

This revision does not require particular medical treatment, such as sex reassignment surgery, and is closely modeled after the U.S. State Department’s policy regarding gender change for passports, which was revised in June 2010.  We congratulate our colleagues at the National Center for Transgender Equality and Immigration Equality, who have been pushing for this change.  To review the USCIS policy memorandum, visit,0413-uscistransgender.pdf.

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