June is pride month when the LGBTQIA+ community comes together to celebrate love and diversity. This year, we want to focus on same-sex couples and their unique immigration challenges. Same-sex couples often face hurdles when trying to obtain visas. At Revilla Law Firm, P.A., we want to help all families successfully navigate the immigration process.
Can I Sponsor My Same-Sex Partner for a U.S. Green Card?
Yes, you can apply for a green card on behalf of your same-sex spouse. The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling granted same-sex marriages the same legal rights, dignity, and respect as heterosexual marriages.
What Are the Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Requirements?
To sponsor your same-sex spouse for a green card, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and be able to show that your marriage is legally valid in the country where it took place.
What If My Same-Sex Marriage Is Not Recognized In My Home Country?
If you are married to a foreign national of the same sex, but your home country does not recognize same-sex marriages, you may still sponsor your partner for a U.S. green card if your marriage was performed in a country that does recognize same-sex marriages. It is highly recommended to have a knowledgeable immigration attorney with experience handling same-sex immigration cases.
What Challenges Same-Sex Couples Face in the Green Card Application Process?
There are many unique challenges that same-sex couples face when trying to obtain a green card through marriage. Let's explore a few.
Proving Cohabitation without Employment or Lease Documents
For heterosexual couples, it is often easy to prove that they are living together by providing employment or lease documents with both partners' names on them. Same-sex couples may not have these same documents, making it more challenging to prove cohabitation.
Lack of Recognition in Countries of Origin
In some countries, same-sex relationships are not recognized by the government. This can make it difficult for same-sex couples to obtain the necessary documentation to apply for a green card.
USCIS requirements for proving a bona fide marriage
Regardless of sexual orientation, all couples must prove that their marriage is real (or "bona fide") to USCIS. Same-sex couples may have difficulty providing this proof because they may not have had the same opportunities to publicly declare their relationship as heterosexual couples.
These are only a few examples of the unique challenges same-sex couples face during the green card application process. If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and are considering applying for a green card, it's essential to seek an experienced immigration attorney who can help you navigate the process.
How Can an Immigration Attorney Help Same-Sex Couples with Green Card Applications?
An immigration attorney can help all couples, including same-sex couples, in many ways during the green card application process. Here are the ways a knowledgeable immigration attorney can help:
- Help you gather the necessary documentation to prove cohabitation, even if you don't have traditional arrangements.
- Help you understand the requirements for establishing a bona fide marriage.
- Prepare you for the USCIS interview.
- If you are worried about possible bias or discrimination from USCIS officers during your green card interview, an immigration attorney can help you prepare for your interview and know your rights.
- An immigration attorney can represent you in court if necessary.
We Can Provide You with The Help You Need
At Revilla Law Firm, P.A., we understand the unique challenges that same-sex couples face in the immigration process. Our team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your partner obtain a green card.
For legal guidance, contact our Miami immigration attorneys today at (305) 858-2323 to schedule a case review!