• DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act - Immigration - U.S. Supreme Court
  • July 31, 2013
  • Law Firm: Cundy Martin LLC - Bloomington Office
  • In June, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.  This is a major win for same sex couples where at least one spouse is a non-citizen.  Prior to this Court decision, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services could not approve immigration petitions based upon same sex marriages, even if same sex marriage was legal in the jurisdiction where the marriage was solemnized.

    Now, if a couple with a same sex marriage is married in a state or country where same sex marriage is allowed, the marriage can be recognized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services immediately.  Additionally, applicants who previously had marriage based immigration petitions denied where the sole ground for denial was the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act precluded approval of the petition can seek reopening of their cases.

    U.S. citizens who are engaged to non-citizen’s of the same sex also may file for K-1 fiancé visas now.  Additionally, individuals married in a state where same sex marriage was recognized but the state they now reside in does not recognize same sex marriage can still petition with the immigration service.  Finally, same sex couples can now also seek waivers of grounds of inadmissibility the waiver is based on a having a marital relationship.