LGBT or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Immigrant rights have been of great importance after the July 2013 Supreme Court verdict and holding that same sex marriages are legitimate and should be given same preference and rights given to their heterosexual counterparts. This was fortified by the direction given by President Obama to federal agencies and departments to ensure the same.
Earlier “The Defense of Marriage Act” had forbidden the federal government from conferring any benefits upon same-sex couples and they were not considered for family based immigration. So from July 2013 same-sex marriage couples receive same privileges and rights as hetero sexual couples. Who are eligible for same rights under new laws?
If the same-sex marriage couples had underwent legal marriage in those countries or U.S, states where same-sex marriage is given legal status.
Does this change of law effect in all issues of family based immigration?
Yes, same sex marriage couples benefit the same way in all immigration issues related to family. Some conditions are given below:
- U.S. citizen can invite his same-sex partner to the U.S. on fiancé(e) visa and get married within 90 days as possible with heterosexual partners.
- Same sex partner’s unmarried minor children also get visa benefits along with the primary beneficiary.
- Same sex couples migrating to U.S. for employment or immigration purpose can apply for visas and green cards for their minor and unmarried children.
- Step children or own children of U.S. citizen (biological or adopted) with a same sex foreign citizen spouse also get same rights of immigration.
- Same sex spouse can also take benefit of proving the extreme hardships to the U.S. citizen or LPR spouse on his/her removal from U.S. in the same way as heterosexual couples.
LGBT foreign citizens on removal proceedings or on visa application will get the following waivers based on their special sexual and social status.
- Asylum. If the LGBT foreign citizen’s country is known for social injustice against the people of LGBT orientation, or if the country’s authorities are known to persecute or allow others to persecute the LGBT based on their sexual orientation; then they may get waivers to allow the LGBT persons stay in the U.S. or their entry to the U.S. to evade these hardships.
- Other visa or green card waivers in the same way as heterosexual orientation counterparts especially if one of the partners or the LGBT foreign citizen is HIV positive then this is considered an eligibility for waiver hardship.
- LGBT immigrants can effectively use their social status in getting waivers during deportation proceedings.
- Transgender immigrants have also got benefitted from this change of law and many legal difficulties in their immigration matters have got solved by the law change.
Gavlin & Associates, P.C.NY deals with LGBT clients with the same respect and assistance as the clients with heterosexual orientation. We can even say that we give extra priority to LGBT clients as they are persecuted and dealt with injustice by vast majority of our society and they need special considerations to get equality and justice.