Ivener & Fullmer LLP

USCIS Updates DOMA FAQ


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQ) on same-sex marriages under the Supreme Court’s recent decision holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The latest FAQ notes that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in same-sex marriages to foreign nationals can now sponsor their spouses for family-based immigrant visas. Their eligibility will be determined according to applicable immigration law and they will not be denied because of a same-sex marriage.

The FAQ also notes that spouses who were married in a U.S. state or foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but who live in a state that does not, can file immigrant visa petitions for their spouses. The FAQ states that as a general matter, “the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes.”

The FAQ also includes information about applying for benefits, what to do about previous denials, changes in eligibility based on same-sex marriage, residence requirements, inadmissibility waivers.

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