Immigration Law Firm Prepares for Possibility of Sponsoring Same-sex Spouses for Green Cards
U.S. immigration lawyer
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases involving same-sex marriage, which many hope will open the
door for gay U.S. citizens to sponsor their foreign partners for green cards.
Online PR News – 25-March-2013 – On March 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral
arguments in the matter of Hollingsworth v. Perry regarding the constitutionality of Prop 8 - California’s ban
on same-sex marriage that was passed in November 2008. In limiting marriage only to straight couples, Prop
8 overturned the California Supreme Court’s previous decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional
right to marry. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court will
address the issue of whether the U.S. Constitution bars California from limiting marriage to unions between
one man and one woman. On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the matter
of United States v. Windsor regarding a challenge of the U.S. federal government’s denial of benefits and tax
advantages to legally married same-sex couples under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Sponsoring a same-sex spouse for permanent residency is not a novel concept, as Canada and Australia
both allow its gay citizens to sponsor foreign spouses. United States immigration law only allows citizens to
sponsor opposite-sex spouses for permanent residency. However, if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that
same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, or that same-sex couples are entitled to the same
federal benefits as straight couples, it may open the door for the USCIS to allow gay and lesbian U.S. citizens
to sponsor their spouses for a green card.
The Supreme Court is not expected to issue rulings on these two cases until June. However, there are things
that same-sex couples can do to prepare for the possibility of sponsoring their foreign partner for a green
card. These include: reporting income taxes, gathering vaccination records, establishing joint assets and
household expenses, gathering vacation photos with your partner, avoiding criminal prosecution, and
maintaining proper immigration status. Doing this will ease the process of filing a petition to the USCIS if and
when same-sex spouses finally have the right to sponsor their partners for a U.S. green card.
(310) 591-8200 | Los Angeles
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Cedric M. Shen
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