Gay Marriage Immigration Lawyers and Green Cards
The “STRAIGHT TALK” About the Facts on Gay Marriage Immigration
We are just as thrilled as you are about this latest Supreme Court decision. Why people want to tell you what to do inyour own bedroom after hours (sometimes during), I will never understand. It happened last year, in 2013, and it’s surprising that it took this long. However, finally, gay marriage is legal for immigration purposes.
We have been dealing with complex immigration cases for 26 years; we also prepare complex cases for 80 law firms nationwide. These firms risk their reputation and malpractice insurance on ‘our’ work, because they know we won’t let them down; we won’t let you down either. This is not a complex case, so let me explain.
Obviously, you are on this page because you have a partner who is gay/lesbian and not a US citizen (just want to make sure). There are two possibilities:
2. The person is in the United States and you decided to marry when the person was already here (not before he or she entered), and
If the person is abroad, the way the law works is that it offers you two options:
- File a fiancee/e visa
- Get married abroad and then enter on a Green Card
Gay Marriage Immigration Law Is Still Being Drafted
There are no set answers to everything, but we have 25 years of experience in this area, are authors and have trained countless lawyers. We will provide you with a great estimate of what will happen in the future.
Gay Marriage Immigration Lawyers: If The Person is Currently Abroad
A fiancee/e visa allows your partner to enter the United States for a 3-month period and you can try out the relationship. If it works, the person has to marry in that 3-month period or leave. The good news for the US citizen is that the person cannot enter on a fiancee/e visa and then marry someone else! Once the person marries, he or she now has to apply for a Green Card. A Green Card, if you are not familiar with it, allows a person to remain in the country permanently.
If a couple marries abroad there are two options: applying for a Green Card or a K3, which is, for lack of a better term, a speed-up procedure. The wait is similar to that for a fiancee/e visa, which is about 8 months. I don’t foresee many cases where someone will marry abroad, however, because it gay marriage is only recognized in fifteen countries currently; he or she does not have to apply for US citizenship, but can. Currently, if someone obtained a Green Card (also called a Permanent Residence card) through marriage, he or she can apply for citizenship in three years’ time, whereas if it is obtained through other methods, the wait is five years.
Gay Marriage Immigration Lawyers: If The Person is Currently In The US
This is where immigration law really gets interesting. I can only explain it with respect to the law currently in place for straight couples. Let’s say a guy visits from London. This man visits the beaches of San Diego and meets the girl of his dreams and they decide to get married while he is in the US on ‘that’ trip. This is fine. If he decides to return in a month after he sells his home, car, etc then it is not allowed under INA 214 (b); INA stands for Immigration and Nationality Act, which, for lack of a better term, is where you will find the immigration laws (however, there are many sources for interpreting them, such as the Code of Federal Regulations, Foreign Affairs Manual, and so on).
The timing of the death of DOMA is perfect for a number of people who were vacationing in the United
States as we are in the summer season. As a result, if they decided to get married while ‘in’ the United States, and DOMA got overturned, as long as they remain legal, they can ‘adjust’ (=get a Green Card) while in the United States
Up until now, the only option the LGBT community had for dealing with the separation would be to have one of thecouple apply for an L1 or E2 investment visa if they qualified. I am thrilled to hear of this change, making it so much easier for people who cannot afford $100,000 to invest in the United States. However, as the case only helps the GL aspect of GLBT, it will still have to be used as a way to keep two people together.
Gay Marriage Immigration Lawyers: Laws Regarding Gay Marriages
This is what you really need to know. We are one of the few law firms in the country that combine immigration and business law. Although I am straight, I have had the pleasure of spending time in the gay community due to my friends and employees; I am also a member of the GSDBA (San Diego gay and lesbian chamber of commerce). I have learned that the differences between the gay and straight communities are not just about sexual preferences.
The gay community, (in ‘my’ experience only) seems to operate at a very fast level. Unlike straight couples, who sometimes take forever to cement a relationship, I have witnessed couples who met on Grinder, moved in together a week later, and a week (if that) after that, they merged their businesses, assets, and everything else. Six months later, the relationship broke up and there was a horrid mess. Who gets the dog they bought together? How do the business issues get separated? Who keeps the friends and the club memberships?
This is an area I enjoy dealing with because one of the few areas of law I love is contracts and my goal in the GLBT community is to create contracts that will minimize the damage if the relationship does not last. The functional equivalent of a prenup for straights is much more complicated in the GLBT community because so much more is shared and known by the partner. If you have questions in this area, feel free to call at (619) 793-4827.