The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 States. The ruling strikes down bans in Texas and other states, provides assurances of equal protection to same-sex couples under the law, and requires states to license same-sex marriages and to recognize such marriages created outside their jurisdictions. As a result, cities across the country (Austin, Texas (Travis County), for example) may begin immediately issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
For immigration purposes, this means that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can legally marry their same-sex foreign fiancées and qualify them for immigration benefits as an immediate relative (spouse). Same-sex couples can therefore benefit from the right to be petitioned for by their U.S. citizen spouse, the right to be granted derivative status as the spouse of a nonimmigrant visa holder, the right to obtain derivative asylee or refugee status, and the right to be considered as a qualifying relative for purposes of cancellation of removal.
For more information on the available benefits to LGBT immigrants, please contact our office or visit our firm’s website at www.finkelmanlaw.com.