On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court voted to strike down the core of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby providing legally married same-sex couples with the right to receive the same federal benefits as married heterosexual couples. Under Section 3 of DOMA – which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court – same-sex couples were barred from obtaining federal benefits for the reason that “marriage” referred only to the marital union between a man and a woman and that “spouse” would only refer to a person of the opposite sex.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down this particular provision, legally married same-sex couples now have the right to obtain various federal benefits, including a spouse’s Social Security. Most significantly, same-sex couples also have the right to obtain various immigration benefits, including spousal sponsorship for marriage. A landmark ruling, the striking down of DOMA means historical changes to U.S. immigration policy and steps toward equal rights for all married couples.
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins to implement the DOMA ruling into immigration procedures, same-sex couples throughout the nation should be aware of a few important facts. First and most importantly, couples must be legally married in order to obtain these benefits, meaning that they must have been married in a state or country that recognizes same-sex marriage. In addition, they must also provide proof in the form of documentation of their legal union when sponsoring a spouse for a green card, citizenship, or other immigration benefits. Just as heterosexual couples have the right to sponsor spouses for various benefits, including different types of visas for their partner, legally married same-sex couples will also have these rights.
At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we take pride in the fact that we practice an evolving area of law – and one that has expanded over the years to recognize the importance of family, diversity, and equal rights. The Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA and the impact it will have on thousands of legally married same-sex couples illustrate a large step in the civil rights movement. Our legal team is here to help same-sex couples understand their rights when it comes to various immigration procedures and to provide our experienced assistance when guiding them toward a successful resolution.
By discussing your case with a member of our legal team, you can learn more about sponsoring a foreign national spouse for a green card, temporary nonimmigrant visa, and other immigration benefits. You can also gain insight into the ways in which our firm can help and guide you through your unique immigration action step by step. Work with seasoned New York immigration attorneys who are here to help you every step of the way. Contact Pozo Goldstein, LLP today.