The Supreme Court recently invalidated the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that prevented the government of America from recognizing gay marriages and ruled DOMA unconstitutional. Gay couples are now eligible for federal benefits, social security and for health benefits. Apart from that, they can help their same sex partners to get Green Cards. USCIS is now accepting immigrant petitions filed by the same sex couples and US citizens who were earlier separated from their partners due to DOMA, can now petition for their foreign spouses and help them to immigrate to the United States.
USCIS will not reject the family-based immigrant petitions that the US citizens file on behalf of their same sex foreign partners. It will accept the petitions that the gay couples file in the same manner as those filed by the other heterosexual couples. This decision will have a positive impact on several gay couples living in America.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director, Alejandro Mayorkas, has announced that the USCIS has retained records of all the denied Form I-130 petitions filed by Americans for their same sex partners and that the USCIS will reopen all those cases. Hence, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can now be filed by US citizens and Green Card holders, for their same sex partners.
Partners of US citizens who are living in foreign countries can go through consular processing and obtain immigrant visas, after their US citizen spouses file Form I-130, for them. Same sex partners of US citizens who are living in America as non-immigrants, can file the adjustment of status application, Form I-485, while their partners file Form I-130 for them and become permanent residents.
Gay couples must, however establish that their marriages took place in states that are not against gay marriages. Their immigrant petitions will be accepted if they were married in states that do not prohibit same sex marriages and if they live in states that have banned same sex marriages. USCIS will now issue Green Cards to the gays married to US citizens. Gay couples who were separated, can now reunite with their families and the petitions that the US citizens file for family-based visas, on behalf of their partners of the same sex, will not be denied by the USCIS.