So, we all know that USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) has given the go ahead to file Same Sex Marriage cases in order to obtain Immigration benefits, but what does that really mean? How long will the processing times be? Will the officers be rude or invasive at the time of the interview? Will extra documents be required/requested?
Now, through first hand experience we have the answers to all these questions! USCIS is adjudicating Same Sex Marriage cases in the exact same way they are adjudicating all other marriage based cases. It’s great! We did not see any disparity in the way cases were being handled, no forms of segregation or discrimination. In fact, at the time of the interview, we felt they interview process was even easier than our “usual” marriage based greencard files.
What does this mean for you? If you are a member of the LGBT community, and you fulfill the following requirements, you are eligible to apply for immigration benefits:
1) You are an immigrant who legally entered the United States;
2) You currently have non-immigrant visa status (i.e. F1, H1(b), etc.), or have NO status;
3) Your partner is a United States Citizen or Greencard holder;
4) You married in a jurisdiction that permits same sex marriage (hate that word permits- but it’s the law unfortunately)
If you answered affirmatively to all the above questions, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR IMMIGRATION BENEFITS.
If you have a case which has been denied because of DOMA, you are still eligible, USCIS is supposed to automatically upgrade and re-open your file, but if they haven’t, let us know- we can help.
If you have any questions regarding Same Sex Marriage cases, call us- we’d be happy to help!