There are numerous ways for permanent residents and citizens to bring loved ones into the United States. Different visa programs can help people reunite with their family members. Spouses, parents and children are among those who can potentially enter the United States if they have a loved one already in the country.
Sometimes, personal relationships fall into a gray area of the law. Marriage between people of the same sex is one such kind of relationship. The recognition of same-sex marriages is relatively new here in the United States. It has been less than a decade since the Supreme Court interpreted the law to effectively legalize same-sex marriages across the country.
Does that Supreme Court ruling impact your options for helping a loved one enter the country?
Same-sex spouses can qualify for immigration rights
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy statement shortly after the Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges. The USCIS and other federal agencies now recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriages, both domestic and foreign.
United States citizens and permanent residents with a same-sex spouse who is a citizen of another country may be able to sponsor their spouse for entry into the United States. As with other marriage-based immigration efforts, those looking to bring a same-sex spouse into the country will have to fill out complex paperwork, and the applicant hoping to enter the country will have to pass medical examinations and background checks.
Learning more about how the USCIS addresses marriage-based immigration can help you reconnect with your spouse living abroad.