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Green card applications OK for same-sex spouses

Friday, August 16, 2013

MANCHESTER – LawServe, the Manchester immigration law firm , has begun fielding inquiries from citizens with immigrant spouses following the decision by the Supreme Court in Windsor v. U.S., holding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, according to attorney Enrique Mesa. Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security instructed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.

Green Card petitions will now be determined according to applicable immigration law and will no longer be automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of a marriage.

“Even if a same sex couple was married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but live in a state that does not, the couple is eligible to an immigrant visa petition for a spouse,” Mesa said.

New Hampshire and all New England States recognize same sex marriage and thus spouses are eligible to receive at Green Card or otherwise adjust immigration status.

Mesa, together with his colleague, Attorney George Bruno, said that in evaluating a petition, “USCIS looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances.”

LawServe, located in Manchester, is a full service immigration law firm providing services in fiance petitions, H1B professional employment petitions, deportation defense, Green Cards and other visas.

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