In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, which prohibited Immigration Services from awarding immigration benefits to same-sex couples. However, a few years ago, the Supreme Court struck down this law, giving same-sex couples the same immigration benefits as heterosexual couples. Previously, homosexual men or women could not apply for immigration benefits for their spouse. And in many states, they could not even get married. Once the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Immigration Services began processing same-sex green cards the same way they did for heterosexual couples.

For more information about same-sex family visas in St. Louis, contact a seasoned attorney. A family visa lawyer could answer your questions and guide you through the application process.

Sponsoring a Spouse in a Same-Sex Marriage

Once a couple is married, they must submit all the paperwork to adjust their status. They need to obtain a work card, obtain a travel card, and have a medical examination for the foreign spouse. Currently, applying for same-sex family visas in St. Louis involves filing an I-30 Petition for Alien Relative, an application for an adjustment of status, which is an I-485, and other applications as well. A same-sex couple’s case is processed in the same manner as a heterosexual couple. This means it will involve an interview which demonstrates that the relationship is valid and the foreign spouse is deserving and worthy of lawful permanent resident status.

Proving Valid Relationship

A same-sex couple has no additional steps to be eligible for family-related immigration benefits. They just must prove up their relationship and demonstrate that the foreign national is a person of good moral character and deserving of lawful permanent residence in the United States. In both situations, the two must prove it is a valid marriage and that the foreign national is a person who wants to stay in the United States. Proving a valid marriage is essential to both heterosexual and same-sex family visas in St. Louis.

Naturalization Process for a Same-Sex Marriage

A foreign spouse can apply for naturalization two years early when:

  • They marry a U.S. citizen
  • Obtain lawful permanent resident status
  • Remain married for three years to their spouse

Instead of waiting five years like lawful permanent residents, the spouses of U.S. citizens wait only three years before being naturalized. This is true for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Same-sex couples have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples. This means if a foreign same-sex couple remains married for three years, the foreign spouse can apply for naturalization.

Let a St. Louis Family Visa Attorney Help

A seasoned immigration attorney could assist you with filing for same-sex family visas in St. Louis. In fact, well-established immigration law firms have been consulting with same-sex couples before the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that made it permissible for same-sex couples to obtain immigration benefits for the foreign national.

When it comes to seeking same-sex family visas in St. Louis, you may want to have the help of a lawyer who has handled these types of cases before and with great success. Call today to schedule your consultation and get started on your application.