B Visa Offers One Option for Same-Sex Couples (Part Three of Three)
As the final installment of our three-part series, today’s blog will address a very specific solution for some LGBT couples – The B visa for same-sex partners.
While the country waits for the Supreme Court to hear two cases related to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex individuals continue to look for options to keep their families together when in the U.S. Based on Section 3 of DOMA, it is currently mandated that the only definition of marriage that will be accepted under federal law is between one man and one woman. In accordance with federal law, USCIS must reject I-130s filed by same-sex partners at this time.
However, this is not to say that there is no movement on same-sex issues in U.S. Immigration practice.
In an August 17, 2011 Policy Memo, USCIS discusses changes to B-2 Status and Extensions for Cohabitating Partners and other nonimmigrant household members – meaning, people who are coming to the U.S. temporarily, not permanently. There are various nonimmigrant visa categories available to foreign nationals, most of which are employment based. Some of these categories (such as H-1B) has its own sub-category under which the foreign national worker can bring his or her spouse and children (in this case, the H-4 category) and some do not. This memo seeks to provide legal nonimmigrant status to members of a foreign national’s household – be it an elderly parent or a cohabitating partner including same-sex cohabitating partners.
If you have a household member who you wish to accompany you to the U.S., schedule a consultation to speak with one of our Immigration Attorneys. The attorney will review the details of your case and provide a strategy to help you meet your immigration goals.