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LGBT Immigration Issues (Part Two of Three)

While our last post focused on safety issues that are unique to the LGBT traveler, this blog will focus on some specific travel issues that may impact members of the LGBT community.

  • Identification Documents for the Transgendered Individual:  Fact of life – if you don’t have a passport, you will not likely get too far in your travel plans.  But how do transgendered individuals fairly and accurately report gender on official government documents such as passports?  The United States Department of State provides some passport guidance for U.S. citizens who are gender reassignment applicants – meaning they are in the process of, or have completed, gender reassignment surgery.  However, such guidance is not available for pre-operative transgender individuals.
  • H-IV Entry Requirements: According to the Department of State website, DOL publishes Country Specific Information for every country on Travel.State.Gov.  Included is information on  HIV/AIDS entry restrictions, or lack of restrictions, in the section entitled Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens. In some instances, the Country Specific Information refers travelers to that country’s embassy or consulate for additional information.
  • Name Change through Marriage: According to, as of March 4, 2013, nine states (CT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, WA, and VT) plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. With many other states implementing laws to recognize same-sex marriage, civil union or other designations short of marriage, our LGBT clients often have questions on how to change their names on their passports.   The name-change process for individuals in a same-sex marriage is the same as for anyone else.  Click here to view the documents required to change your name on your U.S. passport based on marriage.

Immigration rules for the LGBT community continue to evolve and change.  Contact our attorneys if you have questions specifically relating to these, or any other, immigration issues.