On Friday, June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a historic 5 to 4 decision that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all U.S. states and in unincorporated U.S. territories, like Puerto Rico. Same-sex couples could already marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia, but with this ruling the remaining 14 states in the South and Midwest will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. The remaining 14 states must now also recognize same-sex marriages from any state in the union.
USCIS has fully accepted applications on behalf of married binational same-sex couples (regardless if the couple lived in a state the does not recognize their marriage) since the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. However, prior to this recent Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples sometimes had to travel to another state or country in order to get married. This could be an obvious hardship for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident hoping to petition for a spouse.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, binational same-sex couples can now marry anywhere in the U.S. they may choose. Not having to travel in order to marry will help same-sex couples save money, time and much frustration.
Since the repeal of DOMA, Berardi Immigration Law has been proud to be a leader in assisting same-sex couples obtain green cards for their spouses. If you are interested in applying for a marriage-based green card, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys! You can also visit our website for more information including frequently asked questions, an overview of the process, recent guidance from CBP and more by clicking here.