LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families can often face unique difficulties when attempting to immigrate. No matter who you love or how you choose to identify, you deserve compassionate legal representation. Our Orlando LGBTQ immigration lawyers at Angel Law Firm, PL have experience helping clients of numerous sexual orientations and gender identities explore their legal options for living and working in the United States.
We have an extensive knowledge of the U.S. immigration system and are familiar with the specific obstacles and challenges that you may face as a result of your identity. Our team can work to enforce your rights to deliver the results that you need.
Difficulty Obtaining Marriage Visas for Same-Sex Couples
The landmark Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor established that same-sex marriages must be afforded the same benefits as those of heterosexual marriages in the U.S. immigration system. As a result, LGBTQ couples have the right to petition for marriage-based green cards.
Same-sex couples can sometimes have difficulty providing certain types of evidence that can support the legitimacy of the marriage. Not all states explicitly LGBTQ-related discrimination in housing and employment, so many individuals fear persecution from landlords or employers if they list their same-sex spouse on their lease, rental agreement, mortgage, employment-sponsored insurance policy, or employment emergency contact form.
The workaround to this issue is to provide other documents that prove that you live together. This might include providing copies of both of your driver’s licenses sharing the same address, joint utility bills, or joint bank account statements. Any previous marriages to heterosexual partners can also present a challenge for LGBTQ couples.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will likely probe the circumstances of any previous marriages, which you are required to disclose as part of your visa petition.
You may face substantial scrutiny if you previously sought a marriage visa through a heterosexual marriage. USCIS officials may assume your previous marriage was fraudulent, which can imperil your current immigration effort. You will likely be subject to intense lines of questioning in these situations. Our team can help you prepare how to honestly and effectively answer.
It is possible that you could experience homophobic discrimination during your in-person interview with a USCIS official or at any point during the application process. Though USCIS officials are instructed to make no distinction between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples, they still have a fair amount of discretion in approving or rejecting petitions.
Our Orlando LGBTQ attorneys can help you explore your options if you believe your visa application was improperly rejected on discriminatory grounds.
Contact our firm for help today. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you.
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