Same-sex couples have been fighting for equal immigration treatment for many years. Despite being married in a state which legally recognizes same-sex couples, bi-national individuals have still been threatened with deportation in the past. If you are hoping to bring your partner to live with you in the U.S. but you are worried the immigration process might be too challenging for same-sex couples, relying on the help of a knowledgeable attorney could be beneficial.
Here are three types of immigration help available for same-sex couples.
1. K-1 Fiancé Visa
With the repeal of DOMA in 2013, same-sex couples are now eligible to file for a K-1 fiancé visa if one partner is a legal resident of the United States. The fiancé visa is designed to allow partners who intend to marry to reside in the United States prior to the marriage taking place in order to finalize plans and prepare for their union.
In order to qualify for the K-1 fiancé visa, you must intend to legally marry your partner within 90 days of their entry into the United States. Be sure to ask your immigration attorney about any special challenges you might face as a same-sex couple in getting your fiancé visa request approved.
2. K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse Visa
If you are legally married to an individual who is a permanent resident of a country outside the U.S., you might want to consider filing a K-3 nonimmigrant spouse visa application. An immigration attorney can help you determine if filing a K-3 application for your same-sex partner will reduce the amount of time you must be physically separated while your spouse awaits authorization of his or her immigrant visa granting the right to live in the United States.
A K-3 visa makes it possible for you to bring your loved one into the United States legally so you can live together until the permanent resident visa you filed on their behalf is approved.
3. Provisional Waivers
If your same-sex partner is living in the United States illegally, you may be able to file for a waiver that will prevent deportation while you complete the paperwork necessary to establish permanent immigrant status. An attorney specializing in same-sex immigration law can help you file an I-601A form.
This form allows your partner to remain inside the United States while seeking immigrant status, rather than having to leave the country to re-enter from their home country (a process that could require you to be separated from your partner for 10 months or more).
Having the help of an attorney with experience representing same-sex couples in immigration matters will help ensure that your foreign partner is able to reside with you in the United States legally. Contact a lawyer from a company like Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law for immigration help for your partner.