Three Immigration Benefits for Same Sex Couples

The landmark decision of the US Supreme Court to scrap the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow same sex marriage in the entire country has repercussions even to the seemingly irrelevant domain of immigration.  If you are a person married to another person with the same sex as you, this article will shed light on what new rights you can enjoy in relation to immigration.

Know Your Rights

You should talk to your immigration lawyer about your rights as an immigrant if you are married to a person of the same sex so that the legal parts can be better explained to you.  Here are some new rights for same sex couples born after the Landmark decision.

  1. The ability to sponsor step children.

When DOMA was still a law, a member of the LGBT community will not be able to sponsor the children of his or her same sex spouse into the US. That is because DOMA prevents their marriage from being recognized by the law.  Because of that same sex couples are not allowed to enjoy the sponsorship benefits, which other heterosexual marriages enjoy.  The landmark decision to kick DOMA out now gives  same sex couples the same benefits and are now able to  sponsor the children of their spouses into the US.   If you need more information about this, you should talk to an immigration attorney.

  1. Protecting domestic violence survivors from deportation.

Unfortunately, even same sex marriage is not immune to domestic violence.  But what makes it worse for an immigrant same-sex spouse is the fact that because of DOMA , they could not do what heterosexual victims do, which is to self-petition for permanent residency in the US. That is because DOMA prevents him or her from being recognized as legally married.  When the Supreme Court decided to strike down DOMA, any same-sex immigrant spouse now can enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts and are now able to self-petition to void deportation if they leave their abusive partners.

  1. Admission of same sex fiancées and their children to US.

Before DOMA was buried to the grave, only heterosexual couples can take advantage of the K visa, which allows fiancés of US citizens along with their children to enter the US and stay there as long as the fiancé marries the petitioner within 90 days.  Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap DOMA, even same-sex fiancés can now access this right. Now same sex families can be together and be given the respect and dignity they deserve as a real family in the US.

Consult an Immigration Lawyer

If any of these new rights is applicable to you and you want to take advantage of these, you should contact a reliable immigration attorney to help you.  These lawyers are experts in the fields of immigration so they know the twists and turns of the law.  Not only will immigration attorneys explain to you these new immigration rights, they can also help you with your application.  If you are in San Diego, you can contact the lawyers of San Diego Immigration Law Center.

Are You Eligible for a Green Card Based on Relations?

Many people from other countries have a strong desire to come to the US to chase the American dream. However, this dream is not easy to achieve. America’s immigration laws are strict and difficult. In order for a non-American to get their hands on a green card, they have to overcome mountains of hindrances—legalities that follow stringent rules. There are rules, however, that make it easier for some people to get their green cards. Continue reading to know if you are one of these lucky people.

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

Immediate relatives of American citizens have it easier than most when it comes to getting their green cards.  The most amazing thing when you get included in this category is that there are unlimited slots for applicants and they can get their green cards fast. You are qualified under this category if you are:

  • Married to a US citizen or a widow of a US citizen you are eligible for a green card. Same sex spouses are also eligible as long as the marriage was done in a country where same-sex marriage is legal.
  • A child of at least one US citizen parent and is below the age of 21.
  • You are a parent of a US citizen whose age is 21 years old.
  • Stepchildren of US citizens, if your parent and stepparent married before you were 18.
  • Adopted child of US citizens as long as your age when adopted was 16 years and below.

Other Family Members

For other family members of US citizens who did not qualify at the first category, they still have a chance of getting their green cards, but not as easy and only a limited number of them could get green cards. Another important information to note is that if you belong to this category, you have to act fast because it’s a first come first served basis.  It is based on preference. First preference means more chances to get a green card and so forth.   You belong to this group if you are:

·         Family 1st Preference- 21 years old, unmarried and has at least one parent who is an American citizen.

·         Family 2nd Preference- you are unmarried and are a child of a green card holder and not yet 21 years old.

·         Family 3rd Preference- if you are married and are a child of a green card holder.

·         Family 4th preference- a sibling of a green card holder, 21 years old or older.

If you belong to any of these categories, you should ask an immigration lawyer to assist you in applying for a green card visa.  Immigration attorneys are well-versed on immigration laws and could really make a difference on your green card application. There are even immigration lawyers who offer free consultation.  Even if you don’t have any family member who is a US citizen, don’t worry, there are also other ways to become a green card holder, like if you are hired by an American company or if you win the green card lotteries.

When to Find an Immigration Lawyer

Immigration policies have been the subject of debate among top ranking government officials for many years now. Some want to ease the immigration laws while others want to tighten them. All the while, many non-citizen immigrants are caught in the middle of the foray not knowing whether they will still be allowed in the country or be sent back to the place they left.

Being deported is a big problem especially for those who have already built their new life in the US.  Naturally, everyone who comes to live here wants to become an American citizen. However, the immigration laws in the US are full of technical twists and turns and if you find yourself if you’re confused, it is always best to contact an immigration lawyer instead of applying for a VISA yourself.

If you find yourself in any of this situation, it’s a sign that you need to get help from an immigration lawyer to sort things out.

If You Are Inadmissible

If an immigration officer says you are inadmissible to be a citizen of the US, that’s a big problem. Sometimes their reasons are valid like if you had a previous run-in with the law or if there was a time you lied to the government. There are also times when the inadmissible status is the result of some mix-up, like if someone with the same first and last name as you is listed as a criminal. However, a big problem doesn’t mean it’s insurmountable.  Many immigration attorneys are willing to help you if you go to them. They have the expertise and perseverance to fight for your cause to the immigration department.

If You Are in Immigration Court Proceedings

Being in an immigration court deportation (removal) proceedings is not where you want to be if you are a non-citizen living unlawfully here, because it’s just a step away from being deported. If you haven’t contacted a deportation attorney yet, then it’s time you do it. You can’t defend yourself alone and you need a reliable counsel to fight alongside you in your quest to hurdle the immigration court proceedings.

If You Are Overwhelmed by the Paperwork 

The most dreaded immigration forms are one of the reasons many people choose to remain non-citizens. They’re just too complicated and full of details that they can make anyone nauseous by just looking at them for the first time. To make the problem worse, a single mistake can lead to outright rejection, which means you have to start again. On the other hand, lawyers working on immigration services are already used to these paper works. They are highly knowledgeable about these matters so they can fill them out for you with the information you provide them.

If You Are Encountering Delays

Delays not only waste your time, but also your energy especially when your continued stay in the country you have begun to love is at risk. More often than not, delays are not caused by valid reasons.They’re usually because of the inefficiency of the bureaucracy to get its act together.  Often, technicalities only serve to lengthen your agonizing wait. However, you can solve this problem by contacting a green card attorney who can help you sort things. They know the law and all the technicalities that can be causing the delays in processing your papers.

When it comes to immigration and deportation problems, non-citizen immigrants in the US should try to get hold of a lawyer to assist them. The law of immigration is unnecessarily complex and confusing for a regular person to tackle alone.