International same-sex couples (one spouse American, one foreign) have immigration options available to them since the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). An LGBTQ couple is legally entitled to apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa under the same qualifications as different-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is legal in the United States and is recognized by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
In order to obtain a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, you and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the U.S as a K-1 nonimmigrant. Your marriage must be valid, meaning both you and your fiancé(e) have a bona fide intent to establish a life together and the marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.
To qualify for a same-sex fiancé visa you must prove that you have an ongoing relationship and intend to marry.
To qualify for a K-1 visa, same-sex fiancés must meet the same criteria as any other K-1 immigrant and take specific actions once in the United States.
1. No one can apply for a K-1 visa on his or her own. Only a United States citizen who is currently engaged to a non-citizen may initiate the fiancé visa application process.
2. The immigrant and the sponsoring citizen fiancé(e) must get married no more than 90 days after the immigrant’s entry into the United States. Couples who are already married, who plan to marry outside the United States, or for situations where the fiancé(e) already legally lives in the United States cannot pursue a K-1 visa.
3. The two people must have met each other in person at least once over the past two years and be legally free to marry.
If you have already applied and been denied a same-sex fiancé visa, contact us for help with an appeal. To maximize the likelihood of your petition’s acceptance by USCIS, an experienced K-1 visa lawyer can help to determine a same-sex couple’s eligibility for the K-visa program, and the steps to take. Mario Godoy and the other immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 855-554-6369.