Are immigration benefits available for same sex married couples? Since the LGBT rights decision was handed down by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, immigration benefits like visas and green cards have become reality for same sex couples.

Same sex married couples now have the same benefits and rights under U.S. immigration laws as do other married couples. There are, however, still many questions you might have about your rights. The important thing to remember with any complex immigration issue is that hiring a knowledgeable Arizona immigration attorney can help in difficult matters. Having someone you can rely on to answer your questions promptly and with compassion can make the difficult process of communicating with government agencies much easier. Even when you’re organized and prepared, you can expect potential challenges in an immigration case. That’s why an attorney can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and give you valuable insight about what to consider instead.

Same Sex Marriage Based Visa Petitions and Green Cards

Legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens have the right to file I-130 visa petitions to sponsor a foreign-born spouse. In order to obtain a green card as a result of same sex marriage, you need to be legally married abroad or in the United States. You must also be able to show that the legal marriage is based on an authentic relationship.

K-1 Fiancé Visa for Engaged Same Sex Couples Engaged

If you are engaged to someone, you can file to receive a K-1 fiancé visa for that individual on form I-129f. Make sure you consult with an Arizona immigration attorney to learn more about how this applies.

If you have not been married for two full years when USCIS approves the green card, then your spouse may have conditional permanent residency. The conditional residency could be removed before the expiration of the lawful status however additional evidence of the relationship may need to be sent along with the petition.

There are several other complex issues that may be associated with same sex couples regarding immigration. These include:

  • I-601 immigration waivers
  • Asylum
  • Deportation

All of these require the insight of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. If you have questions about the immigration process and the rights to which you and your spouse are entitled, you need to consult with an attorney sooner rather than later.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Are Immigration Benefits Available for Same Sex Married Couples?, You Need an Immigration Attorney, or other Immigration Law matters,  please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.