Immigration benefits for same-sex couples

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that had denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

G.L.B.T. couples who are lawfully married in their states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and D.C.), will be eligible for federal protections and responsibilities afforded to all other married couples.

The ruling does not yet specifically address how this change in the law will impact the issuance of immigration benefits to same sex couples.

We anticipate that a number of changes (e.g., ability to file family-based petitions for spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents) are forthcoming.