USCIS and implementation of the Supreme Court DOMA decision

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USCIS has issued a memo implementing the US Supreme Court’s decision in overturning DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act).  In a statement, SecretaryNapolitano stated:

After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.  To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse

In determining your ability to file, USCIS will generally look at the legality of the marriage in the State or Country in which you were married, not at the legality in the State in which you live.  Below is a link to the USCIS webpage which has some additional information.  It should also be noted that Secretary Kerry also issued a statement that the DOS will be revising its policies to come in compliance as well.

Link to USCIS Website Information

Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

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