On June 28, 2013, the first marriage-based immigration petition filed by a same-sex couple has been approved.  This is the first ever green-card approval based on a homosexual marriage in the United States.

This approval comes just two days after the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The couple, a Bulgarian national married to a United States citizen, is living in Florida, but they married in 2012 in New York, because Florida does not allow same-sex marriages.  The U.S. citizen filed I-130 petition for his foreign spouse in February of 2013. You can read the original announcement on the DOMA Project website.

The Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2013, allowed the couple’s petition to be approved by striking down the definition of marriage that had excluded same-sex unions.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has announced that they would implement the Supreme Court’s decision so that all married couples would be treated equally and fairly in the administration of United States immigration laws.

Although gay and lesbian foreign nationals are now eligible for permanent residency based on their marriages to U.S. citizens of the same gender, they are subject to the same requirements as heterosexual married couples. Importantly, same-sex spouses must prove “good faith” marriage with clear and convincing evidence.

Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have helped many U.S. citizens and permanent residents bring their spouses to the United States.  If you are in a bi-national same-sex marriage and are interested in sponsoring your spouse for immigration in the United States, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].