- posted: Jan. 16, 2014
Since July 2013, USCIS has been processing same-sex marriage cases. Two weeks ago, the first same-sex marriage case that I have handled was approved by the Columbus, Ohio USCIS office. I was impressed with the local offices handling of the case. Actually, the case was handled just like all other marriage cases. The interview questions were exactly the same as all other marriage-based cases.
Even though Ohio does not recognize same-sex marriages, as long as a couple's marriage is recognized in the state or country where it was entered into, the same-sex couple is eligible for immigration benefits - even if the couple resides in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages. The couple has to establish that they have a genuine (bona fide) marriage, which usually is established by showing proof that the couple lives together and has a joint financial relationship. Same-sex couples may face some difficulties in being able to present some of the standard "proof" documents. An immigration attorney may be able to guide the same-sex couple on what documents they will need to present at the interview.
My clients were married at the end of July and filed their Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) and Application to Adjust Status (Form I-485) the first week of October 2013. Their Adjustment of Status interview was held the first week of January 2014. All in all - another very successful outcome for a very deserving couple.