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  • Writer's pictureAleezeh Hasan

Disadvantages same-sex couples may have getting green cards

Obtaining a green card for a spouse who is not a citizen of the United States can be a challenging endeavor. But it can become even more complicated if you are part of a same-sex couple. While laws for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples regarding marriage are the same across the nation, there are still certain factors that can make the process harder for same-sex couples.

If you recently got married and want to obtain a green card for your foreign partner, then it is important to prepare for the immigration process that you will go through together.

Challenges you may face

While the United States did legalize all same-sex marriage in 2015, gay couples still can face forms of discrimination. Gay couples may have to spend more time proving that their marriage is real. A difficulty that some people in same-sex relationships face is having a negative relationship with their partner’s parent. Some parents may not approve of their homosexual child’s relationship and therefore may never meet their child’s partner.

Some of the ways that you will be expected to prove the validity of your marriage include showing photos of you and your spouse and photos of you with your spouse’s family in the I-130 petition, which is in the initial filing package.

Proving that you know your spouse’s family can be a major part of a green card interview. If you have never met your partner’s parents because they are against your relationship, then you may have trouble supplying pictures or documents that uphold the validity of your marriage. However, in this situation, it is best to give an honest explanation.

How to be prepared

As discussed in a previous post, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) gives same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. This means that, based on the law, you should be treated the same as heterosexual couples during the green card application process. Nevertheless, it’s always best to be ready for anything.

Proving that you live with your spouse is a major part of the green card interview. In Texas, this can present a challenge because landlords can turn away renters based on sexual orientation, among other things. So, if you are living with your spouse, but haven’t added their name to your lease due to fear of eviction, it will be harder to prove that you live together.

One way to overcome this is to ensure that your driver’s licenses and other identification documents have your shared address on them. This will show the immigration officer that you are, in fact, living together and that your marriage is valid.

Being in a same-sex marriage can present many hurdles. While it may seem intimidating, gaining a green card for your spouse is possible if you enter the process thoroughly prepared for it.

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