FAQ for Binational Same-Sex Couples

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October 1, 2012

There’s great news for binational same-sex couples from the Obama Administration.

Last Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a letter clarifying that the definition of the phrase “family relationships” includes “long-term, same-sex partners,” and LGBT immigrants’ family relationships must be considered a relevant factor in deportation proceedings.

Read Lambda Legal's FAQ for Binational Same-Sex Couples.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Iván Espinoza-Madrigal says:

Lambda Legal is pleased that Homeland Security has agreed to provide written guidance to immigration officials so that they may consider LGBT immigrants’ families for purposes of exercising prosecutorial discretion in deportation proceedings. This may provide immigration protection and relief for some LGBT immigrants and their families, and prevent immigration officials from unnecessarily tearing apart binational same-sex couples.

We created a fact sheet to help binational couples better understand this immigration development, and their rights.

Please note that this news does not mean that same-sex couples can apply for a “green card” or residency.

Espinoza-Madrigal adds:

Until DOMA is declared unconstitutional or repealed, binational same-sex couples are still unable to exercise the right afforded to different-sex couples who can request immigration protection and relief for a foreign-born spouse.