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Place of Marriage, Not Residence, Critical in Same Sex Marriage Immigration Cases

by JP Sarmiento on July 25, 2013

In the advent of the new CIS standards in allowing marriage-based green card cases for same-sex couples, some of you (and I’m sure a lot more out there) have inquired on which “location” immigration looks to in adjudicating cases and determining the validity of the marriage – the place of marriage, or the couple’s residence.

This CIS memo answers that.

This is a common concern because some couples live in states that do not recognize same sex marriages. And so the question is can these people get married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, continue residing in their usual residence (for example a state that does not administer same sex marriages), and eventually file for immigration benefits on the way towards a green card.

This memo says yes.

You can get married at a different state, one that allows for same sex marriages, go back and reside in your usual state, then apply for the green card.

Hope this clarifies and helps some of you who have this concern. Feel free to email or call me if you have further questions. (216) 573-3712. Thanks!

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