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US: Same-sex couples to be given equal immigration rights

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  1. If this had happened 8 years ago, my life would have turned out differently…

    Glad its finally happened, if a little too late for me, very happy for others

    1. Your comment just brought me to tears. I am the British half of a binational couple, and this has come just in time for us to not have to go through the unimaginable, after 5 years of being together. I hope you have been able to move on.

  2. Matt James Gibbs 2 Aug 2013, 6:12pm

    OK, so what *isn’t* clear still is whether UK Civil Partnerships will count as a marriage in the eyes of US immigration. Can anyone clarify?

    1. This is indeed a step forward for same sex couples, however what makes this unfair is that this immigration benefit will seemingly only be entitled to those legally “married.” It is my interpretation, which still needs verification, that couples in civil unions/civil partnerships or other legally recognised partnerships akin to marriage (and often used as an alternative in these countries for various reasons) such as those in the UK, Ireland, Ecuador, Germany, Hungary, certain US States and other places WILL NOT be recognised. One can hope that legislation will move forward in the US at the national level to recognise these relationships, much like the Civil Partnership Act 2004 did, 10 YEARS AGO!

  3. The US needs to address things differently. They need to realize a lot of gay folk have been living together for a long time and this time needs to be taken into account with regards to immigration.
    It also needs to introduce an amnesty for same sex undocumented people who stayed with their same sex partners because they could not get married or get a visa any other way.
    The immigration laws are still unjust for many people

  4. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 3 Aug 2013, 8:30am

    Long overdue!!!

    However will this immigration system equality actually recognise unmarried or de facto same sex couples, domestic partnerships or civil unions or just married same sex couples????????????????

    2013 has been a wonderful year for LGBT equality – but we have much more work to do like marriage equality in Northern Ireland & Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Finland, Germany, 37 states in the US and NOT forgetting a proposed US federal law called ENDA needs to pass US Congress for equality in the workplace for LGBT people and repealing horrible and hateful sodomy laws in 76 countries around the world!!!!!!

  5. This is very welcome .

    But until UK civil partnerships are converted to marriages – and that seems a long long way off – we don’t count as they are not recognised as marriages in those counties/states that allow marriages. So it’s back behind the line for us as immigration officers won’t recognise us as a married couple – recently happened in New York.(Pre DOMA change ) Funny thing though a group of party girls got to go through as one unit.

    1. Matt James Gibbs 3 Aug 2013, 4:19pm

      You’re right, for now it looks like Civil Partnerships won’t qualify for any kind of green card eligibility if one of the partners is an American citizen. However, it isn’t a long, long way off for binational UK Civil Partners to convert to marriage – it’s next Summer at the latest – so really less than a year. Although I’m not sure it matters to immigration cases, I found out recently that when you upgrade, your marriage will be backdated to the date you formed your Civil Partnership. So for us, it will mean we’ll get married and have our three-year wedding anniversary in a few weeks from each other! Another option that I am checking with my lawyer in the US is if we can travel to the US and get married in Calfornia more quickly – I’m not sure if the laws are in place to do that (if we weren’t Civil Partners, it would now be totally viable – but because we are, I don’t think we can be Civil Partners in the UK, and married in the US at the same time.

      1. I think you’re right in the assumption you can’t be CP and married – you might be a bigamist – I do hope by next summer but I understand the transfer may take a bit longer, who knows why.
        No problem with UK CP giving immigration status to partner in UK but it’ll be interesting to see if US accept marriage date backdating on a new visa applications.
        It’s a time of exciting change but much details needs sorting out and best advice don’t try and beat the system.

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