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200 South Biscayne Blvd.
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Miami, Florida 33131

  LGBT/Same-Sex Couple Immigration Services  - FAQ

     In June 2013, the Supreme Court struck down sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional.  DOMA defined marriage as between one man and one woman. As a result of this decision, same-sex married couples have the right to petition for the same immigration benefits offered to heterosexual couples. As such, same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents may now be sponsored for green cards in order to live in the U.S. permanently with their spouse. 

Immigration benefits such as visas and permanent residency are now available to gay and lesbian couples:

Immediate Relative Petitions:  Available for same-sex couples, when US Citizen petitions for his or her same-sex spouse to live permanently in United States.  Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas in this category.

Adjustment of Status:  The same-sex spouse of a US Citizen can apply for residency and obtain a green card if already in the United States.

K-1 Fiancé Visas:  Available for same-sex couples, one of which is a US Citizen and one who is a foreign national, who intend to marry within 90 days of fiancés entrance into the US.
K-3 Marriage Visas:  Available for same-sex spouses of US citizens who are foreign nationals living overseas.

Same-sex couples can apply for waivers based on their marriage to a qualifying US citizen.

Employment/Business Visas

LGBT couples may now accompany their same-sex spouses who hold non-immigrant work visas in the United States including: H-1B, L-1A, E, O, P, etc.  Also, permanent residency benefits for spouses of EB-5 investors are also available. 

Removal Proceedings

Gay and lesbian couples may now seek protection from deportation in removal proceedings through their qualifying marriage to a US Citizen. 

               Frequently Asked Questions - (FAQ)

  What is the process for obtaining Permanent Residency (green card) through a same-sex marriage to a US Citizen?

The US Citizen spouse must file an immediate relative petition on behalf of their same-sex spouse together with evidence that the marriage was entered into in good faith. At the same time, the non US Citizen spouse can file for permanent residency.  Once the applications are filed, USCIS will conduct a background check of the non US Citizen.  Upon completion of the background check, USCIS will schedule an interview of the couple and made a decision on the applications

  How long does the process take for obtaining Permanent Residency through a same-sex marriage to a US Citizen?

     Processing times change from month-to-month however on average applications are adjudicated in approximately six months after filing

  Can I get a work permit while my application for Permanent Residency is pending?

     Yes, you can apply for a work permit at the same time you submit your adjustment of status application.  

  Can we make an immigration petition if we married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal but live in a state where same-sex marriages are not recognized?

     Yes, you can apply for immigration benefits based on your marriage as long as you are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, regardless of whether you reside in that state.

  Can I receive immigration benefits if I am in a civil union or domestic partnership?

     No, You must first legally marry in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage

  Do you work with clients all over the US? What about overseas?

     Yes, on both counts. The Casais Law Firm is built from the ground-up to service clients around the world, regardless of whether a client is 5 miles or 5,000 miles from our office. We recognize that immigration is a national and international matter, and as such, we use advanced information technology to ensure constant communication and efficiency in the attorney-client relationship. We also recognize that due to the previous denial of immigration benefits to same-sex couples in the past, many gay and lesbian couples were forced to live overseas in order to be with their partners, and as such, we welcome clients who live all over the world.

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Immigration Law Services:

Same Sex Marriage
Family Based Residency
Immediate Relative Petitions
• Marriage Cases
• Nonimmigrant Visas
H-1B Visas
L-1A  Visas
TN Work Visa
• Appeals
Deportation Defense
• K-3 Marriage Visas

Family Law Services:

• Divorce
• Paternity Actions
• Child Support
• Child Custody/Visitation
• Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders
• Modification of Child Support
• Alimony
• Child Custody/Visitation
• Annulment
• Equal Distribution of Marital Assets and       


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The Law Firm of Casais & Prias
Immigration and Family Law Office

200 S. Biscayne Blvd.
Suite 3150
Miami, Fl. 33131
Phone: +1 (305) 722-8015
Fax   : +1 (305) 722-8016
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