When the Defense of Marriage Act was the law of the land, it prevented same-sex partners from applying for a green card for their non-resident spouse. However, since that law has been overturned, it is now possible for a green card to be issued in these circumstances as long as certain conditions are met. New York residents who are in a same-sex marriage and need information can get help with this aspect of family law vis-a-vis immigration issues.
As long as one spouse is a U.S. citizen or holds a valid green card, a same-sex spouse can apply for his or her own green card. The legal resident must file a form I-130, which is a petition for an Alien Relative. This form must be accompanied by other supporting documentation, including photographs, affidavits and marriage license, among other information. Form G-325A must also be filed, one for the resident and a separate one for the spouse.
If the spouse is currently in the United States but is not a permanent resident, then it may be possible to seek an Adjustment of Status that allows the spouse to become a green card holder. This option will require the filing of form I-485 while the permanent resident files the aforementioned I-130 along with the other supporting evidence of a valid marriage. This particular process does not require the spouse to return to his or her native country for a visa.
If the spouse is not currently residing in the United States, then there is another process that will be required, and while it may require more time, if successfully navigated, the couple will be permitted to reside here together. There have been many benefits for same-sex couples since DOMA has been struck down, including changes in family law. If one has questions regarding the process of apply for a visa for a same-sex spouse, a New York attorney with experience in this area of the law can provide more information.
Source: uscitizenship.info, “How to Apply for a Green Card for Your Same Sex Partner?“, Accessed on May 12, 2017