DOMA is Unconstitutional: What does that mean for same sex couples and U.S. citizens who wish to sponsor their spouse?

The Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor (decided June 26, 2013) requires the federal government to recognize marriages in states that allow the unions and that means also giving those couples the rights endowed to straight married couples.

One of those federal rights is the privilege to sponsor a spouse for a green card. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas indicated today at the AILA Annual Conference that since February 2011, when the Administration opined on the unconstitutionality of DOMA, USCIS has kept a list of all I-130 petitions filed by same-sex binational couples that were denied, and is now prepared to act accordingly.

USCIS will now consider I-130 spousal petitions filed by U.S. citizen petitioners who are in a same-sex marriage that is recognized as lawful in the state or country in which the couple wed.


Statement by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act