LGBT - Gay Immigration
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersexed community has faced extensive challenges, discrimination under the law in the United States, and worldwide. Today the United States has come a long way for rights of the LGBTQI community, especially under US immigration law.
After the Supreme Court struck down DOMA Section 3 on June 26, 2013, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) requiring the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages conducted by the states. This was a huge victory for LGBTQI rights, allowing their marriages to be recognized for all federal benefits. Now with the federal government recognizing LGBT marriages, it allowed for immigration benefits as well. Although it is now legal, it is still a new area of law that is being developed. Many couples may face difficult issues during their immigration process. The importance of having an experienced immigration attorney is critical, but the experience should also be with immigration same-sex marriages. At Mubarak Law we have handled several same-sex marriage cases, as well as bi-sexual marriage cases. We understand there may still be hurdles for couples, despite the clarity in the law. We focus on the details of every relationship, and we help tell our client’s story. We have attended interviews with same-sex and bi-sexual couples all over Florida; several times at Orlando and Tampa USCIS. The immigration process is complex, but our LGBT immigration attorney in Orlando will be with you every step of the way.
Issues people face
Individuals are at times faced with unique challenges due to sexual orientation or gender identity, and the bias or discrimination that may follow. Our experienced legal team will assist you in overcoming such obstacles during the U.S. Immigration process. We know that life is complicated, and there is no such thing as a “traditional marriage.” We prepare our cases with the understanding that the officer may not understand the relationship, but this is the importance of having an experienced attorney with same-sex marriages. We have helped individuals who were once in a straight relationship, petition for their same-sex partners. We have assisted relationships that were heterosexual in nature, but one partner was bisexual. We have also represented clients who are seeking refuge in the United States as they fear persecution due to their sexual preference or gender identity. In many countries being homosexual is illegal, and punishable by death.
International issues with gay relationships
- Petitions foreign spouses of the same sex (Form I-130, I-129F) can be filed. This opens the possibility of obtaining several visas, for example: K-1 fiancé visa, K-3 “marriage” visa, Employment (H) visas, etc. Additionally, an Adjustment of Status can be obtained for same-sex spouses to grant foreign spouses permanent residency based on a marriage to a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Some countries do not recognize same-sex marriages
- Many countries have laws outlawing homosexual and transgender relationships, often times it’s a criminal offense
- With these countries it may be difficult to cultivate the necessary evidence for relationship or asylum based cases.
Asylum based on sexual orientation & gender identity (incl. transgender or gender fluid)
- Asylum applicants are required to show a risk of persecution in their home country as a result of their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. As a result, refugee status may be obtained by way of membership in a social group based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- Evidence of past suffering or fear of future persecution in an individual’s home country due to gender identity and/or sexual orientation provides grounds for asylum in the United States.
Contact a Our Team For Your LGBTQI Immigration Case
The Mubarak law offices has handled several applications for gay individuals at the Miami asylum office, and at the Orlando Immigration Court. Contact us today at (407) 502 3000 or fill out the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.