So you've found the lucky man (or woman) with whom you want to share the rest of your life. Congratulations! Although, if your fiance is from another country, you unfortunately have a few legal tangles ahead of you, but the process can be navigated relatively easily, especially with the help of a good attorney.
U.S. citizens have the option to sponsor their fiances for a K-1 "fiance" visa, which allows non-citizens to live and work in the United States until they are married and can begin working toward their permanent residency. You can obtain fiance visa through same sex relationship as well, thanks to recent changes in American legislature. Keep in mind that this visa is temporary, and should be used only as a transitional document as you apply for more permanent immigrant visas.
Until very recently, the Defense of Marriage Act prevented citizens from obtaining visa for their fiance through same sex relationship. However, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that this act was unconstitutional, and same sex couples are now governed by the same laws that govern heterosexual couples, where federal benefits are concerned.
Before your fiance immigrates, he or she must obtain a non-immigrant K-1 visa, which indicates that he/she is preparing to marry a U.S. citizen and eventually seek permanent resident status. These non-immigrant visas are meant as a temporary stepping stone toward a more permanent immigration visa. Generally speaking, in order to acquire your fiance visa through same sex relationship means, you must prove an ongoing relationship and intent to marry.
Typically, this is accomplished with a history of correspondence, marriage applications or certificates, or joint bank account statements. The K-1 fiance visa lasts for 90 days, allowing you and your fiance time to be married before applying for an spousal visa, the next step on the way to permanent resident status.
It's also important to remember that while the Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional and federal benefits have now been extended to same sex couples, your fiance may still not qualify for a visa if same sex marriage is not legal in your state. Consult a lawyer if you're unsure of whether your fiance qualifies.
Because this process is multi-tiered and complex, it will likely be worth securing the services of an experienced same-sex immigration lawyer who is aware of the unique challenges facing same sex couples, and who can help you navigate the system's pitfalls.
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