USCIS to Review Immigrant Visa Petitions Filed By Same Sex Spouses

Alexander J. Segal's picture

In rather rapid development a week after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor, overturning Article 3 of DOMA, President Obama has instructed USCIS to start immediately reviewing immigrant petitions filed by same sex spouses. “President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.” Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano wrote on the DHS website.

DHS also provided a short Q&A, were the answers where rather vague. For instance, to the question of whether I-130 can be filed by the same sex spouse, the answer was that it can be and will not be “automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.” The Secretary added, that USCIS Director was instructed to now start reviewing I-130 petitions filed by the same sex spouses. Whether reviewing means duly processing and approving those on the merits, which warrant approval remains to be seen.

Read Full text of the Secreatry's Statement and the Q&A.