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DOMA Unconstitutional: New Immigration Options for Spouses of Same-Sex Couples

Mintz Levin has published a brief Client Alert today on the Supreme Court's decision holding that DOMA is unconstitutional. We are waiting to see how various federal agencies implement this important decision.

On the immigration front, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should soon be providing the public with guidance for same-sex couples seeking immigration benefits. The Supreme Court's decision will have a broad reach, impacting same-sex couples in employment-based immigration cases, family-sponsored green card processes and other immigration proceedings. The definition of a spouse is fundamental to receiving many immigration benefits. Even certain naturalization processes are expedited because of an applicant's connection to a U.S. citizen spouse. In other cases, being defined as a spouse under our immigration laws may mean that one has eligibility to apply for a work authorization card or a derivative visa. This change is thus more than symbolic; it is about security for same-sex married couples, legal equality and fairness.

We expect more news in the coming weeks as the federal government responds to this major shift in law and policy.




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Douglas Hauer is a Mintz attorney and noted authority on the EB-5 investor visa program, which gives developers a path for securing capital for real estate, hospitality, and infrastructure projects. He's an essential resource for companies looking for financing from offshore sources.