After the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2695-96, 186 L. Ed. 2d 808 (2013), holding that the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage was unconstitutional and a deprivation of liberty interest protected by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the USCIS began processing immigrant petitions for same sex spouses. On July 1, 2015, the then Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stated “I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”
On June 26, 2015, it will be two years since the landmark decision of the Supreme Court. Since that time, our law firm has processed numerous same sex petitions, all of which USCIS has approved in a swift and efficient manner. We are happy to report that petitions filed on behalf of same-sex spouse are being processed in the same manner as those filed on behalf of heterosexual spouses. Even though the processing is the same, we would like to share some unique challenges faced by same sex couples when preparing the evidence in support of a good faith marriage.