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IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SUPREME COURT RULING ON THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA)

With the Supreme Court of the United States holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, 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.  As a result, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting same-sex spousal petitions in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.  Therefore, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse may file an I-130 visa petition, and any and all applicable accompanying applications) with USCIS, such as a green card application, work permit application, and a travel document application, among others.  USCIS will look to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes.  It would be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to evaluate your situation to determine whether a visa petition and related forms should be filed with USCIS.

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