The Downfall of DOMA

5 Things to Know About the Impact of United States v. Windsor on US Immigration Policy

  1. This ruling stands to allow same-sex spouses grounds to sponsor their husbands or wives for permanent residency and citizenship through family-based petitions.
  2. Unmarried same-sex couples living in separate countries can potentially reunite in the US using fiancé visas to sponsor their partners to enter with the intention to undertake a valid marriage within 90 days of entry.
  3. Same-sex couples will be held to the same rigorous standards already placed on heterosexual couples to prove that they have (or intend to enter into) a valid marriage.
  4. Officers have wide discretion in determining which unions are “valid” and legitimate marriages.
  5. Given the wide discretion adjudicators retain in determining the validity of unions and the untested waters that come with the demise of DOMA, it is particularly important to consult an attorney when filing a petition on behalf of a same-sex spouse or fiancé(e).