U.S. Secretary of State Issues Press Release Confirming Same-Sex Spouses Can Apply For Non-immigrant Visas, Effective Immediately


On August 2, 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a formal statement confirming that, effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a non-immigrant dependent visa, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses. A non-immigrant dependent visa allows, among other things, spouses who are foreign nationals to come to the United States because they are married to a non-immigrant visa holder (e.g., H1-B visa holder) who is authorized to live and work in the United States.  The announcement also confirmed that stepchildren of same-sex married couples can qualify for dependent status, as long as the marriage takes place before the child turns 18, and makes clear that same-sex couples holding non-immigrant visas are not required to live in a state in which same-sex marriage is legal, as long as the marriage is valid in the jurisdiction where it took place. Click on the DOS' Frequently Asked Questions page (http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/frvi_6036.html) for more information on this topic.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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