USCIS Finalizes Formal Procedures for Reopening Green Card and Fiancé(e) Applications Previously Denied Because of DOMA

more+
less-

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Following that decision, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will approve applications based on same-sex marriage. On July 26, 2013, USCIS issued guidance on the process for reopening applications, which were previously-denied because of DOMA.

Once an application or petition is reopened, it will be considered anew - without regard to DOMA section 3 - based upon the information previously-submitted and any new information provided. USCIS will also concurrently reopen associated applications as may be necessary. For example, if work authorization was denied or revoked based upon the petition or application denial, the denial or revocation will be concurrently reconsidered, and a new Employment Authorization Document issued, to the extent necessary.

USCIS will make a concerted effort to identify denials of I-130 petitions that occurred on the basis of DOMA section 3 after February 23, 2011. For denials of I-130 petitions that occurred prior to February 23, 2011, the Petitioner must notify USCIS by March 31, 2014, in order for USCIS to act.