Washington, D.C. Immigration Firm Assists LGBT Individuals and Families
Attorneys provide strong counsel on visa issues and other matters
Even with the advances in LGBT rights over the past couple of decades, many people from around the world still face unique challenges if they want to build a new life in the United States. At Morris H. Deutsch, Immigration Attorney in Washington, D.C., we recognize how important it is to provide the highest levels of legal representation and service to members of the LGBT community, particularly those who have been persecuted in their home countries. Our experienced attorneys counsel clients on visa applications, lawful permanent residence, the effect of Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and other aspects of the U.S. immigration system.
Lawyers advise on the sponsorship of same-sex spouses and partners
If you are an LGBT individual who seeks advice or advocacy related to family immigration issues, our firm can help. We offer sound counsel on matters related to:
- Immigrant Petitions for Alien Relative — Form I-130 allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request an immigrant visa for spouses and other close family members who seek to move to the United States. Same-sex spouses follow the same procedure and are subject to the same rules as opposite-sex couples, including the bona fide relationship requirement.
- K-1 Fiancé Visas —U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may sponsor a fiancé who lives in another country for a K-1 visa. This is available to same-sex couples and might be necessary in situations where LGBT residents could not marry in their home countries. To obtain this type of visa, the couple must commit to marrying within 90 days of the applicant’s arrival in the United States.
- Treatment of civil unions — Prior to the establishment of nationwide marriage equality, many states opted to confer legal status on same-sex couples. Whether these non-marital relationships were referred to as civil unions, domestic partnerships or something else, they are not recognized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Accordingly, couples cannot use these unions to qualify for immigration benefits reserved for spouses.
No matter what your situation entails, we are seasoned attorneys who not only have a firm grasp on the latest changes in immigration law, but also are attuned to the particular challenges facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients.
How court rulings on same-sex marriage have affected immigration
Until 2013, the U.S. immigration system did not recognize same-sex couples as married, even though some states had already instituted marriage equality. The change occurred when the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor invalidated key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, the rights of spouses in legally established same-sex marriages have been recognized in immigration matters. Two years after Windsor, the Obergefell v. Hodges decision gave couples throughout the country the ability to marry and take advantage of the rule change. These legal advancements have also strengthened the rights of same-sex parents. A 2000 ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland held that children born abroad to same-sex parents who are American citizens are entitled to birthright citizenship.
Contact a Washington, D.C. attorney regarding LGBT immigration concerns
The attorneys of Morris H. Deutsch, Immigration Attorney in Washington, D.C. provide comprehensive counsel to LGBT individuals and families who seek assistance with the U.S. immigration process. Please call 202-728-0820 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.