IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES OF OF DOMA'S UNCONSTITUTIONALITY
Less than a week after the Supreme Court's ruling in United States vs Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, today directed the USCIS to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as one filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse. Effective immediately, U.S. citizens and permanent residents in same-sex marriages can file family-based immigration petitions on behalf of their spouses. The USCIS will not deny a spousal petition on the ground that it is based on a same-sex marriage. Furthermore, as long as the same-sex marriage is legal in the state the marriage took place, the USCIS will not deny the petition simply because such marriage is not legal in the state where the couple reside. Further information on this matter can be found here.