Gay marriage and immigration benefits working together
The path to citizenship can be a vastly different journey for every immigrant. In many cases, the applicant encounters difficult requirements and constraints, but those seeking status or citizenship based on family immigration often accept those challenges and complexities for the sake of their family. The length of time and steps required are sometimes abundant, but changes in legislation can sometimes make the process of gaining citizenship easier to handle.
In both Florida and national news, two major decisions have been filling the news. First, immigration reform has been a heavily talked about topic. This can benefit immigrants on their path to citizenship. Second, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act has made great strides for equality and same-sex marriage. The ruling has recently allowed for immigration benefits to be approved for a Fort Lauderdale couple.
They are the first gay couple to have their application for spouse immigration approved, but the Bulgarian graduate student and his husband have a long road ahead of them. The Bulgarian man, who was in the U.S on a student visa, will now be able to apply for a green card. Once that is completed, he will be able to gain his citizenship. While awaiting his approval and having his benefits processed, he will not be able to return to his home country for three to six months.
Although Florida does not recognize their marriage that was preformed in New York, approval of immigration benefits is a start to being recognized as a married couple in the U.S. For many same-sex couples, gaining benefits and having their marriage recognized has been an endless battle. It often meant facing deportation because their applications would not be approved. It has been reported that since DOMA was overturned, numerous applications should be approved shortly.
Whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage, immigration benefits can be obtained by the immigrant member of the married couple. Those struggling to have their applications approved should seek out assistance and advice about their options to gain benefits and eventually citizenship.