October 2016
Good morning!

I hope everyone made it through Hurricane Matthew without much trouble. If you celebrate the Jewish holidays, I hope you had a wonderful and meaningful Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

This month's newsletter discusses US immigration law  related to same-sex marriages and how this changed with the long overdue demise of the Defense of Marriage Act.

If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else related to immigration and my practice, please do not hesitate to ask.
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US immigration law reflects the goal of family unification (or reunification) by providing for family based petitions for permanent residence. While most immigration categories have annual numerical limits that have resulted in long waits outside of the U.S. for beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions, the immigration law admits an unlimited number of spouses of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Immigration law also allows a U.S. permanent resident to file for a spouse but this category has an annual limit which creates a waiting list that is backlogged (as of October 2016) to Dec. 22, 2014. Immigration law also provides for derivative status for spouses of those who qualify for temporary visas for business or professional purposes.

Over the years I have had U.S. clients who married a foreign national outside of the U.S., ask me if they need to remarry in the U.S. for their marriage to be recognized for immigration purposes. The answer to that has always been No – that U.S. immigration law recognizes a marriage as valid if it was valid in the place where the marriage was celebrated, whether the marriage was performed in another state or another country. The one big exception to this has been for same sex marriages. The reason for this was the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Before being ruled unconstitutional, DOMA defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allowed states to refuse to recognize same- sex marriages recognized by other states or countries. In 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court (in the case of United States v. Windsor) struck down Section 3 of DOMA which had barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as “spouses” for purposes of federal laws, effectively barring them from receiving federal marriage benefits. The case of United States v. Windsor dealt with the right of a surviving spouse (in a marriage recognized by N.Y. law) to a federal estate tax exemption...
Linda M. Kaplan
Immigration Attorney
Employment Based Permanent Residence
Family Based Permanent Residence
Non Immigrant Visas
Representation Before USCIS & US Department of State
Contact Info:
Linda M. Kaplan, P.A.
(305) 670-7665
Disclaimer: The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. The materials contained within this website provide general information about the firm, and do not constitute legal advice and are intended for informational purposes only.

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Linda M. Kaplan, P.A. · 10691 N Kendall Dr, Suite 301 · Miami, FL 33176 · USA

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