Gay Binational Couples Now Eligible For Green Cards

Green Card Sample

Yesterday's death of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the Supreme Court is going to have far-reaching effects, and one of the first ones that we can see is that foreign spouses of gay couples can now qualify for green cards. According to Immigration Equality, Section 3 of DOMA made it impossible for gay and lesbian spouses to receive federal benefits, which included green cards. With DOMA ruled unconstitutional, legally married homosexual couples can now apply for green cards for their foreign spouse. 

Said Rachel Tiven, the executive director of Immigration Equality:

“Many of our families have waited years, and in some cases decades, for the green card they need to keep their families together. Couples forced into exile will be coming home soon. Americans separated from their spouses are now able to prepare for their reunion. Today’s ruling is literally a life-changing one for those who have suffered under DOMA and our discriminatory immigration laws.”

Life-changing, indeed. A heartfelt congratulations to all of the couples who can reunite their families again.


  1. Zeta says

    This is actually a very big game changer…. and as others have noted elsewhere, it has significance beyond gays and lesbians.

  2. JDar510 says

    This is so wonderful. I hope for a day where someone doesn’t have to be married to join their partner or family, but this is great for so many.

  3. Josh says

    What if the US American Citizen and his partner are already living in the USA (legally married) but husband was in the States illegaly?

  4. Jeremy says

    Josh, the non-US citizen husband’s illegal status may be forgiven by the USCIS (for immediate family adjustment of status) as long as he entered the US legally. I would seek legal advice!

  5. JMC says

    This is so amazing! Congratulations to any Towleroad readers who are finally having their partner join them in America, or coming here themselves!

  6. says

    this is great… is a development I didn’t expect.
    I thought that section 2 where a state does not have to recognise a marriage performed elsewhere would stop us.

  7. jpl says

    My first boyfriend (of 4 years) and I could not remain together due to DOMA; aside from all the rest he was from Malaysia. I have a soon to be husband now (yea-MN!); but in some respects it’s bitter-sweet although heartwarming to know that this sort of separation can be a thing of the past.

  8. jim says

    My French partner and I are happy in France for the moment, but it’s nice to have the option to move back to the states, especially now that my parents are getting older. Mom still doesn’t get the gay marriage thing (Dad always has), so maybe when she finds out that her eldest son will be able to come back and live nearby after all these years, she’ll embrace it…

  9. SFRowGuy says

    @Charlie: Ditto.

    On a similar note, damn she looks good for 93 years old. What’s your secret girlfriend?

  10. joshua says

    What if one spouse is a green card holder, and the other is a foreigner?

    Are they eligible too? I guess the green card holder could wait 5 years to become a citizen and then apply for his foreign spouse, but is that the law?