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""With the new DOMA law "" I'm a USA citizen female will I be able to fix papers for my wife?

Houston, TX |

She came here illegal 8 years ago, she still have same status!

Attorney Answers 3


The recent DOMA ruling will allow for green cards for married gay couples. However, the couple must be married rather than simply partners. That is, you must travel to a state that allows same-sex marriage, which currently does not include Texas, and get legally married under the laws of that state. In fact, just two days after the DOMA ruling came down from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services approved the first green card application from a married gay couple.

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What about if I got legally married in Illinois does it matter if I'm here in Texas would I still be able to fix her illegal status

Viera Buzgova

Viera Buzgova


We are still awaiting the final guidance from the USCIS on filing these applications. However, Illinois does not recognize same-sex marriage. It only recognizes civil union. For immigration purposes, you must have a legal marriage so it may be necessary for you to pick a state that recognizes same-sex "marriage" (there are currently 14 states that do). Keep in mind that there are other considerations when applying for permanent residence through marriage - manner of entry to the United States, criminal history, eligibility for a waiver, etc. You should have an immigration attorney review your wife's case.


If you are legally married, you can potentially sponsor your wife, but if she entered without inspection, that may put a wrinkle in the process. She may need to process at a consulate abroad, and if she's been living here that long without status, she will need a waiver of unlawful presence. Some people will qualify for a provisional waiver--applied for and decided before you leave the country; others may have to wait abroad.

Talk to an immigration lawyer familiar with family cases, waivers and LGBT issues before you file anything.

This answer provides only general information and may not be relied on as legal advice. For more information about immigration law and policy, please visit or follow us on twitter (@lauralichter) or facebook, www.facebook/lichterimmigration. To find an immigration lawyer in your area, log on to Listed attorneys have been members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the nation's premier bar association for immigration lawyers, for at least two years, comply with annual continuing legal education (CLE) requirements and carry malpractice insurance.

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Yes, but if she entered the US without a visa, she will need to finish the process abroad after obtaining the necessary waivers.

You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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