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If DOMA is knocked down can my partner of the same sex petition a green card for me? He's a US Citizen.

Houston, TX |
Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

If you have a valid marriage under state law it might be possible. I plan to file same-sex marriage cases if DOMA is struck down.

Andre Olivie
Seattle Immigration Attorney

Legal disclaimer: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Do not rely on this advice without speaking to an immigration attorney in detail about your case. This message does not create an attorney-client relationship.



Well if it does then ill be contacting you to help with my case


Whether an alleged marriage is valid for purposes of immigration is a question of Federal law, not of State law. In 1996 Congress clarified the Federal law concerning recognition of marriage by enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, Pub. L. No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (1996). Pub. L. 104-199 provides a statutory definition of "marriage", and of the concomitant term, "spouse". Section 7 of the Defense of Marriage Act (Pub. L. 104-199) states:

Sec. 7. Definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse .’ In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of Federal Law, one partner must be a man, and the other a woman. This definition applies to the construction of any Act of Congress and to any Federal regulation. USCIS , therefore, must administer the Immigration and Nationality Act in light of section 7 of Pub. L. 104-199 and deny any relative visa petition (or any other application for an immigration benefit) which is based on a same sex marriage.

This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an attorney. I work for Cardinal Risk Mangement and Cardinal Intellectual Property, IP service companies, but not law firms . I also am the president of Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., which is a non profit educational foundation. I also write cultural and scientific compliations for the foundaiton. I also teach at Northwestern university as a guest lecturer. I also provide some pro-bono guidance on immigration and other issues through Indian American Bar Association. I also have a contract with Cardinal Law Group, a law firm, for IP projects. All this information is on my profile at Avvo and also at Linkedin.


Unlikely to happen that quickly. Even if it is knocked down it is impossible to opine without knowing more whether you would qualify for a green card -- are you in status? did you enter with legal documentation? Have you accrued unlawful presence, worked without authorization, retuirned home after accruing unlwful presence and then returnedetc.?

Lynne R. Feldman, Attorney at Law
Concentrating in Immigration Law

2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92108 | (619) 299-9600
Fax: (619) 923-3277

Former Adjunct Professor -- Immigration law
University of Illinois College of Law


No. DOMA is not an immigration law. DOMA, including that one provision in the DOMA, is a federal law, which tried to define marriage. To be able to petition for you, the IMMIGRATION law and not just DOMA would need to change to provide for such benefit. Now, even if it did change, you would still be out of luck as partners are not covered by the current immigration law and are not likely to be covered by a future version of it. Only spouses are.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


I agree with my colleague. It is unlikely.

This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney before making any legal decisions. Gen Kimura, (832) 247-6932.