You have two options like any other human being in NYC - marry or not. That entirely up to you and the stage of your relationship. If dear friend stage is sufficient for you to marry, then you marry. IT has nothing to do with immigration. It should have nothing to do with immigration. When it comes to legalizing your right as a foreigner in the land of the free to live with your love one in the land of the free, the situation, unfortunately, is not as bright. In fact, I do not know about Japan, but here, in the lang of the free, you are not so free in this regard. The DOMA, I am sure you have heard the name, has tighten US government's hands in terms of providing equal benefits to married couples of the same sex with those of the opposite sex. In fact, of providing any benefit at all. In short, the is no visa, green card or even a temporary permission to stay in this country that your marriage to your dear friend would bring to you. Sorry. In the times of the "yes we can" that is one tune that has not played so far.
NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS www.myattorneyusa.com; email: email@example.com; 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.
At this point, you are not eligible to petition for your same-sex partner. But there is the possibility of change. You are probably aware that there is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Mr. Segal mentioned that in his post. There is a likelihood that the Supreme Court, either this month or (more likely) next month, will issue a decision about DOMA. And there is a possibility that the Supreme Court could rule that DOMA is unconstitutional. If that happens, then there is a possibility that you would be able to petition for your same-sex partner. So, we need to stay tuned and see what happens.
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There is some talk of including same-sex marriage recognition in the bill winding through Congress. Objectively, there is close to a 0% chance that this will be approved. Do not expect it. Sorry. You need to find another avenue to stay here legally.
Andrew M. Bramante, Rosner Partners, 216-771-5588. Free telephone consultation. You should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney to make certain that the advice you received is appropriate for your particular immigration case.