July 2013 Consular Corner: Liam Schwartz

July 2013 Consular Corner: Liam Schwartz

"As of the date of this writing, the Department of State (DOS) is still crafting its guidance to the field on implementation of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruling which removed Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as an impediment to the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages and spouses under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

One of the challenges which consular officers will face in the post-DOMA world of visa processing – and which likely will be addressed in the DOS guidance - is adjudicating the bona fides of a claimed sex-sex marriage. Americans who file petitions for their foreign-born same-sex spouse or fiancé/e will be subject to exactly the same standards for proving the bona fides of their relationships as different-sex couples. That said, application of these standards in same-sex marriage cases will require some sensitivity, as Victoria Neilson, Legal Director at Immigration Equality told Consular Corner..." - Liam Schwartz, July 2013.