Saturday, April 6, 2013

One Result If DOMA is Struck Down: Immigration Benefits For Gay Couples

Lavi Soloway, an attorney who represents same-sex married couples on immigration issues, said he expects his clients will be able to apply for green cards for their spouses as soon as DOMA is struck down, no matter which state they reside in. That's because in immigration law, your marriage is recognized if it's valid in the place where it was performed. In estate tax, the specific case Kaplan and Alito talked about, a marriage is considered valid only if it's recognized in the state you are residing in when your spouse dies. If DOMA is struck down, then, it will probably lead to a case by case analysis of the 1,138 federal statutes that use marriage as a factor to see which benefits gay couples who move away from states that grant same-sex marriages will qualify for. In some of those statutes—such as estate tax exemptions—the place of residence will be the deciding factor, while in others, such as the ability to apply for a green card for your spouse, it will only matter where your marriage license was issued. In cases where it's not clearly spelled out, it will most likely be up to the federal agency to decide whether the marriage is valid or not. Read the full article here.

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