Immigration after Obergefell: What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Immigration after Obergefell: What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

same-sex marriage, Chicago Immigration LawyersOn June 26, the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges was decided by the Supreme Court, granting marriage equality to homosexual couples. Among the many rights granted by a legal marriage, one of the most important is the ability to sponsor one’s spouse for immigration to the United States. This ruling will lead to an easier path for same-sex couples to obtain the appropriate legal documentation for immigration.

Getting a Fiance or Spouse Visa

The usual way to obtain a visa for one’s fiance is to apply for a K visa for them. A K visa is granted to couples who have not yet married, but intend to marry within 90 days of the foreign national’s arriving in the United States. Both halves of a couple must also be able to prove that they are free to marry (with no living spouses, or other potential issues) and that they have met in person (unless to do so would violate long-held cultural norms, such as in certain sects of Islam or Hinduism).

If a couple is already married, a U.S. citizen spouse may sponsor the other for permanent residence. Filing an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, begins the process, coupled with an Application for Adjustment of Status if your spouse is already in the United States. This process can take months, and generally culminates in an investigation of your marriage to ensure its veracity.

Same-sex couples who had been legally married outside the United States, or could prove their plans to marry upon arrival, have been able to apply to bring each other into the United States since the ruling in U.S. v. Windsor (2013), but still faced a horde of difficulties in having their marriage recognized for non-immigration purposes by both state and federal authorities. A common example often seen was a K-1 visa holder and his or her fiance(e) having to prove not only that he or she intended to marry, but that he or she intended to marry in a state where such a union would be legal. Requiring the wedding to take place in a specific handful of states added an undue hardship—for some couples, a cost-prohibitive hardship—to the issue.

Other LPR Benefits

Another major way that Obergefell will positively affect immigrants attempting to obtain legal status is in dealing with waivers of inadmissibility. Depending on the type of case, some waivers are more likely to be granted if the person applying has a ‘qualifying relative’ (a spouse counts) in the U.S. who would be subjected to hardship of varying degrees if the foreign national was deported.

Lawful permanent residents also have access to a specific form of cancellation of removal, which is a discretionary measure granted by immigration judges to people who have maintained a continuous physical presence in the U.S. for 10 years or more, while having ‘good moral character.’ If you are not a lawful permanent resident (“LPR” or green card holder), you do not have access to this form of removal, and if you do not have access to this form of removal, it is much more difficult to win a reprieve from deportation.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

While the Obergefell decision simplifies the process significantly for same-sex couples wanting to immigrate to the United States, it can still be quite an ordeal to comply with all requirements. Having a competent immigration attorney can help immeasurably. The passionate Chicago immigration lawyers at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are well versed in this type of law, and will work hard to ensure that your family stays together, as it should. Contact our office to discuss your options.

Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted