U.S. says Same-Sex Couples Will Get Equal Treatment

All Articles

Velletta Pedersen Christie

In a major policy change, the United States Department of State announced that it will give equal treatment to visa applications of gays and lesbians who want to travel or immigrate with their partner. The shift will allow the department to start processing requests from married gay couples the same way it handles those from heterosexual spouses.

The move, which follows similar action last month by U.S. immigration officials, would help U.S. citizens live and travel with their same-sex spouse in the United State as well as allow married couples from other countries to visit the United States.

It will mostly affect married same-sex couples living outside the United States. For example, if one spouse has a visa to travel to the Unites States for work or study, their spouse can apply to come along.

It would also help gay Americans living in other countries bring their spouse to the United States, they said.

As long as a marriage has been performed in the jurisdiction that recognizes it, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws. Since Canada recognizes same-sex marriages, any same-sex couple married in Canada will be eligible to travel or move to the United States on exactly the same conditions as heterosexual couples.