Maryland LGBTQ Immigration Lawyer 

Changes in the law have leveled the playing field for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) couples in Maryland who are working toward immigration goals. However, it can be confusing to understand the requirements involved and how to make the most of new opportunities.

Many applicants find that assistance from a Maryland LGBTQ immigration lawyer makes the process much less stressful. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer can oversee the petition and application process to help ensure that qualifications are properly documented. An experienced attorney may also assist when an application is delayed or denied.

LGBTQ Immigration Rights for Couples

Until recently, same-sex couples lacked the same rights as opposite-gender married couples when it came to immigration opportunities. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) could only petition for the immigration of an opposite-gender spouse, and those petitions ranked high in priority and were granted more quickly than petitions based on other relationships.

Same-sex married couples lacked that ability until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages should be legal in all 50 states and the government changed immigration policies to grant equal rights to same-sex married couples.

Now couples of the same gender have the same opportunities as other married couples, so long as they were married in a jurisdiction that recognizes the legality of their marriage.

If the marriage was performed in a country where same-sex marriage is not legal, then if one of the partners is a U.S. citizen, they may seek a non-immigrant (temporary) fiancé(e) visa to enable the other partner to enter the U.S. After the couple is married in the U.S., then the other partner will be eligible to seek lawful permanent resident status (Green Card). An LGBTQ immigration lawyer in Maryland may assist with the process of seeking either an immigrant visa, lawful permanent resident status or a temporary fiancé(e) visa for your significant other.

How New LGBTQ Immigration Rights Affect Children

Changes in the application of immigration policies also opened opportunities for children in LGBTQ families. As an experienced Maryland LGBTQ lawyer can explain, the children of citizens and unmarried children of LPRs are eligible to seek an immigrant visa on the basis of their family relationship. This eligibility includes stepchildren.

Now that immigration law recognizes same-sex marriages, children of same-sex couples qualify to apply for these same benefits. In addition, children of one parent who become part of the family of a citizen or LPR through a same-sex marriage are also eligible for immigration as stepchildren.

LGBTQ Policies as They Affect Other Areas of Immigration

All LGBTQ immigrants, whether they claim eligibility based on a family relationship or other factors, may benefit from the changes in federal policies. Immigrants may seek protection from persecution based on gender or sexual orientation.

LGBTQ status may provide grounds to enhance a case for obtaining immigration status on the basis or persecution or abuse due to their sexual orientation or identity. A knowledgeable Maryland LGBTQ immigration lawyer can investigate to determine whether raising this issue will help in a particular case.

Contact a Dedicated Maryland LGBTQ Immigration Attorney Today

Immigration law is complex and subject to frequent change. Because the process of applying for an immigrant visa involves several steps and mistakes can cause delays or the denial of an application, those seeking a visa are advised to work with someone who understands the process and who can help avoid mistakes.

A knowledgeable Maryland LGBTQ immigration lawyer can help at any stage in the immigration process and fight to protect the rights of all those involved. To learn how an experienced immigration lawyer can help in your situation, call for a consultation.