For the past few years, gay marriage and immigration reform have vied for the top spot as the most talked-about political issue in the United States. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Changes in our marriage laws have a profound affect on the immigration system, especially when it comes to green cards.


Even for states, like Kentucky, that don’t allow gay marriages, the issue will have an affect, especially given the recent news that Kentucky will be recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.

The Washington Post reported that a federal judge decided the state must recognize legal marriages from other parts of the country. Many believe that the decision fundamentally challenges the state’s ban on same-sex unions, opening the door for legalization based on the fact that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

That’s beside the point when it comes to the link with green cards, though, which is now more dependent on federal laws.

Man Seeks Green Card 40 Years After the Government Denied His Application

After the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, the president told the leaders of all federal departments to review their policies and make changes accordingly. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services determined that the decision allowed foreign partners in same-sex marriages with American citizens to apply for green cards.

The agency also decided that it would reopen any application that it denied because of DOMA. Of course, for applications that stretch back too far, the applicant would need to inform the agency of his or her intent to apply again.

Pasadena Star News reports that Australian national Tony Sullivan and U.S. citizen Richard Adams married in 1975, becoming one of the first same sex couples to legally marry in the United States.

Sullivan immediately applied for a green card, but the government denied his claim. Four decades later, he may finally get the chance.

If you’re facing an immigration issue in Kentucky, don’t wait to call us. At O’Brien Law Group, we have 15 years of experience helping clients apply for green cards, and you can trust us to fight for your chance to stay in the country.

To arrange a consultation with an immigration lawyer to discuss your application for a green card in Kentucky, call us today at 502-400-7890.

After the Recent USCIS Immigration Law Changes, Sullivan Reapplied

The couple filed a lawsuit against the federal government to ask for equal treatment for same sex marriages. The court of appeals dismissed the lawsuit more than 30 years ago.

Adams died two years ago, just months before the supreme court repealed DOMA. Now, Sullivan is asking the USCIS to review his application from 1975, hoping that he’s earned the right to stay in the country after nearly 40 years of marriage to a U.S. citizen.

If you’re planning to apply for a green card, consulting with an immigration attorney can save you time and money.

We can review your application to ensure everything is in order and help you determine the best way to apply.

To schedule a meeting with an attorney from our office, call us today at 502-400-7890..

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