September 26, 2008, Newsletter Issue #103: Gay Marriage and US Immigration

Tip of the Week

Although Massachusetts has passed a law legalizing gay marriage, a marriage conducted in Canada will not necessarily be recognized legally in the US . The US has an agreement with Canada not to challenge marriages performed in the neighboring country. This agreement has been used in arguments for recognizing Canadian gay marriage in the US, but has so far not carried enough weight to entitle couples married in Canada to US benefits.

All other countries that have laws legalising gay marriage have a residency requirement, so couples moving to the US will need a green-card to obtain residency. As immigration comes under federal law, gay partners cannot use the marriage residency requirement to obtain residency in America .

Once residency has been obtained, the status of the marriage is affected by state law and should be tested in local courts.

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