In June we celebrate and commemorate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. Throughout history the LGBTQIA+ community has had to face several obstacles just by existing and being themselves. In the past, something as simple as being able to get married seemed impossible to them.
Today, after years of fighting and resistance by members of the community and activists, they possess the same rights as any other human being.
One of those rights is the right to migrate, in pursuit of a better life for them and their families. As same sex marriage is fully legal across all of the United States, now it is a possibility that same sex couples apply for a job permit, residency and even citizenship based on marriage. Also, via VAWA or U Visa if eligible.
Attorney Jessica Piedra had the opportunity to talk to the media and explain what are the options that members of the LGBTQIA+ community have to adjust their status in the United States.
“This month we celebrate Pride Month, does the law apply any differently for people within the LGBTQIA+ community than for the rest of the population?”
“Excellent question! It actually doesn’t, everybody has the same rights and obligations under the law. Good news is, as same sex marriage is legal in the United States, they can apply for an immigration process just as any other couple.”
“What are the ways they can adjust their status/get their papers?”
“As a married couple, there are ways to apply for residency if one of them is a US citizen or legal permanent resident. They might face the same difficulties that come with an immigration process just as anybody else, but they have the same rights. There is also the possibility to submit a self petition via VAWA if you suffer physical or emotional abuse from your partner. Visa U could also be an option if you have ever been a victim of a crime in the United States.”
“Unfortunately, the members of the community still face discrimination in several countries, including their own. And even here in the US – Any advice for them?”
“We know that in some countries it is especially dangerous to be gay or queer, unfortunately there are countries where it is actually illegal. With this being the case, they could apply for Asylum here in the United States. I’ve even heard that some of the people I have worked with have been discriminated against by their own lawyers. This is unacceptable and won’t happen in my office. Here everyone is welcome!”
It is important to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer. We can help you! Call us at (816) 895-6363 or check our official Facebook page to schedule a consultation with the legal team.