Business Immigration Zone (BIZ): Supreme Court's Gay Marriage Ruling Gives Same-Sex Couples Access to Spousal Visas

June 29, 2015

The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage will make it easier for same-sex couples to obtain immigration benefits through marriage. The ruling may also encourage more LGBT executives and entrepreneurs to come to the United States, now that their ability to obtain marital immigration benefits is less expensive. In an historic 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue licenses to same-sex couples that want to marry. Indeed, Justice Anthony Kennedy opined that same-sex couples now exercise “the fundamental right to marry.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services already allowed foreign nationals in same-sex marriages to apply for immigration benefits after the U.S. v. Windsor ruling. However, many same-sex couples were still skeptical about coming to the U.S. because the Supreme Court had not yet determined whether their same-sex marriages would be constitutionally recognized in the United States. That concern has been resolved. With Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court provided certainty to same-sex couples who wish to obtain immigration benefits through marriage.

The ruling will likely significantly benefit immigrants who live in states where same-sex marriage had been prohibited. Before Friday's ruling, those couples would normally travel across state lines to get married in states that allowed same-sex marriage.

For questions concerning visa options that may now be available to same-sex couples, contact Brandon Davis at