I am originally from Peru, and met my fiance (who is Australian) about three years ago. I was studying in the United States at the time, so we maintained a long distance relationship until this year when I completed my studies and decided to join him and start a life together. We will be married in July next year.
I went through a very long process to get a marriage visa and be able to move to Australia with him for good. However, after reading many stories in this site I realize what I went through is nowhere near what same-sex couples have to endure everyday. I simply could not imagine a life without my fiance by my side and wish same-sex couples were given the same chance that was given to us.
Same-sex marriage is yet to be recognized under Australian law. Nonetheless, I am blessed to be in a country where both same-sex and heterosexual relationships are recognized for citizenship/immigration purposes. This being said, I am shocked to know how different the situation is in the United States, a country that has always emphasized freedom and equality for all.
It is sad knowing that foreigners get refused visas everyday simply because their relationship does not adhere to current law. As far as I know, a relationship is based on mutual commitment and love for one another. Why should U.S. citizens and their foreign partners have to renounce their lives there simply based on sexual orientation?
I am straight and I GIVE A DAMN about immigration laws and marriage rights being equal for everyone. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or straight.
My partner and I are trying to get a Green Card so that we can move back together to the USA.
I am an American citizen living in Adelaide, Australia. I moved here to be with my hubby Greg. I got rid of everything to move here and sacrificed my family, friends, everything to be with Greg.
We have decided that it may be better for us if we both lived together in the USA. The problem we face currently is that the cost of a VISA is extremely expensive and certain things have to be done before he can qualify for a Green Card Visa. The first problem is that he is not coming as the spouse of American citizen because they do not allow same sex immigration like they do here in Australia.
The big problem is that we are finding it necessary to get legal help with this and the lawyers are making a small fortune off of people that cannot afford those services. It also seems that people are spending 30-40 thousand dollars or more to secure the services of a good lawyer with no guarantee or even hope of a good outcome in favor of the applicant.
So what do I do?
We hope that during this year’s Visa Lottery, Greg can be chosen for a Green Card. That would solve everything.
I hope we are able to afford something to get him to come with me to the my home country. He wishes to be a citizen of the USA.
On April 9th, 2010, my British born husband and I were married in Vermont, a state that allowed us to exchange marriage vows as a same sex couple. We would have preferred to marry in our home state of California, among family and friends, but were prevented from doing so by Proposition 8, which banned such marriages. As I’m sure you are aware, there is pending legal challenge to this proposition.
As a bi-national same sex couple, we are now faced with yet another challenge: Immigration. Despite the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, our legal state marriage is not recognized by the U.S. Federal Government. This is due, in part, to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by Bill Clinton. This means that my husband cannot obtain US residency as my spouse. I cannot sponsor him for permanent resident status to legally stay in the US, which we could do if we were an opposite-sex couple.
We married in a state that grants all couples the same rights of equality and we reside in a state that recognizes all marriages (regardless of Prop 8). I am writing to ask for equal protection under the Federal Immigration laws enjoyed by other bi-national married couples. One avenue for resolving this issue is the “Uniting American Families Act” of 2009 proposed by Senator P. Leahy and J. Nadler. The UAFA does not propose recognizing same-sex marriage, but it does offer equal protection with respect to Immigration Law.
Both my husband and I must remain in the U.S. We provide care for my mother who is in recovery from breast cancer (stage three) and has undergone a radical double mastectomy. I cannot convey how much partner’s status worries her and all of our friends and family. I need my family to be united, not divided. As an American, I should not have to choose between my family and my country.
I am a nationally and internationally trained Forensic Toxicologist currently living in San Francisco, CA. I am not a citizen of the USA. I am an immigrant worker to the USA from Greece.
I immigrated here in 2003 with an H-1B visa to take a job in San Francisco that no American citizen had been able to fill for ten years. My move to the USA in late 2003 was the result of a two-year headhunting process undertaken by the City and County of San Francisco. In 2006, with the support of my employer, I applied and was granted an employment-based green card which I hold to date. In a sense, the feds declared me specialized enough to give me a green card and to be allowed to work and get taxed here since 2003 – And taxed I have! And yet I have no voting rights (what happened to “No Taxation Without Representation”?). I couldn’t even vote when Californian voters were deciding if I should have the right to vote! That process raped me and I felt completely ignored and unable to participate in the democratic process!
In 2008, I met a man that I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Unfortunately for us, and despite having been in a registered domestic-partnership with him since 2008, our government does not recognize him as my spouse and does not extend to him the immigration benefits they normally would do to opposite-sex spouses of green card holders.
The law is tearing my family unit apart. When my spouse’s current international student visa expires, he will have to leave this country as nobody in our government gives a damn. They refuse to recognize him as my spouse and to grant him the green card they would have granted him had he been a person of the opposite sex.
I will have to make a choice between the person I love and the country I love to live in. My partner and I will leave the USA and settle elsewhere simply because the immigration laws of this country seem to be written for only one type of family – the heterosexual one. It is obvious that this country comprises of families that are very diverse in type – single mother family, single father family, father and mother family, two mother family, two father family and many many more types of families that are all welcome and part of this great society of ours.
And yet, our immigration laws are ignoring us – we have no immigration rights – the feds don’t even consider me to be the head of a household on my tax forms and still tax me as a single man. This country’s immigration and tax laws are grossly discriminatory against LGBT people who are also productive members of the American society and who work hard everyday to achieve their American Dream.
This country’s immigration laws must be re-written without fear and suspicion as the driving forces but with inclusiveness, diversity and understanding in the steering wheel.
All citizens must be treated equally by the state.
My partner and I have been struggling to be together for a few years now. United States immigration laws do not let him stay here for more than a certain short period. It is difficult for me to live in Argentina where he is from. We want to be together and start our lives together. In order to do this we might have to immigrate together to a country that will allow us, but due to economic reasons, this too is difficult.
It would be so easy if the U.S. fixed it’s immigration policies to allow us to stay together, fight and struggle like every other straight couple, and form the foundation we need to create our home and stay amongst friends and family and loved ones. This has been going on for too long, we are one of the few “supposedly” progressive countries to not allow any form of this kind of immigration.
Please support this cause and help other couples like Marcelo and myself, unite our love and be together in one place where we can both thrive. Thank you for taking the time to read this and support this cause.
My partner Gina is American and I am from the UK, we have been happily together for almost 10 years and got legally married in Spain in 2007. Gina is a pilot, she works for a US company, based in the United States. I have worked for a US company as a flight attendant (based outside the US) for the last 14 years.
Since the United States does not recognize our relationship, Gina is unable to sponsor me to be with her in the United States. As a result, she commutes monthly to Scotland from the US. This is the only way we can be together under the current system. All we want are the same rights that a straight bi-national couple can enjoy. We need the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) to be part of the current immigration reform, but know that we will probably be sidelined again unless action is taken.
The US is now lagging far behind most other Western countries in terms of gay immigration. All we want is the opportunity to be together all of the time like other couples. I find it frustrating that I have an American Partner, work for a US company, pay FICA taxes and file US taxes, have US medical and dental insurance and yet have NO LEGAL right to live in the United States.
We’re two women who are happily married and living in the Netherlands. My wife is from NY, and I was lucky she was willing to give up her whole life for me. Here in the Netherlands we have full equal rights. We’re both educated, working, and we just bought our own house. We have a garden, and a dog so all is well.
As of today (I just realized…better not forget to wish her happy anniversary) we’re together for 10 years. When my wife moved here 8 years ago, she got very homesick. That was very hard for both of us to deal with. We’re very close with both our families.
However, my wife has a brother who is mentally disabled, and her parents aren’t getting any younger (although you don’t look it mom!). In the future we would love to move to NY, so we can help them out around the house, and take in my brother-in-law when mom and dad need a break.
It sucks not being able to be together for the holidays. Vacations always seem too short. And, it sucks when we hear they got three feet of snow, and my mother in law with heart-issues and arthritis is shoveling the driveway all by herself, because dad only comes home on weekends because of work. They might seem like little things. But to us they matter. Those little things make my wife feel like she abandoned her family. When in fact her country abandoned her.
Hopefully the laws will change. They just aren’t fair. So yes, we give a damn. We hope you do too.
I am a pediatric ICU nurse and am lucky enough to have a VISA that allows me to stay in the country…for now. Four year ago, I applied for my green card after already being in the US for six years under a temporary work VISA. I applied because my partner and I had a baby boy together and I want to become a permanent resident to ensure that I was never taken away from my family and sent back to Canada.
It used to be easy for nurses to get green cards, but the laws changed when President Bush was in office. We are now grouped in with the hundreds of thousands of people applying. It’s been almost 4 years now and I’m still waiting. I recently had a scare when my EAD card (employment authorization card) did not arrive in time after renewing it. I was unable to work until it was in. I was given a four week personal leave from work, but faced the possibility that if it did not come in I could lose my job.
Luckily the card did come, because not only could lose my job, my green card would no longer be processed since the hospital is my sponsor and I would be at risk of being deported and separated from my partner and four year old son. I pray that the immigration laws are changed and my partner is able to sponsor me. I can’t imagine being taken away from my family as so many other have experienced. I know I’m safe for another year at least, but it’s always in the back of mind if this will be the last. Please support equal rights for our families, we are just like everyone else.
With love and gratitude,
My name is Julie and I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have been out for over 20 years. I am a very proud lesbian!!!
During a visit to the UK (over 10 years ago) I met the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen (inside and out). My life was now about to change. This amazing woman was called Tameka. Tameka and I instantly got along. Every time I came to the UK we’d spend a little time together (with others). We loved to be in each other’s company. I was already in a relationship and Tameka was as well. Her relationship was a VERY abusive one.
Tameka and I began to email each other regularly. This grew in to an every day thing. We grew closer. Our feelings became stronger and stronger. We both could not deny we were falling head over heels in love with each other.
I had broken up with my partner and Tameka’s relationship was completely dead and ending. Not only did we email each other several times a day we began to talk to each other every day. Then this lead to trips a few times a year between our two countries (USA & UK). All of this was getting to be very expensive for both of us. What were we to do? We knew we wanted to be together. Tameka loved the states and I loved my home, so I did a lot of checking and much to my surprise the US would not allow me to sponsor my, now, partner to come and live with me in the states. What were we going to do?????
After a lot of talks, planning, etc…the only alternative was for me to move to the UK. This was before civil partnerships went in effect. So to get to be with the one I love, I enrolled in 2 years of college (I was almost 40 years old). I was accepted into college and got a 2 year student visa. The two of us had sold our houses, belongings, etc…to make money for me to pay for schooling, Visas, living expenses, etc…
I completed my 2 years of college (Graphic Design). What will happen now? I had to apply for another Visa (which would give me another 2 years in the country). I applied as Tameka’s partner. I was accepted (after a long day at the immigration office with piles and piles of letters, paperwork, etc…that verified we lived together). Whew! More time together.
Then…after another couple years I applied for an Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa. If accepted this would be the last time the immigration office saw us and I could stay for as long as I want. We did this and I was accepted (based on our relationship).
I can now live with my beautiful partner for good…..but in the UK. We don’t have the choice to move back to the USA as straight couples would. I miss my family, friends, hometown, etc. I just want to go home, hand in hand, with my partner (now of 8 years). It’s still not happening.
For now…Tameka and I will live here in the UK with hopes of going back to the states to live. Maybe one day?
After ALL the time, money, etc…we’ve spent to do this, we wouldn’t trade each other for the world. Tameka and I are more in love every day.
All I can say is….we need the UAFA – Uniting American Families Act – to pass. Then maybe, just maybe, we can go HOME!!!!
Thanks for reading our story.
My Thai partner and I have been together for ten years. I’ve been a American Diplomat for the past 20 years. I work as an IT technical professional for the US Department of State. I have lived overseas since 1994. We currently live and work back in Thailand. If I am to continue my career I must return for a tour of duty in Washington, DC. I cannot sponsor my partner for a resident VISA in America or even include him in my Federal health insurance because of the Defense of Marriage Act.
He can only enter America on a visitor VISA, which usually only allows a maximum stay of 90 days. I hope to retire in 2015 after a total of 34 years government service, this includes 9 years in the United States Air Force. If my partner and I wish to live together in any kind of normal lifestyle I must go live in his country. After giving my entire adult life to the service of my country, my reward is to be exiled from the country I love. I have served with honor in over 100 different countries, many extremely dangerous. Yet, because my love is not consider equal, I am a man without a country.
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According to The San Francisco Chronicle: "Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits ...Author: Admin
Join our friends at Immigration Equality urge President Obama to stop separating loving bi-national gay couples by signing their ...Author: Admin
Because our country’s immigration system does not allow gay Americans to sponsor their partners for U.S. residency, many couples are forced to split or consider drastic life changes, such as an international move.