Grzeca Law Group s.c. - Immigration Lawyer
Milwaukee | Madison
Appleton | Green Bay
Corporate Immigration:Temporary Visas:Family Members:B1/B2 Domestic

B1/B2 for Domestic Partners

Dependent spouses and children of nonimmigrant visa classification holders (such as an L-1, H-1B, TN, etc.) are usually entitled to apply for derivative classifications, such as L-2, H-4, or TD in order to join the primary applicant in the U.S. When applying for these classifications, spouses must prove they are part of a "valid marriage," and a Marriage Certificate is required for a spouse to enter the U.S. as a dependent. Since the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, same-sex marriages are now recognized for immigration purposes if the marriage is considered valid in the place where the marriage occurred. This includes U.S. states and territories as well as foreign states that recognize same-sex marriage.

While same-sex marriage may be recognized, opposite or same-sex domestic partners and common law spouses still may not be eligible for these categories. The only situation where a common law marriage may be considered a "valid marriage" by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) is when the local laws of the place of residence recognize the marriage as being the equivalent in every respect to a traditional legal marriage (including all of the same legal rights and duties).

Alternatively, domestic partners, whether same- or opposite sex, are eligible to apply for a B-2 Visitor visa. The holder of a B-2 visa may be admitted for an initial period of six months to a year, which may be extended in six-month increments with the CIS as long as the primary visa holder remains in the U.S. However, individuals entering the U.S. with B-2 visas are not eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Please contact Grzeca Law Group for information regarding documentation or assistance with applications for a B-2 visa.

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