Gay Married Man in Florida Becomes First to Receive Approved Immigrant Petition After DOMA Decision

A Bulgarian immigrant, who had been living and studying in the U.S. for many years in order to preserve his documented status, was having dinner with his American husband Friday when they received notice that USCIS had approved his immigrant or “green card” petition.  Traian Popov became the first immigrant of a same sex marriage to receive this approval since the Supreme Court’s decision striking Section 3 of DOMA last week.  The Court’s recognition of same sex marriage allows couples to seek the federal benefits that come with matrimony, including legal permanent residency.  USCIS has logged each same-sex couples’ application that had been denied in the past two years, anticipating a movement towards marriage equality, and will reverse those denials without the couples having to reapply for their visas.  We are expecting further USCIS guidance on this issue and will provide updates.