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CBP awaiting "guidance" to form policy on same-sex marriage derivative admissions - August 7, 2013

CBP awaiting “guidance” to form policy on same-sex marriage derivative admissions

Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have taken active steps to prepare their agencies to receive applications relating to same-sex couples based on the Windsor decision.  For most families the next step will be to file an I-130 and to proceed either with adjustment of status if they are currently present in the United States or continuing on to Consular Process their Immigrant Visa Petition at their local embassy if they are abroad.  These agencies are ready to process petitions immediately.

Customs and Border Protection, however, is slightly more hesitant.  In a recent teleconference with representatives from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) CBP officials stated that at the moment whether one will be permitted to enter as a spouse would be port-specific, and that “the agency is awaiting internal guidance from DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and DOJ [Department of Justice] before issuing any guidance to the field.”  This means that if you intend to enter the U.S. from abroad as a derivative, you (or your attorney) should contact the port (airport, land border entry point or sea port) through which you intend to enter for guidance.