USCIS will begin implementing the ruling in DOMA immediately.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of USCIS announced today, June 27, 2013, at an AILA conference in San Francisco, California that "we have kept records of all denied I-130s filed based on same-sex marriage and we will be acting on them."
Our law firm interprets this to mean that USCIS will start approving immigration petitions filed on behalf of same-sex marriage (gay marriage) where such marriages are recognized in the subject jurisdiction. This also extends to VAWA applicants, petitions for step-children, I-601 waivers, cancellation applications in removal proceedings, fiancée petitions etc.
This changle also applies in the context of H-1B and L visas. So long as the union takes place where gay marriage is recognized, even if couple moves to a state which bans gay marriage, the marriage will be recognized by USCIS as valid. This certainly extends to disclosure on USCIS forms, meaning such marriages must be disclosed and a divorce must take place before a new marriage will be recognized. Serious consideration should be kept in mind before filing for fiancée petitions where acknowledging a same-sex marriage would expose the immigrant spouse to danger in his or her country of origin.
Call us today if you are a legally married same-sex couple needing immigration assistance!