Can Same-Sex Couples Get Marriage Green Cards?

Since June 26, 2015, now same-sex marriages are legal in all states in the United States. When same-sex couples apply for marriage Green Cards, there are important factors to keep in mind. Check below to learn more about the same-sex marriage green card application common issues and how to prove bona fide relationship.


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) gives equal consideration to same-sex couples as heterosexual couples. The same requirements and eligibility will apply during the marriage Green Card application process.

The following are common issues that any marriage Green Card applicant must keep in mind, however we have highlighted specifics to which same-sex couples may need to pay close attention:

  1. Marriage vs. Civil Union
    • Some same-sex couples would have entered into a civil union, without an actual marriage. However, to be eligible for a marriage Green Card, the same-sex couple will need to be legally married.
  2. Overseas Marriage
    • As with heterosexual couples, when a same-sex couple enters into a marriage, it must be legally recognized.
    • Although the United States recognizes same-sex couple marriages, in order to be eligible to apply for a marriage Green Card, the same-sex couple must be married in a country that recognizes same-sex marriage as a legal marriage.
    • If the same-sex couple were married in a country that does not recognize same-sex marriage, then that couple may apply for a K-1 fiancĂ©(e) visa first.
  3. Bona Fide Relationship
    • Family information and photos to prove the Bona Fide relationship
      • It is imperative that the marital relationship be authentic and not merely a way for an individual to sponsor a marriage Green Card applicant.
      • Although each marriage Green Card applicant should submit photos of families and show evidence of the ongoing relationship between relatives, this can often be hard should a family not be accepting of the same-sex marital relationship.
      • Despite having limited interaction with potential family members who might not support the same-sex marital relationship, it is imperative that the marriage Green Card applicant still be aware of names, age, and family relationships.
      • Before the interview, it is crucial that the main sponsor and the marriage Green Card applicant review all answers and rehearse responses.
      • Should a particular family not support the same-sex marriage, it is okay to disclose that a family is not in support, therefore having limited photos and interaction with that family.
    • Documents evidencing the Bona Fide relationship
      • Documents of joint leases or showing that the marriage Green Card applicant and the main sponsor live together are great evidence when exemplifying your bona fide relationship.
        • If the same-sex couple lives where same-sex marriage is not as openly recognized, it can be difficult to provide lease documents with both spouses’ names.
        • If a lease is not available, other documents such as copies of utility bills, copies of driver’s licenses showing the same address, or any official documents may be used as evidence to prove the bona fide relationship.
      • Documents showing joint ownership of bank accounts can also show evidence of a bona fide relationship.
      • Employment documents showing your same-sex couple listed as a beneficiary of benefits or life insurance policies can also be great documents that support the bona fide relationship.
      • Joint credit card statements can also be evidence that can support the bona fide relationship.
  4. Prior Marriages
    • As with the case of heterosexual couples, same-sex marriage couples need to provide documentation of any prior marriages.
      • If a partner was previously married, documents showing either a certified copy of the final decree of divorce or a death certificate of a prior partner will need to be submitted.