Same-Sex Marriage Green Card From Tourist Visa

Same-Sex Marriage Green Card Approval

Full Video Transcript

This new US citizen, newly minted US citizen, met somebody online and now they want to get married, and I’m so happy for them. So, we prepared the application. Obviously, there’s so many challenges. She came in as a tourist; she just became a citizen, and it’s a DOMA case, meaning it’s a lesbian couple case. And so, USCIS could be a little bit more strict. There was no request for evidence; the card was issued within 5 months of filing. It was such a clean case. Let me walk with you step by step how we did. Let’s go.

Hi everyone, my name is Joseph. I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. So, the legal problem is just a normal immigration case, right? A US citizen wants to petition her spouse. In this case, the problem is more so how do you prove that it’s really her spouse? It’s a bona fide marriage because they’re lesbians. Not that lesbians are discriminated against, but USCIS thinks every 9 out of 10 cases they’re fraudulent. Right? Nine out of 10 cases, if they’re fraudulent. And so, if you are two girls, well, how do you really prove your relationship is real?

In the past 5 to 7 years since Federal immigration law changed because the Supreme Court struck down DOMA allowing for same-sex marriages to petition each other, this wasn’t always the case. We did a lot of these, and there have been some really crazy interviews to the point where officers required two people to kiss and say their vows to each other. So, we prepped the clients, but the interview itself was actually super straightforward. Now, the officers were super chill. They were asking each other questions; they were joking. They prepared the documents showing the dating history. It really helped that both of them were of the same background, Chinese Malaysian. They had really good chemistry. The documents, I mean, they’ve been dating for a long time. There’s a lot of correspondence with each other; the families knew they were openly lesbian, right, as opposed to being in the closet. So, there’s a lot of things that worked in their favor. And so, there’s a lot of pictures and Instagram posts that really show the relationship is real. And it was just a good time.

And I think that is the key takeaway I want to share. Don’t treat these interviews as a super daunting experience that they’re just kinda ripping apart your life. Sure, your entire citizenship is on the line; sure, your life is on the line. And you don’t want to say anything that’s derogatory. But ultimately, you’re just proving that your relationship is genuine. Share about the jokes that you guys tell each other; share what you guys like to do. And the officers are pretty chill.

So, we prepared them well. We prepared the case well and filed it. The case was super straightforward, just clean. And within 3 or 4 months afterwards in 2023, the green card was mailed to their house. So, going from a tourist visa, we prepared everything, and then we filed the adjustment of status with the 765 and with the I-131 work permit and travel permit. They were able to get everything together and were able to file everything. So, within that entire time, coming in as a tourist and then eventually getting a green card, it lasted less than one year.

There were so many things that are complicated about it, but to them, I explained again and again the hard work is right at the beginning, getting us documents and trusting us. I think that was the hardest thing. Then we prepare everything, and then we file, and there’s nothing for you to do other than wait. Now, that could be hard for a lot of people, but if you do the hard work in the beginning, you know you’ve already done everything you can. And then right before the interview, we practice a little so you make sure you don’t do anything incorrectly. And then you go to an interview; the interview lasts less than 20 minutes. Come out, wait again, and then the Green Card arrives.

The waiting time is long, but think of it like it’s a baby; it’s your birthing your new life. And so, it does take time to get this whole thing processed. In the meantime, feel free to do whatever you want, right? Because you have your work permit, you have your travel permit. You could live your life. So, start your life and dream of what dreams may come. It’s a lifelong dream of this Malaysian girl to be able to be in the US, and this online relationship worked out. I personally met my wife online as well, and so this is a huge shout out to online dating services; it does work. USCIS is usually a little suspicious, but this is how the world works now. And the officer who was interviewing understood that. So, a lot of times, it’s also luck who your officer is. But speak to the person, and hopefully, your case will get approved.

If you have any questions about DOMA cases, about same-sex marriage cases, lesbian cases, about how to prove a marriage is real, feel free to reach out. We love to talk to you. Take care. Bye-bye.


Is a same-sex marriage green card case more difficult than a standard green card case? It shouldn’t be. Same-sex couples need to go through the same process as any other marriage green card case; however, marriage green cards are traditionally one of the most accessible cases for immigration fraud, so USCIS officers look at these cases more carefully. 

If there is proof the marriage is authentic, a same sex marriage green card can be approved, just like any other marriage case. In this particular marriage green card case, our client was on a tourist visa and met her spouse online. They fell in love and were married and then came to us for help filing their case.




After compiling all the information, this case was very clear and straightforward. It took only five months from the time the application was filed for this same sex marriage green card to be approved and sent to our client.



Prior to Supreme Court’s decision to rule that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, a same-sex marriage green card case would not be handled in the same manner as an opposite-sex marriage. In a statement after the ruling in 2013, the Secretary of Homeland Security said “… effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

Now the main concern for any same-sex couple is that of the any married couple filing a green card application, to prove their marriage is real. For this couple, it wasn’t an issue. Both women were open with their relationship. They had many photos with family members, on their social media, and they had an authentic relationship. They were also of the same background, which did help their case. What was a little more unique is that this client was in the US on a tourist visa. They had met online and when they met in person, they fell in love, and were married after that. That is when they came to us for assistance with their case.



Gathering all the information and evidence up front, before actually filing the case is often one of the hardest parts of the process of any case. So making sure we worked with the client to get all this information was important particularly because it was a marriage green card cases. USCIS considers that 9 out of every 10 marriage green card cases are fraudulent, so naturally, their going to look at this cases more closely. 


For this particular case, there was also the fact that the client came in as a tourist, on a tourist visa, and had just recently become a US citizen. These were all factors in the difficulty of this case.



Detailing the Dating History


We spend time compiling all the documents to show the history of this relationship. For this particular couple, they had been dating for a long time, so there was a lot of documentation and photos to show their history together. Having all this information and compiling it all into a cohesive case was one of the components of success in this same-sex marriage green card case.


Preparing For And Authenticity During The Interview


Previously, we’ve done same-sex marriage green card cases and heard some crazy things about the interviews. However, in the past 5-7 years, this has changed and the interviews are more straightforward. They are meant as added proof that your relationship is real. With many clients, we practice the interview to help prepare and reduce some of the anxiety that can come from the interview process. This allows our clients to be more authentic in their interviews and more relaxed even though there may be a lot of pressure. A lot of times a client may be thinking my whole status or my whole life even, is on the line. Trying to relax and not put on so much pressure by preparing for the interview can help.


For this couple, the interview went really well. They were able to relax and joke with the officer even. This helped them relax and the officer can tell they are more authentic and this relationship is more authentic.




After we filed the application within five months this couple got their green card. This same-sex marriage green card case was approved. It was a happy occasion for everyone and we are so excited for them and that we were able to help them.




Oftentimes, the waiting period after filing the application can be the most difficult part of the process. But if you do the work up front, gathering all the information and making sure that you’ve really clearly made your case, that’s what makes the difference in your case result.

If you need assistance with a marriage green card, adjustment of status, or other immigration services, contact us with any questions. We would love to help.


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