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New Jersey LBGT Immigration Lawyer

Our Lawyers Help LGBT Individuals in New Jersey with All Immigration-Related Matters

While some recent legal developments have helped to enhance the protections that are available to LGBT individuals seeking residence, citizenship and asylum in the United States, there, unfortunately, is still a lot of work to be done. As a result, it is important to work with a New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer or same-sex immigration lawyer who understands your situation and can use his or her experience to protect and assert your legal rights.

In all scenarios, dealing with immigration-related matters can be stressful. The laws are complex, the procedures are confusing, and there is a lot on the line. A New Jersey same-sex immigration attorney can guide you through the process and help ensure that you receive fair treatment every step of the way.

Seeking U.S. Residency or Citizenship as an LGBT Spouse or Partner

Until recently, same-sex couples were not afforded the same rights as opposite-sex couples under U.S. immigration law. The law only allowed U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to petition for the entry of opposite-sex spouses.

However, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to marry is fundamental and guaranteed to same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges, federal immigration policies changed. Today, LGBT spouses have the same immigration rights as opposite-sex spouses as long as their marriage is legally recognized in the jurisdiction in which it took place.

For unmarried LGBT couples (and those whose marriages are not legally recognized), seeking lawful entry into the United States involves different procedures. If one partner is a U.S. citizen, that partner can petition for a non-immigrant fiancé visa to enable the other partner to enter the United States. If the partners marry on U.S. soil (same-sex marriage is now legally recognized in all 50 states), the fiancé who immigrated to the U.S. can then apply for lawful permanent resident status—and ultimately apply for U.S. citizenship once they become eligible.

Regardless of your personal circumstances, a New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer can explain your options and help you choose the right path forward. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we have significant experience representing same-sex partners and spouses in immigration matters. We can assist you with completing all necessary forms, and our lawyers can represent you in all matters involving U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Seeking U.S. Residency or Citizenship for Your Children

The changes in U.S. immigration policies spurred by the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges also opened up new opportunities for LGBT parents to seek residence and citizenship for their children. Children of same-sex spouses qualify for the same visas and other opportunities as children of opposite-sex spouses. Children of a foreign-born parent who becomes a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen through a same-sex marriage can obtain legal entry through the parent’s marriage as well.

Seeking Asylum in the U.S. as an LGBT Individual

Many LGBT individuals seek asylum in the United States to escape persecution in their home countries. Persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics in the U.S. can provide grounds for asylum. But, while protections are available, securing these protections can still prove challenging.

A New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. can help you if you need to seek asylum. Our lawyers can assist you at the asylum office, and we can represent you in the U.S. immigration courts if necessary. We can help demonstrate that you have either experienced persecution or face an imminent risk of persecution if you return to your home country, and we can ensure that you are afforded all of the rights and protections to which you are entitled under U.S. law.

Fighting Removal (Deportation) as an LGBT Individual

If you are facing removal (deportation) as an LGBT individual who is a citizen of another country, our attorneys can help you fight to remain in the United States. The necessary steps will depend on your circumstances, and your individual circumstances will determine the type of relief we seek on your behalf. Some examples of potential options include:

  • Asylum due to fear of persecution as a member of the LGBT community
  • Withholding of removal under Section 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture
  • Seeking a deferred enforced departure
  • Applying for T or U nonimmigrant status
  • Applying for an adjustment of status

Regardless of your individual needs, even if you aren’t sure exactly what you need, we can help. Contact us today to speak with an experienced New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer in confidence.

Q&A With Our New Jersey LGBT Immigration Lawyer

I am a U.S. citizen in a same-sex marriage with a foreign national. Can I sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigration visa?

Yes, your spouse is eligible to immigrate to the United States based on your marriage. During the immigration process, you and your spouse will need to demonstrate that your union is legally recognized in the state or country in which you got married.

I am a U.S. citizen, and I have a same-sex partner, but we are not married. Can I sponsor my partner for a family-based immigration visa?

If you and your same-sex partner are not married, you cannot petition for a family-based visa. However, if you intend to get married, you can petition for a fiancé visa. This will allow your partner to enter the U.S. for a 90-day period (during which time, you must get married), and, following your marriage, your partner can apply for lawful permanent resident status. The marriage must be bona fide as it relates to immigration applications and evidence of such must be submitted with the applications.

What if I’m not sure what type of application or petition I (or my spouse or fiancé) needs to file?

Our New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer can help you determine what steps you need to take for you or your loved one to gain lawful entry into (or remain in) the United States. To learn about your options, schedule a confidential consultation today.

Speak with a New Jersey Same-Sex Immigration Attorney

If you would like to speak with a New Jersey LGBT immigration lawyer, we encourage you to get in touch. Call 877-435-6371 or contact us online to schedule an appointment in person or over the phone. 

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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