On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage has redefined marriage equality, giving same-sex couples access to spousal benefits in areas such as tax, health, and most importantly, immigration.
Prior to the ruling, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rejected family-based immigration petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse solely because of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (defining marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman). Now, a U.S. citizen in a same-sex marriage can sponsor a family-based permanent resident (green card) petition for his or her spouse.
Furthermore, USCIS will reopen and reassess applications that were previously denied based on same-sex marriages.