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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
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Can a Romanian citizen (who has lived in Spain for 1 year)

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Can a Romanian citizen (who has lived in Spain for 1 year) marry an American same-sex partner and obtain immigration rights (in a U.S. state that does NOT recognize same-sex marriage)? Can residence in a nearby state (like New York) be a consideration? Considering I am an Ohio resident, how long would I have to maintain a residence in New York state, for example, if I can only be there part-time?
Hi there! Thank you for using this service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be helping you with your questions today.

Unfortunately, I am prohibited from answering questions that are specifically related to state marriage issues, like residence for marriage, etc., in the immigration topic area.

 

But I can answer your immigration related issues. Would you like me to go ahead and do that?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Great, thanks Glenn.

The easy way to look at this is that the federal government recognizes marriages if they are legally recognized in the jurisdiction in which they took place, with limited exceptions. So just as marriage between persons who are of the opposite sex only qualify for immigration benefits if the marriage took place in a jurisdiction that recognizes it, if the marriage between persons of the same sex is legally recognized in the jurisdiction in which it took place, then the federal government will recognize it for the purpose of eligibility for immigration benefits.

 

So if t marriage takes place in Canada or New York or California, for example, then the US immigration agency will recognize the marriage for the purposes of immigration.

 

The immigration agency doesn't care where the person actually lives in the US, so long as the marriage that is the basis for your petition was legally recognized by the government where it took place. So you are free to live in Ohio, a place that doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, if you want to.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But can we marry in Spain, where it is legal, if my partner is not yet an official "resident" of Spain?

Unfortunately, you would have to confirm what the requirements are for marriage in Spain with someone who is an Expert on marriage laws of Spain.

I am only permitted to answer US immigration questions, I'm afraid. What I can say from personal experience is that I know a number of people personally, who got married in Spain while only there for the wedding and a honeymoon. I have no doubt that you would not be able to do the same.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you need more help, please use the reply button to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my satisfactory customer service (not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control) with a top-three rating, as this is the only way I receive credit for assisting you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you have immigration or TSA questions in the future, just click Ask Expert James a Question! and make sure you write "FOR JAMES" in the subject or at the beginning of your question. This is the only way to ensure that I will assist you.

Thank you!
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