Gay Immigration

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    Hi Guys,

    So my non-ex-boyfriend and I have decided to try and give it a go, long distance for the time being, but hopefully for only a short while.

    He's Irish, I'm American, and neither of us is having a very easy time with immigration. We both went to University in Scotland, which is where we met and started dating over a year ago, in May 2010. Since then we've had multiple stints as long distance, and even times when we wouldn't have defined ourselves as even in a relationship. We've been apart since April 2011, when he moved back home to Ireland. I eventually graduated and moved home to The States in July, so effectively for the past 5 and a half months, except for a total of less than a week spent together, we've been again in a nondescript, indefinite long distance relationship.

    It's wearing on us more than I could have thought possible, as both of us are new graduates and have only a year or 2 of work experience each, so the prospects of packing up and moving somewhere completely new and fresh are difficult and complicated. Most Visas require a standing job offer in the destination country, which is understandable; but in this economy with such high unemployment, it's hard for a company to sponsor somebody and defend that there is no national applicant equally as qualified. The decision will not only be based on where we can legally move and reside, but also where we can find jobs (I did Business/Economics, and he is an Architect)

    Anyway, I've just come across a few links which I think are very important and would love some feedback/thoughts/ideas etc...

    http://gaylife.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1%2FXJ&zTi=1&sdn=gaylife&cdn=people&tm=12&f=00&su=p284.12.336.ip_&tt=15&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A%2F%2Forg2.democracyinaction.org%2Fo%2F5036%2Fpetition.jsp%3Fpetition_KEY%3D42

    This one is great with helping to joint he fight against DOMA. Its days are numbered, but the few the better!

    http://www.immigrationequality.org/2011/09/another-step-forward-for-our-families/

    That's a great article overview of the situation as stands.. the rest are just some good links with info etc.. Hope people find something interesting or useful here. I'm sure this will all turn into a personal attack on me somehow, as RJ forums generally do.. but oh well. If I get some good, sound and useful advice out of it, bring it on, Trolls!

    http://gaylife.about.com/od/gayimmigration/qt/visasponsorship.htm

    http://www.autostraddle.com/gay-inclusive-immigration-reform-could-potentially-be-a-thing-95548/

    (Yes, Lesbian couples deserve immigration rights, too! ;-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 5:27 PM GMT
    Shit, I didn't post the links correctly:


    [url]http://gaylife.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1%2FXJ&zTi=1&sdn=gaylife&cdn=people&tm=12&f=00&su=p284.12.336.ip_&tt=15&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A%2F%2Forg2.democracyinaction.org%2Fo%2F5036%2Fpetition.jsp%3Fpetition_KEY%3D42[/url]

    http://www.immigrationequality.org/2011/09/another-step-forward-for-our-families/

    http://gaylife.about.com/od/gayimmigration/qt/visasponsorship.htm

    http://www.autostraddle.com/gay-inclusive-immigration-reform-could-potentially-be-a-thing-95548/

    Sorryz icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 8:00 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about the difficulties you guys are having! I sponsored my (now ex-) husband for Canadian permanent resident status years ago. Is the UK a possibility for you, since he wouldn't have to worry about visas at least, and you have a history with the country (which government departments would take into account)?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 10:53 PM GMT
    Jeandeau saidShit, I didn't post the links correctly:

    Sorryz icon_sad.gif


    The OP is so cute.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 10:56 PM GMT
    Southbeach is right. Your best bet is for him to get a job and an H1-B.

    You might be interested in this piece I wrote a couple of years ago, about bi-national gay couples and the challenges they face:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/04/15/gay-lovers-in-exile.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 11:13 PM GMT
    Pointing you to this, you may find it very, very helpful in your search for an answer...

    http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=6543

    This is extremely historic, and happened this week ;)


    As for the H1-B thing, they're right.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 12:37 AM GMT
    If either of your parents or your grandparents were British citizens regardless of where they later moved to you may be entitled to claim what is referred to as "right to abode" and fast track obtaining a British passport and citizenship. It was still on the books a few years ago but may have changed.

    If he's in Northern Ireland he can move to the UK easily,,not sure about Ireland (Eire) but I believe if they're part of the EU then moving around from country to country isn't a problem.

    Anyways.. check into the British citizenship thing.. or other euro country that either your parents or grandparents may have come from, they may have a similar setup for the children and/or grandchildren of citizens.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/right-of-abode/


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 12:56 AM GMT
    I'm an international in the US and live & breathe this hell everyday. The only legal way for him to come here would be on an H1B and even then his stay is completely tied to his relations with the company not you. The max he'll be allowed to live here is 6 years given that the company files for his extension after the 3rd year. At any point if he looses his job he will need to return back and there's nothing you'll be able to do about it. While DOMA is in place even marrying him in a state that allows it won't help him obtain a greencard since the marriage is not recognized at the federal level. Hopefully after DOMA falls they'll grant us those protections too. Your best bet would be trying to immigrate to Canada since they seem to be more accepting. Hope this helps a little. feel free to IM me if you would like to chat about it more.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 1:34 AM GMT
    Wow thanks everybody! I really appreciate all the feedback, even though it's not exactly 'positive!' It's still very constructive.

    Britain or even Europe for that matter would be a breeze. Problem is he has tried finding a job in Britain like crazy and really hasn't had much luck. I've never seen so many Applications sent out, and he got a fair amount of Interviews, but no acceptances.. so we've pretty much Ruled Britain out based on that.

    I could get my Post Graduate work visa for there tomorrow though, if I wanted, so Immigration there isn't the problem, it's the work climate and the economy.

    Also the weather is shite ;) 4 years in Edinburgh- I've had my fill of rain!

    But seriously, thank you to all of you for the input and feedback, it really is appreciated, even just hearing I'm not the only one stuck in this situation!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 1:59 AM GMT
    Ironically, SB: you're a bit misinformed apparently. Not making any definitive statements here, but both of us are not what you'd expect.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Sep 09, 2011 2:16 AM GMT
    Marry a Lesbain couple, and one each, and have amicable agreement. After getting GC, split...

    Unfortunaltely I have to give up my US residence because my BF will never be issued one,

    That's why we moved to Australia instead.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 2:33 AM GMT
    beneful1 saidIf either of your parents or your grandparents were British citizens regardless of where they later moved to you may be entitled to claim what is referred to as "right to abode" and fast track obtaining a British passport and citizenship. It was still on the books a few years ago but may have changed.

    If he's in Northern Ireland he can move to the UK easily,,not sure about Ireland (Eire) but I believe if they're part of the EU then moving around from country to country isn't a problem.

    Anyways.. check into the British citizenship thing.. or other euro country that either your parents or grandparents may have come from, they may have a similar setup for the children and/or grandchildren of citizens.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/right-of-abode/




    Oh cool, i didnt know that. Im 2nd generation Canadian, my grandparents are from Wales and England. hmm. well that is something to ponder.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Sep 09, 2011 2:47 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidOne other thing to pass along.

    Anyone who is here on a work visa - do NOT leave the USA. Yes, technically you are allowed to come and go while still in "status" - however, every time you present yourself to a Customs and Border Protection agent at a U.S. port of entry, you are putting yourself at extreme risk of them not allowing you in.

    And, the worst part of this "system" is that the CBP agent doesn't have to have what would appear to any of us to be a valid reason to deny entry, and there really isn't any route to appeal for the "alien" (as foreigners are called).

    At best, such a person would have to go back to a U.S. embassy in their home country and re-apply for whatever visa they had (the friendly CBP agent will revoke the visa at the time of denied entry).

    Once the poor soul goes back to the embassy, they will most likely be placed in the hellish "Administrative Processing" where their application will languish for months or even years.

    USCIS is an agency out of control. We hear so many complaints about TSA agents, but trust me, USCIS is MUCH worse. USCIS has completely gone so far beyond what their "mission" is (to keep terrorists out, to make sure anyone coming in won't become a "ward of the state") and the complete and final authority rests with the jerk CBP agent at the port of entry or the visa officer at the embassy, that it makes the USA the most in-hospitable country on the planet towards people who are trying to legally come here. (4.5 million people are currently in "Administrative Processing" hell.)


    Very much so! There is a lot of confusion/ and grey area in this area. The boarder security personnel can DENY your entrance for whatever reason he/ she feels like on that day, and while you may be able to appeal it is NOT a nice route.

    I was in the US for H1B, and my partner was in the US on a B2-special. Most B2s are for tourists and last 6 month and can be extended once to make 12 months in all.

    But there is a special clause in the immigration rules that says, H1B holder's partner (ie, gay partner) can extend their B2 for as long as the H1B holder's visa ios still valid.

    Both Immigration lawyer AND US embassey knows this rule. But boarder offers MAY NOT, or choose not to follow that rule.

    Once during my stay in the US, we went back to England for Easter, and upon the return, some fucking fool don't know this rule and almost refused my partner's re-entrance. They even put an addendum in his record saying they don't think he can be extended for B2 any more. (This was at the end of a traumatic trip where I was arrested in the UK for wrong accusations and stupid coppers, but that's another story).

    But when it acutally comes the time he had to extend his B2 again, the Federal Immigration Office didn't batter an eye lid and gave him his extension without question.

    These boarder security guys HAVE NO CLUE.

    from then on we always travel with a set of documents we print out from the goverment website and a lteer from our lawyer stating our case.

    In the end we can't be bothered with this shit and decided, that, despite our love for San Diego, if the US goverment don't want my service (Highly skilled and specialised expert in my field) then they should NOT have it.

    The US has an arcane immigration system, the Green card lottory is a joke. They'd rather have some one randomly win the lottory who may not speak English, doesn;t have any skills, but they don't want skilled immigrantes.

    It is stupidity.
  • beaujangle

    Posts: 1701

    Sep 09, 2011 2:53 AM GMT


    Bottom line... YOU will have to leave the USA and relocate to another country with your boyfriend if you want to be together for more than just a short visit by your boyfriend here in the USA.

    If you have other questions, please feel free to email me here on RJ.[/quote]


    My oh my, is this due to the present state of the economy and aftermath of 911?
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Sep 09, 2011 2:54 AM GMT
    beaujangle said

    Bottom line... YOU will have to leave the USA and relocate to another country with your boyfriend if you want to be together for more than just a short visit by your boyfriend here in the USA.

    If you have other questions, please feel free to email me here on RJ.



    My oh my, is this due to the present state of the economy and aftermath of 911?[/quote]

    No it's always been this shit.

    Although, straight couples have it easier.

    And. random people can win the Greencard lottory, utter foolishness.
  • rafiki87

    Posts: 331

    Sep 09, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    Could move to Canada. The immigration process is so straight-forward especially for those that are educated and looking for work.
  • stefanapolis

    Posts: 65

    Sep 09, 2011 4:24 AM GMT
    I don't know the exact details of the process. But if your boyfriend could find an internship with a company in the states, he can come here on a J-1 visa.

    Now its not a permanent visa, it simply last the length of said internship employment, but it at least could put your boyfriend in a position for a possible full time employment.

    I'm not sure how exactly you go about the J-1 visa outside of the NGO I worked with, which sources for companies and went through the process for companies that we contracted with. BUT I do know that the state department has increased its allotment of J-1 visa's for 2011 and I know that companies use them for their international interns frequently. Like I said, not permanent, but it is a thought.

    Hope this helps!
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Sep 09, 2011 10:58 AM GMT
    If you were going to try Britain, you may get in as a civil partner (if you wanted to make it official). It's usually a bit drier in the south.
    http://www.stonewall.org.uk/at_home/immigration_asylum_and_international/2666.asp
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 11:19 AM GMT
    Or ... come to Australia ? icon_wink.gif

    Actually, one thing is that if your boyfriend is an architect, I'm not sure if there is also an architecture bent there, but have a look into the Parc Scientifique, or just EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland in general. Reason being ? It's the innovative/entrepreneur/start-up centre for Europe, pretty much the majority of the campus speaks English, so no worries if you don't know French. And, well, Lausanne is a great place to be, very tolerant and France, Italy, Germany, whathaveyou are not far away.

    Just an extra thought icon_smile.gif
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Sep 09, 2011 11:32 AM GMT
    offshore saidMarry a Lesbain couple, and one each, and have amicable agreement. After getting GC, split...

    Unfortunaltely I have to give up my US residence because my BF will never be issued one,

    That's why we moved to Australia instead.


    He better marry a lipstick lesbian, because no one would believe it if he married a bull dyke. Picture him with Rosie type...ah you can't right??!!icon_idea.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 1:09 PM GMT
    This is a great thread, but is also freaking me out a bit as I'm making the move to the USA from Canada in Jan 2012 on a TN-1 Visa (visa available to NAFTA country citizens who qualify to work in one of a defined list of occupations as defined by the US Government). From what I've read, and from what has been discussed here, the Border Agents who actually issue the TN-1 Visa can approve or deny you on the spot based on a 5 minute conversation with you. That seems so crazy! I'm thinking of seeking out an Immigration Lawyer for some advice on ensuring I get approved, but I'm not sure about spending all that money for advice that still may not get me in if I happen to get stuck with a grouchy border agent on the particular day I'm driving across the border. Ahhhh the stress!

    Add to that the stress that my ex and I were supposed to be heading there together. He is a Physician and is all set for his Visa and immigration situation since the hospital has sorted it for him, and were supposed to help with my situation as well, but now that we're on a "break" I'm going it alone and sorting it out by myself, and leaving a few months after he takes off (he's leaving this month).

    Anyways, back to the OP's situation...Jeandeau we have talked about your situation a bit before so glad to hear you guys have decided to give it a go! It all seems to add up to it being easier for you guys to move to the UK, but I understand the hesitation on both your parts going back there. Did you get anywhere with checking out the Canadian immigration situation? Your boyfriend will have no problem as discussed, but there may still be a good chance of you getting in here too.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 09, 2011 1:54 PM GMT
    SOUTHBEACH1500An immigration lawyer is helpful in making sure you fill out all the paperwork and that is has been filled out correctly, but beyond that, they can't do a thing to increase the chances of a successful interview.

    It all boils down in to if the agent at the border is having a good day or not. Great system our government has devised, isn't it?


    Well they can't keep the illegals out so might as well try to get rid of the legal ones right? What country in its right mind would want productive people who contribute to the economy and pay taxes??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 13, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks again for the continual ideas and suggestions and ongoing discussion!

    Canada told me I'd need to have a Job willing to sponsor me, which sounds easy enough, but it's actually a bit more complicated than just getting accepted for a job... They need to be able to prove there are no national applicants who can qualify for the Job at hand as well.. which is the 'grey area' that many people mention with the H-1B in the USA.. it's pretty subjective and up to the gov't to decide ultimately who tends to be more focused on national employment rather than being nice to immigrants. Hence the US' problem!

    Reguarding the J-1 or whatever, that's been a thought, but he's unsure about it as it's only up to a year, and once he gets here he still needs to find work, which can take a few months. The longer it takes to find work, the less time you have to work, which means fewer people will be willing to hire you for that shortened length of time.... Catch 22.. See where this is going? SO it's a big Risk unless you can find somebody in advance...

    Long story short that could end up costing him a lot of money and waste a long time of working from home in Ireland and saving up to make it worth it, especially since you get kicked out NO MATTER WHAT after the duration of the work Permit is Up and you NEED TO REMAIN OUT OF THE USA for a period of 90 days after expiration, so not like you can even apply for the H-1B afterwards.. It's pretty restrictive and a pain in the ass.

    So our new target is AUSTRALIA. They like us icon_smile.gif Yayz.
  • ads80

    Posts: 60

    Sep 15, 2011 8:54 PM GMT
    Go for Australia!!

    My partner is from New York, I'm Australian and we have recently applied for his Partner Visa. The good thing was that we applied for it while he was here on a holiday visa and because he was in Australia at the time of application, he has been given a bridging visa which permits him to remain in Australia for as long as it takes to process his application. The current wait is 9 months.

    Even better, the partner visa entitles him to free health care (you guys in the US may not know what this means!). Because the assumption in Australia is that your Visa will be approved he is able to get his Medicare card right now. We've also had really positive experiences every single time we've dealt with the Immigration department on the phone and in person and have never had any or heard of any hellish stories with border control!

    Make sure you check out the general skilled migration option as well as employer nominated options.

    Good luck! I'm happy to share any of my knowledge on immigration to Aus if it can help.
  • chumpatized

    Posts: 2

    Sep 17, 2011 10:10 AM GMT
    This is kinda unrealistic and will require some time but you can "win" a green card through DV Lottery as well. I've been trying it for few years but never won but I know a French person who just won this too so it's not a far fetched idea either....

    You can check the website for more info.

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html