Same Sex Relationships and K-1 Fiancé Visas

There was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 that dramatically effected U.S. immigration law and same sex couples living in Thailand. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act which barred federal recognition of same sex marriages. On July 1, 2013, the United States announced that it will allow immigration petitions for same sex couples.

Thailand is one of the most socially tolerant countries in Asia for homosexual couples. Many of the legal prohibitions against homosexual activities have been eliminated but one important right has not been recognized. Thailand does not recognize or allow same sex marriages.

The socially tolerant atmosphere, warm weather, and beach resorts has made Thailand a vacation destination for homosexuals. Like their heterosexual counterparts, many American homosexuals come to Thailand and fall in love with a local Thai national. This may result in a long term relationship in Thailand. The same sex couple would like to get married but that is not an option in Thailand.

After the U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a U.S. citizen can now petition for a K-1 Fiancé visa for their same sex partner under the same conditions and regulations as a heterosexual couple. If the K-1 fiancé has children, they will be able to bring them to the United States on a K-2 visa.

What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?

  1. The Petitioner must be a U.S. Citizen.
  2. The couple must have physically met each other within the past two years.
  3. The couple must enter the United States for the purpose of getting married within 90 days.
  4. The marriage must take place in a U.S. States that recognize same sex marriages. The couple does not have to reside in the state but the marriage ceremony must take place where same sex marriage are legal. There are currently 19 U.S. states that have legalized same sex marriages as of July 2014.
  5. The Petitioner must have the ability to provide minimum financial support for the couple.

After the marriage, the K-1 fiancé can file for adjustment of status to become a U.S. Permanent Resident.

If you have any questions about same sex marriages in the United States or the K-1 visa, please contact our office.


Category: US Fiancee Visa, US Immigration

About the Author (Author Profile)

Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.


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