Guidance on Issuance of Form I-20s and DOMA Effect for Same-Sex Couples

The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs has advised consulates that their officials may issue derivative F visas based on same-sex marriage if the marriage is recognized in the place of celebration. That is, if the country where the couple married recognizes same-sex marriage as legal, then the U.S. Government will recognize the union as legal for the issuance of visas, irrespective of where the couple plans to reside within the United States.

The Designated School Official (DSO) should continue to verifiy marriages consistent with current practices and should now do so for a same-sex marriage if it is recognized in the place of celebration. Once the marriage is verified, a DSO then may issue a Form I-20 to a same-sex spouse of an F-1 or M-1 Nonimmigrant who is seeking admission into the United States as an F-2 or M-2 dependent.

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