Immigration Law

US Citizens Move for Foreign Partners

Tim Miller has met his life partner. The problem is, the couple can’t live happily ever after here in the U.S. That’s because his partner, Alistair McCartney, is not only gay but an Australian citizen.

Even if the two establish residency in one of the handful of states that allows civil unions or even marriage between same-sex partners, that doesn’t count for immigration purposes, explains the Los Angeles Times.

Under federal law, the only recognized marriage of a U.S. citizen is to a person of the opposite sex. And, unless you are legally married under federal law, you cannot sponsor your spouse as a legal resident. Hence, Miller is reluctantly thinking about moving to the United Kingdom, even though his friends, his family and his career are all here. “U.S. laws are creating pointless heartache for thousands of American citizens,” he says.

Rita Boyadjian, a Los Angeles entertainment industry executive, seconds that emotion. She and her partner are thinking about moving to Canada for the same reason. If they do, Boyadjian will have to commute from Canada to work in Los Angeles. “I’m angry that I’m a U.S. citizen, born in L.A., and I may have to leave my own country as a refugee,” she says, noting that her parents emigrated from Egypt to escape religious persecution. “The whole thing has been a nightmare, quite honestly.”

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