Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. U.S. ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) holding it unconstitutional, many same sex couples have been able to marry and petition their spouses and fiancés. One cause for concern, however, is fear for the safety of the spouse or fiancé when applying for a visa based on a same-sex relationship in his or her home country. For example, many people apply for political asylum from their home countries if they have been persecuted for being homosexual, or fear being persecuted if they come out openly as homosexual.
In light of this, the State Department has set up procedures for requesting to consular process through another country if applicants fear that they will be persecuted by their government, family, or community in their home countries. This practice has been in place for immigrant visas since earlier this year, and will now be implemented for fiancé visa applicants as well.
The applicant must make a case for why he or she should be allowed to visa process in another country, and list alternative consulates. He or she should also keep in mind that a visa may be required to enter that country. A request will be made to the consulate, and if accepted, the applicant will be informed.
[Photo by Murrur.]