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✎ EN Will my UK Civil Partnership be recognised by USA immigration

Discussion in 'Immigration USA' started by NickW_UKtoUS, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. NickW_UKtoUS

    NickW_UKtoUS New Member

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    Hello all, hoping to find reassurance or at least an answer here that I have been unable to get clarity on elsewhere.

    I am a UK citizen (male) living here in the UK, my girlfriend is a US citizen in the US.

    We are planning to have a civil partnership ceremony here in the UK, before she returns to the US to apply for my green card through the I-130 form for spouses.

    My question is, will the US immigration system recognise an opposite-sex 'civil partner' from the UK as a spouse? Civil partnerships here in the UK have the same legal standing as marriages, but I haven't been able to clarify if they are treated as the same thing for the purpose of UK to US immigration.

    I know that in some circumstances 'common law' partners may be considered for immigration, and this is a big legal step above that (as I say, civil partnerships are, in legal terms, pretty much the same as marriages here).

    Oh and we're choosing a civil partnership at this stage as a personal choice - with an idea of having a 'marriage' at some point further down the line.

    Does anyone have experience of a successful UK to US immigration as a civil partner? Or any knowledge of how this will be viewed?

    P.S. we've already got the marriage-visitor visa for my gf to come here next year to give notice and have the ceremony (multi-trip).
     
  2. Cyrilexpat

    Cyrilexpat Administrator
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    Hello @NickW_UKtoUS
    Civil Partnerships are not recognised in the US for immigration purposes- unlike the UK.
    The US embassy specifies:
     
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  3. NickW_UKtoUS

    NickW_UKtoUS New Member

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    Hi - thanks for the reply, however it doesn't really address my question. Let me clarify.

    A common-law relationship is quite different to a civil partnership. As stated in my post, civil partnerships are legally very close to marriage; they give the couple the same rights and responsibilities, are registered in a similar way, and there is a legal process reuired to dissolve them (which cannot be enacted within a year of the partnership being formed):

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/f...l-differences/#h-what-is-a-civil-partnership-

    Common law partnerships do not have the same status as these in the UK, and I wouldn't expect them to be recognised by Immigration in the US either. In fact common-law partner isn't really a thing at all in the UK.

    So what I'm looking for is the US Immigration's position on Civil Partnerships, not common law partnerships.
     
  4. Cyrilexpat

    Cyrilexpat Administrator
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  5. GOULIVAS

    GOULIVAS New Member
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    Merci Cyril pour l'information
     
  6. NickW_UKtoUS

    NickW_UKtoUS New Member

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    Thank you but, again, I wouldn't be entering into a civil partnership IN the United States, and so I don't believe the laws, rights and regulations of the United States (or its individual states) as pertaining to marriage, would come into consideration for the immigration process - just as United States laws on marriage aren't considered for immigration applications where a marriage takes places in another country.

    From what I've read, they make a judgement based on the validity of the partnership in the country where it was formed (i.e. what legal status does a Civil Partnership have in the UK). So I'm not sure what you say holds any water.
     
  7. Cyrilexpat

    Cyrilexpat Administrator
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    I know. I am just saying that this is not recognized at the federal level, therefore it should not be recognized for immigration to the US.
    You could be right. Can you post here links with such things?
    In that case only by contacting the US embassy in the UK you will have a definite answer, as they must be the authority making the judgement.
    In my own experience (but things might have changed since then as it was some time ago), some friend in a civil partnership in France married before to move to the US because it was not recognised for visa purposes.
     
  8. Edward Weiner

    Edward Weiner New Member
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    Hi, I'm a U.S. immigration attorney, and for U.S. immigration purposes, the U.S. embassy in London doesn't recognize civil partnerships. This page of the website of the U.S. embassy in London has a bunch of FAQs on marriage-based green card application. The third one is "My partner/common-law spouse is U.S. citizen. Can s/he sponsor me for immigration?"
    The embassy's response is "U.S. immigration law does not recognize common-law marriages or civil partnerships." Your original post was from December, so hopefully by now you've found a solution by now. If not, let us know.
     
  9. Cyrilexpat

    Cyrilexpat Administrator
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