Bi-national unmarried couples (where one is American and one is a citizen of another country) may find they are faced with a choice: they can get married (not an option if they’re a same-sex couple), or the non-American has to leave the country. Most of the resources below focus specifically on same-sex couples. We encourage different-sex couples to check them out, though, since many (not all) of the issues are the same. If anyone knows of a website or group focusing on immigration issues for different-sex couples who don’t want to get married, please let us know!
Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force
A coalition of immigrants, attorneys and other activists addressing the discriminatory impact of immigration laws through education, outreach, and advocacy, and by providing legal services, information, referrals, and support.
This group maintains a website and online discussion list about immigration issues affecting same-sex couples.
The Lesbian and Gay Immigration Task Force (LEGIT)
One option is for both partners to move to Canada and become Canadian citizens. Canada, like some other countries, defines “family” more inclusively than the American immigration laws, so that both same-sex and different-sex unmarried couples can be recognized as each other’s family members. This organization provides information about how it works.
A Global View: Domestic Partnership Laws in Other Nations
This site describes the status of various countries’ recognition of same-sex and different-sex unmarried couples.
Human Rights Watch and Immigration Equality
The joint report of Human Rights Watch and Immigration Equality, “Family, Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial, and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples under U.S. Law”. It provides a summary of the Uniting American Families Act (Appendix A) and a review of policies in nineteen countries around the world (Appendix B).