Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down DOMA, USCIS is now free to adjudicate same-sex marriages for immigration benefits. This has far reaching consequences as it can now dramatically affect not only same-sex spouses, but step-children as well.
The one caveat to all of this is that not all states recognize same sex marriages. This creates a potential issue as USCIS has stated that they will look to the state in which the same-sex marriage was performed, AND (in certain circumstances) look to the state of residence when considering whether a marriage is “bona-fide”.
In California, this is not an issue, but in other states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, it has the potential to lead to a denial. Further clarification has been promised, and we’ll be sure to examine it closely when released.