U.S. Says It Will Provide Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Couples

The State Department began processing visas for same-sex spouses on August 2, according to NPR. Secretary of State John Kerry said those applying for same-sex immigration rights will receive the same treatment as straight couples and filling out the same application.

“Effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it considers the application of opposite-sex spouses,” Kerry said in a statement.

Every couple who was married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage will receive equal treatment as their marriage is now valid under U.S. immigration laws. Gay and lesbian couples can travel in and out of the U.S. without worrying about being detained by immigration officials. Many U.S. citizens have been splitting time locally and abroad as most were unable to obtain visas to stay in the U.S. permanently.

Immigration laws for same-sex couples will also affect those who live outside the U.S. According to Reuters, if one spouse has a visa to travel, work or study in the U.S., then their spouse is permitted to join them.