Transgender Immigration to the US Update

by Admin on April 18, 2012

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued an interim memorandum declaring they will now issue immigration documents that reflect an individual’s gender identity as long as the individual presents a corrected birth certificate, passport or court order recognizing their new gender.

USCIS has also stated that it will also approve green-card petitions by American citizens or permanent residents for their transgender spouses if a petitioner establishes that the transgender individual has legally changed their gender and subsequently married an individual of the other gender; that the marriage is recognized as a heterosexual marriage under the law where the union took place; and that the law where the marriage took place does not bar unions between transgender individuals and persons of the other gender.

Although Thailand has a large transgender population, including famous pop singers, television and movie stars, this new provision of US immigration law may not necessarily assist spouses and fiancés in relationships with Thai transgendered persons. To the consternation of US immigration attorneys in Thailand, the Thai government will not change the gender status of a Thai citizen, even after a medically approved sex change procedure. Since the legal change of gender is one of the requirements of the new USCIS regulation, there may be a Thai-sized obstacle. Thailand may host more sex-change operations than any other country in the world but as discussed in Transsexuals and Thai Law, Thai people are more accepting of transsexuals than is Thai law.

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