Third-Country Processing for GLBT Immigrants

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The Department of State has announced to immigration attorneys, through the liaison efforts of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), that some GLBT immigrants may seek to process their immigrant visas in safer third-countries.

Last year, when the Supreme Court struck the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in Windsor v. United States, federal government agencies began recognizing same-sex marriages for federal benefits, including immigration. United States citizens may now seek immigrant visas for their same-sex spouse. Although some people may obtain residency without leaving the United States, some immigrants will be required to return to their home country to process their immigrant visa.

It is no secret that some countries remain quite hostile to GLBT persons. In recognition of the lack of safety for GLBT people, the State Department has advised that it would review reasons for fear of returning to that country and would entertain processing the immigrant visa in a safer country. This option is also open to GLBT immigrants seeking immigration benefits on an employment-based visa, as well. Such cooperation from the State Department is very welcome news as many of our clients do come from countries where being “out” as a GLBT person or someone in a same-sex marriage can be harmful or fatal.

Bryon M. Large, Sr. is a Senior Associate Attorney at Kolko & Associates, P.C., a Denver-based full service immigration law firm. He is licensed to practice law by the Colorado Supreme Court and has also been admitted by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico. Bryon actively practices removal defense, federal litigation, family-based and employment-based immigration, asylum and naturalization.


Bryon is a past Chapter Chair for the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a Past Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He currently serves as the President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, an Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors, and is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association.


Bryon’s true passion in life is being a father to his two children.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.