The U.S. State Department says it will no longer recognize same sex partners when granting diplomatic visas to partners. This comes up under the new State Department requirements. What this implies is that marriage is the only proof of bona fide partnership amongst couples.
The change, which took effect Monday, impacts the partners of United Nations officials, ambassadors, full-time embassy and consulate staff, and foreign military members stationed at US military bases or assigned to a foreign embassy or consulate in the US, among others.
According to a notice posted on the State Department website, the U.S. will now consider applications from same-sex partners of diplomats and international officials the same way it does for heterosexual partners. The shift requires same-sex partners to apply for a spousal visa, also known as the G-4 visa, and is “effective immediately.”
Since 2009, the US had accepted same-sex domestic partners as family members when granting certain classes of diplomatic visas. Under the new guidance, the US will only accept legally married spouses when granting new visa accreditation. Those in domestic partnerships who are currently in the US will have until the end of the year to get married. Partners who don’t get married by that deadline will have 30 days to leave the country.