Friday, July 31, 2009

G4 Visas for World Bank domestic partners

I received this via email today:

"One of the priority areas of work for GLOBE has been to work on the visa situation of domestic partners and spouses of marriages that are not recognized by the United States. As you know, the World Bank President has sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask her attention for the problems that many of our LGBT colleagues and their partners are facing. We are now happy to report that the State Department has moved partially in the right direction. A new rule was announced on providing G4 visa to domestic partners and spouses of un-recognized marriages on the basis that these relationships are recognized in the country of origin. Partners will receive G4 visa as "immediate family" of the World Bank staff concerned, provided proof can be given that the relationship is recognized by the "sending Government".

This is very good news and it will solve problems that many LGBT colleagues are facing. However, it will not solve the situation for those of us who come from countries where our relationships are not recognized, even if the World Bank does recognize our relationship. Furthermore, it is not clear what would happen if the relationship would be recognized in principle, but has not been registered in the home country, because in such cases the required proof of "immediate family" in the new definition may not be available.

One last issue is that the G4's for partners at this moment in time will not lead to work permits in the US, because work permits are provided by the Department of Homeland Security, and that Department has not yet taken the new rule into consideration for its own policies and rules and regulations.

These issues may take time. But we definitely hope to see some of the problem cases of colleagues solved in the very near future!

Tarek M. Soueid,
World Bank GLOBE "

1 comment:

hannah said...

As I go into my last two days of visa work in Saudi Arabia, this raises an interesting question. I adjudicate 90% of our A2 visas at post, and we regularly refuse the second and third wives of our visa applicants, as their marriages are not considered legally valid in the US and therefore they cannot derive status from their husbands, the primary applicants. Will these wives now be able to get G4 or A2 visas, using the same logic as this ruling?