For those who don't know, there are special visas for foreign diplomats and employees of international organizations (like World Bank), A for diplomats and G for employees of international organizations. Their families receive a derivative visa of the same type.
Something GLIFAA has been working on for a while is to have same-sex partners considered family for the purpose of receiving those visas. This is important not just in the name of fairness (allowing the partners of those folks to come to the United States while their spouse is posted here), but it also means that those sending countries will reciprocate, meaning the partners of LGBT Foreign Service Officers and Specialists will be able to receive diplomatic visas to the country where their spouse is serving. And with a diplomatic visa comes diplomatic protections, just like those received by heterosexual spouses.
Full equality. No more, no less.
UNCLASSIFIED STATE 00116867
SUBJECT: FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: AMENDED DEFINITION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
STATE 00116867 001.2 OF 002
1. On July 22, the Federal Register published an amendment to 22 CFR 41.21 that changed the definition of "immediate family," for purposes of derivative A or G visa classification. The "immediate family" of a principal alien will now include a same-sex domestic partner and a relative by blood, marriage or adoption of that same-sex domestic partner. In accordance with
guidance from the White House, the Department is not in a position to authorize opposite-sex domestic partners as members of the immediate family of principal aliens. As amended, 22 CFR 41.21(a)(3) now contains the following definition of "immediate family":
(3) Immediate family, as used in INA 101(a)(15)(A), 101(a)(15)(G), and 212(d)(8), and in classification under the NATO-1 through NATO-5 visa symbols, means the spouse and unmarried sons and daughters, whether by blood or adoption, who are not members of some other household, and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien. Under the INA 101(a)(15)(A) and 101(a)(15)(G) visa classifications, "immediate family" also includes individuals who:
(i) Are not members of some other household;
(ii) Will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien;
(iii) Are recognized as immediate family members of the principal alien by the sending Government as demonstrated by eligibility for rights and benefits, such as the issuance of a diplomatic or official passport, or travel or other allowances; and
(iv) Are individually authorized by the Department.
2. An application for a derivative A or G visa must be supported by a written request from the appropriate foreign office, mission or international organization (see 9 FAM 41.21 N2) that addresses household membership and recognition.
3. Volume 9 of the Foreign Affairs Manual is being amended to read as follows:
9 FAM 41.21 N5.1-2 Other Members of Principal Alien's Household
The term "immediate family" may also include, upon individual authorization from the Department (see 9 FAM 41.21 N5.2(c)), any other alien who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien, is not a member of some other household, and is recognized as an immediate family member of the principal alien by the sending Government or International Organization, as demonstrated by eligibility for rights and benefits such as the issuance of a diplomatic or official passport or other similar documentation, or travel or other allowances. Aliens who may qualify for immediate family status on this basis include: any other relative, by
blood, marriage, or adoption, of the principal alien or spouse; a domestic partner; and a relative by blood, marriage or adoption of the domestic partner. The term "domestic partner" for the purpose of this section means a same-sex domestic partner.
Before you issue a derivative visa in an A or G classification other than G-4 to a domestic partner, you must confirm that the sending state would provide reciprocal treatment to domestic partners of U.S. Mission members. Individuals who do not qualify as immediate family, as described above, may otherwise potentially qualify for a B-2 visa (See, e.g., 9 FAM 40.101 N4 and 41.31 N14.4). In any request for an advisory opinion (per 9 FAM 41.21 N5.2(c)) for an
individual case involving significant foreign policy issues or public interest, address how the policy issues or public interest relate to the visa case.
9 FAM 41.21 N5.2 Aliens Who are Members of Some Other Household
a. An alien who has been a member of a household other than the household of the principal alien would not STATE 00116867 002.2 OF 002 normally be included within the "immediate family" of the principal alien as that term is defined in 22 CFR 41.21(a)(3), regardless of other circumstances. Thus a nephew of college age who has resided in the household of the principal alien's sister and brother-in-law would not qualify as an immediate relative of the principal
alien simply to join the principal alien's household with the intention of attending college in the United States. F-1 classification under sponsorship of the principal alien might be appropriate in such a situation.
b. However, the fact that an alien has been, even inthe recent past, a member of some other household does not preclude a finding that, at the time of application for a visa, the applicant is a member of the household of the principal alien. For example, a recently widowed, divorced or aging parent may have closed a former household with the intention of becoming part of the principal alien's household. This could also occur because, due to advanced age or infirmity, the parent has experienced significant difficulty in maintaining his or her own household. The test in adjudicating these cases is whether the applicant, for reasons of age, health or change in circumstances, has a compelling reason to join the household of the principal alien rather than maintain or reestablish an independent household.
c. You may consider "immediate family" status to be individually authorized by the Department of State in accordance with 22 CFR 41.21(a)(3)(iv) in all cases in which you have made a favorable determination on the alien's application provided that, in the case of a domestic partner, you have confirmed that the sending state would provide reciprocal treatment to domestic partners of U.S. Mission members, and provided that in your judgment no significant foreign policy issues or public interest exists. If you are unable to confirm reciprocal treatment or if significant foreign policy issues or public interest exist, you must refer the case to the Department (CA/VO/L/A) for an advisory opinion (AO).