Florida Man’s Bulgarian Husband Approved for Green Card

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2013

Traian Popov and Julian Marsh

Julian Marsh, a Florida resident, and his Bulgarian husband, Traian Popov, made history by becoming the first same-sex married couple to gain a permanent resident visa for a foreign spouse as a result of last week’s Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Popov was notified via email late on Friday that his green card was approved, in a move so fast that it took the couple’s immigration lawyer by surprise:

Speaking by telephone on Sunday from the couple’s home, Mr. Marsh said that he turned 55 on Friday and that he and Mr. Popov were celebrating with dinner at a Red Lobster restaurant when they received news of the unprecedented green card.

“It was just kind of a shock, like winning the lottery,” said Mr. Marsh, a music producer. “The amazing overwhelming fact is that the government said yes, and my husband and I can live in the country we chose and we love and want to stay in.”

Popov had been in the U.S. legally for the past fifteen years on a series of student visas. The couple married in New York last year and applied for a green card in February.

Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services said that local immigration officers in Florida jumped the gun a bit in granting Popov permanent residency status, but I don’t see any indication that they will attempt to reverse the decision. Authorities said that the agency will announce new procedures for same-sex binational couples this week:

For the last two years, the agency has kept a list of same-sex couples whose green card petitions were denied, the officials said, anticipating that the Supreme Court would eventually weigh in on DOMA. Those denials will now be reversed without couples having to present new applications, if no other issues have arisen. Gay couples with no denials, like Mr. Marsh and Mr. Popov, will move through the system at the same pace as traditional spouses, officials said.

Hunter

July 1st, 2013

It’s gratifying to see the administration moving so quickly on things like this. It’s going to be even more gratifying to see Brian Brown’s head explode.

F Young

July 1st, 2013

Note that Florida does not recognize same-sex marriages. So, this is very promising for binational couples throughout the US.

Steve

July 1st, 2013

@F Young
Immigration has always looked at the state of celebration. This isn’t a surprise at all and was clear even before the SCOTUS decision.

A lot of federal law goes by the state of celebration. There are some high profile exceptions like Social Security and VA benefits and possibly taxes in some cases, but those are exceptions.

Darina

July 1st, 2013

*waves from Bulgaria*

I feel glad for my fellow Bulgarian, but it still saddens me that he’ll be better off in the US that Here.

Poor Bulgarian homophobes in the comments to this piece of news in my favourite daily newspaper, they were terrified to discover that somebody got a green card for marrying a person of the same sex, and at the same time were so obviously envious that one of the Voices of Reason had to remind them that one could still get it by means of old-fashioned opposite-sex marriage. :)

Kevin

July 3rd, 2013

I loved one liberal commentator who said that this will make Teabaggers’ heads explore. TWO things they hate rolled together: Immigration and Gays.

Kevin

July 3rd, 2013

Sorry, “explode” not “explore.”

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