05 January 2012

Bi-national Australian man spared deportation from San Francisco

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Australian Anthony John Makk has been granted a deferred action by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allowing him to remain in the US with his husband for at least another two years.

US visa

Anthony John Makk had lived in the US for 20 years, yet still faced deportation.

Makk had been denied a marriage-based green card despite having no criminal history and having lived legally in the US for over 20 years using various American visa options. His rejection was due to the Defense of Marriage Act which strictly defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman and prevents bi-national same-sex couples from sponsoring a spouse for an American green card.

The USCIS has now issued a letter to Makk stating that he has been granted 'deferred action' on his case to ensure that the agency will not pursue deportation for at least two years thanks to an exervise of prosecutorial discretion.

While Makk's involvement in a same sex marriage may preclude him from the Defense of Marriage Act, his status as a primary care giver in his husband's treatment of AIDS meant that, when combined with his long standing record of living in the US without incident, Makk met certain conditions which allowed US immigration officials to prioritise his case.

The announcement has been hailed as a great victory in the battle for equality, with Immigration Equality Spokesman Steve Ralls saying "though this is not a permanent solution, it is a meaningful and significant one" and that "we all remain committed to continuing to work for a permanent solution for all couples in their situation but this is, indeed, a hopeful sign that things are changing." 

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people with their ESTA visa application.

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