The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is a bill if passed by the United States Congress, which will allow the same sex-partner ‘permanent partners’ of United States citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for US immigrant visa. Owing to, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which does not recognizes marriage between the same sexes, same sex couples who are legally married, do not qualify for the immigration benefits. The UAFA thus aims to eliminate the discrimination meted to them in immigration benefits.
It is clear that the act will create a separate category for ‘permanent partners’, of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents allowing them to immigrate to the United States, thus cleverly evading the meaning of marriage as defined in Defense of Marriage Act. With time, more jurisdictions will begin to recognize the same sex marriage and grant them the immigration benefits; the Defense of Marriage Act will thus no longer be valid. The bill if passed would thus create a situation where such couples applying for visa, would need only to prove that their relationship is a permanent and an ongoing one.
However, it might not be an easy job to prove that the ‘permanent relationship’ is a real one and not intended for any immigration frauds.