Patricia & Ira: Lesbian Couple Together for 8 Years, Faces Exile to Canada With Their Newborn Daughter

DC -based couple married in 2010 and had a baby, but time is running out on Ira’s visa leaving them no choice by exile.
(Photo credit: Love Shack)

My name is Patricia, I was born in Brazil and became a naturalized American citizen in 2008. My partner Ira, who I have been with for 8 years is a Finnish citizen. When we met in 2003, Ira was a student and right from the start there was a lot of tension and worry surrounding the problem of how she would stay in the country. Could she afford school one more year to renew her student visa? Would she be able to get a job that would sponsor her for a work visa? U.S. work visas are very limited, but lucky for us she did get hired and got a 3 year work visa that could be renewed for another 3 years. However, this visa is going to expire in less than two years and I cannot give her a greencard through marriage, even though we did get married in the District of Columbia last year.

Last year was a big year for us. In addition to tying the knot, we also had a baby girl. Having her in our lives prompted us to try to move to a more accepting society where our partnership is recognized and legal. As such, we are trying to relocate to Canada.

The irony of our situation is that both Brazil and Finland recognize same sex partnerships for the purpose of immigration. Ideally for us we would like to stay in the U.S., but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon. So Canada here we come!

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This is a pro-bono project of the law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC. Posts on this website are offered for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC has offices in New York and Los Angeles. Our practice is limited to U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law.